A Thanksgiving Feast: Rajma

Written by Meena Agarwal on November 20th, 2013 | 3 Comments


Pic taken from www.hookedonheat.com, visit site for recipe details.

This year, Thanksgiving just whizzed by me. Mostly because this time around, Canadian Thanksgiving, which normally falls on the second Monday in October, plopped itself right on Baby Dear’s third birthday! So while the rest of the country feasted on mouthwatering seasonal fare, we folks in the HoH household celebrated the tiny tot’s big  day with things that made him most happy – cake, toys and Biryani.

I’ve always loved the idea of Thanksgiving. After all, what’s there to complain about? A whole day dedicated to spending time with loved ones and eating good, comfort food – count me in! Roasting an entire bird large enough to feed half of my neighbourhood has never been my kinda thing, so I always went for something else. Over the last couple of years, my sister volunteered roasting a whole chicken (something I can never manage to do successfully, no matter how many kinds of recipes I tried!), while I’ve been more than happy to lay out a spread of delicious sides ranging from luscious pulaos, creamy rich curries and a variety of assorted vegetable dishes.

Early on this year, without glancing at the calendar of course, I had decided that I wanted to host a wonderful Indian-inspired Thanksgiving feast.  Well, Thanksgiving came and went. And now here I am still caressing the desire to feed my family and friends.  So like I always do in most cases, I just decided to throw caution to the wind and host a dinner anyway. Folks in the US can say I celebrated with them, while rest of the world can take this as my pre Holiday Season bash. The menu I had in mind definitely resonates with a traditional Thanksgiving feast seasoned with an Indian touch. Here is what my ideal Indian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner table will look like, good enough for a gathering of 12-15 hungry tummies:

Appertizers

Mini Samosa Puffs with Tamarind and Mint-Coriander Chutneys

Tandoori Chicken Pops with Minty Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Dinner

Indian Roast Chicken Legs

Rajma (recipe follows)

Paneer Makhani

Baingan Patiala

Spinach Saag

Mushroom & Peas Pulao

Garlic Naans

Cucumber Raita

Chopped Salad

Dessert

Gajar Halwa

Vanilla Ice-cream

What does your Thanksgiving menu look like? I’d love to hear some of your favourite dishes and traditions around this holiday, so please do share!

Rajma (Curried Kidney Beans)
Prep time: 5 min | Cooking time: 20 min | Serves: 2-4 as main, 6 as side

Ingredients:

2 tbsp light cooking oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
a 19oz/450ml can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
water, as needed
salt, to taste
handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:

Heat oil in a large deep pan on medium heat and add in onion, and fry for 2-3 minutes till lightly browned.

Add ginger, garlic and spices, and fry for a few seconds till fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and combine well with the onion and spices.

Add in tomatoes, stir well, and let it cook covered for a few minutes till the tomatoes start to pulp and blend with the spice mixture.

Stir in kidney beans, and about 1-2 cups of water (depending on the thickness of gravy you  prefer), and cook covered for 5-6 minutes on low heat. If you prefer a bit more of gravy, add some water and bring it to a slow simmer. Season with salt.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.


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