Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cranberry Avakka/ Avakkaya

A bag of bright red/ burgundy cranberries always beckon me at the supermarket aisles. The sour, tart flavor makes me think " Hmm.. I can do something interesting with this cute little thing than make a relish!" During my recent shopping, this thought made me pick a bag of cranberries.

 My friend gave me a bottle of cranberry pickle last year. She made the pickle in avakka style I love mango avakka and could not wait to try the cranberry avakka with some curd rice. It was delectable and I instantly loved it. I have wanted to make some by myself and the recent availability of fresh cranberries in the market encouraged me to do so. I asked my friend for the recipe and she was nice to share it with me. I made it last week and it came out pretty good. So, here is the recipe for cranberry avakka.

Avakka is a delicacy from the state of Andhra. Ava means mustard seeds and kai means mangai or raw mango.

The rule of thumb for the spice mixture for avakkaya is 8 measure of cranberry, 1 measure of salt, 1 measure of red chilli powder, 1/2 measure of mustard seed powder and 1 measure of oil. I used a large ladle and measured everything with that. You can use any measuring cup you you want. Adjust salt and red chilli powder as per taste.

There is no cooking involved except for roasting the vendhayam/ fenugreek. The ground cranberries give a little more " vizhudhu" for the pickle as they do not ooze as much liquid as mangoes. This is one of the easiest pickles to make and it tastes finger licking good.

Get ready

  • 1 , 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries ( 1.5 cups)
  • Salt
  • Mustard seeds, powdered ( without roasting)
  • Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds, roasted and powdered
  • oil ( I used canola oil, you can use gingelly or vegetable oil too)


  • Wash the cranberries and let it air dry completely on a towel. You do not want any moisture. It may take 2-4 hrs for it to dry out completely.
  • Pick out those cranberries which are soft and squishy and set aside . You want firm cranberries for the pickle.

  • Cut the firm berries in half or quarter depending on the size of your berries.

  • Take the soft cranberries and pulse them in a blender for a few seconds.
  • In a bowl add the chopped cranberries, pulsed berries, salt, red chilli powder, mustard seeds powder, roasted fenugreek powder, oil and mix well.

  • The oil should be  floating on top of the berries and that is the adequate amount of oil one needs for the pickle.

  • Adjust salt per taste and transfer it to a clean air tight bottle.
Enjoy this avakka with rice, dal, molagootal and  yogurt.

If you like garlic, you can a few cloves and pulse it with the soft cranberries. It takes the taste to another yummy level.

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