Susan Stamberg's Other Favorite Holiday Cranberry Dish Every year, on Thanksgiving, Susan Stamberg recalls a cranberry relish recipe that's now infamous in public radio land. But another cranberry dish has also graced her holiday table through the years — a cranberry chutney that is sweet, tart and packs a kick of cayenne pepper.

Susan Stamberg's Other Favorite Holiday Cranberry Dish

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Now, a found recipe that begins with this public radio word association game, Thanksgiving, Susan Stamberg.

SUSAN STAMBERG, BYLINE: Momma Stamberg's cranberry relish, naturally. The one with the horseradish, the sour cream and the onion and the roast cranberry...

BLOCK: Which sounds awful.

STAMBERG: But it tastes terrific, although it is the color of Pepto Bismol.

BLOCK: And it's controversial so we're going to be beyond Momma Stamberg, today, Susan. We've invited you back to your original home airwaves here on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED because we wanted to find out if you weren't to be making Momma Stamberg's cranberry relish, perish the thought, what might be on your Thanksgiving table. What have you got?

STAMBERG: So you're calling this Found Recipes. You have found me out because as a matter of fact, my favorite cranberry relish recipe...

BLOCK: Sacrilege, it's not?

STAMBERG: ...yes, is - it's not. It's not Momma Stamberg's although I do adore it and I'm always loyal to my later mother-in-law. But there's one recipe I like even better and it's a chutney and it's garlicky and wonderful, totally surprising, from a terrific Indian actress named Madhur Jaffrey, who was in early Merchant and Ivory films and "Shakespeare Wallah." She made a reputation over many decades and then ran restaurants in New York and does many cookbooks.

BLOCK: I think of her as a cook, not as an actress.

STAMBERG: Exactly, exactly. She's good at both.

BLOCK: So cranberry chutney.

STAMBERG: It's a chutney and...

BLOCK: For Thanksgiving.

STAMBERG: Sure. She opened her cupboard one day and found objects and put them together. You know, chefs do this on the air now often on programs, just say, OK, these three things are on my shelf in the kitchen, what can I make with them. She did this and she was the first I ever heard of who did it.

And she starts with - she finds herself in the cupboard, a can of cranberry sauce, but with berries so that's her starting point. And then, she adds to all of that, fresh ginger, chopped garlic, cider vinegar. Isn't this all sounding yummy and weird a little, too?

BLOCK: It is, yeah.

STAMBERG: Sugar, cayenne pepper because she's Indian. It's got to have a little hot thing in it.

BLOCK: A bit of a kick.

STAMBERG: Right. Salt and pepper, that's it. And you boil things down and you make reductions and you mush them around in a saucepan and what you get is just this wonderful, kind of sweet, sour...

BLOCK: Spicy.

STAMBERG: ...and spicy thing. It's great.

BLOCK: And you're saying it's a close competitor to Momma Stamberg's.

STAMBERG: You know, there's some Thanksgivings in which it runs away. I mean, it just takes over the table and I notice that most of it is gone. Whereas, Momma Stamberg's...

BLOCK: The Pepto Bismol pink concoction...

STAMBERG: still lingers, yes.

BLOCK: You can recycle it the next year. Put it in the freezer and bring it back.

STAMBERG: You caught me. You found me out again on this program.

BLOCK: NPR's Susan Stamberg with another cranberry relish. Susan, thank you so much.

STAMBERG: Happy Thanksgiving.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.