In the spirit of the season so powerful and encompassing, I was all for celebrating Thanksgiving this year, my very first time ever. Fine, if you may call me the ‘only’ Iyengar celebrating Thanksgiving! (which I know may not be the case after all). The spirit of giving thanks to a bountiful harvest, to a houseful of close family, to helpful friends or anything we are grateful for in general is also very much central to our culture. Then why not? I don’t have to bake a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving, so we did it our way – the fusion way, with a bit of borrowed American and a bit of Indian for convenience and the outcome was indeed a blast.
No recipes in this post however, just a peek into my kitchen and my dining table as I had no time for staged photography in the middle of all the hullaballoo of cooking up a feast. Recipes will follow in posts to come of course, as each one of them is a mouth-watering concoction in itself.
Pumpkin, Butternut Squash and mixed nuts are a Thanksgiving staple, but our menu had none of them. Tens’s of recipes were doing the rounds in my mind, but here’s what our Thanksgiving spread finally looked like:
I had watched Food network and Cooking channel the whole of the week approaching Thanksgiving and mentally stocked up on a list of my favourite recipes. Chef Akhtar Nawab’s (he challenged chef Michael Symon on Iron chef) Green beans casserole featured on Cooking channel’s Food(ography) particularly interested me so much that it went spot on my list. Indulging as it was, it was elaborate too. But when you have to cook for a crowd, it is better to stick to simple recipes than experiment with a new recipe and a complicated one at that. So eventually I settled for a simple Green beans with mushrooms topped with some roasted almonds, which was heavenly by the way.
I had all the sides figured out the American way. Roasted rosemary potatoes were so fragrant, they just vanished from the table soon after being served. For the main course, I wanted Indian for a satisfying meal. Intrigued by their queer looks, I had bought phool makhana (puffed lotus seeds) long back from the ‘Desi‘ store. Thinking it would be the perfect occasion to bring it out of its ‘hibernation’, I made phool makhana curry to go with a super simple yet immensely aromatic Saffron rice. You have to taste it to know the might of this orangey red divine spice.
I was meaning to make Peach Cobbler all of summer, but conjuring that thought was all that I had come close to. The bag of frozen peaches had dwelled in the freezer long enough I felt and hence against much opposition from almost everyone, baked the cobbler nonetheless for the first time. It’s another thing how everyone wanted to get to it before the rest of the menu!
Hope to add the recipes for all of them, which means making them all over again, hopefully that’ll happen soon enough too.