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:
Mini Samosa Puffs with Tamarind and Mint-Coriander Chutneys
Tandoori Chicken Pops with Minty Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Indian Roast Chicken Legs
Rajma (recipe follows)
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
2 tablespoon light cooking oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon 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
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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