What better way to commemorate America’s most foundational holiday - Thanksgiving - a day that was created to be all about joining together with the culture that most impacted us, that helped form us, and that influenced our ability to thrive by sharing their recipes, their cultural dishes, their ways of life with us, than to reflect that very thing in our family Thanksgiving meals this year? With a little twist. This time we are going to embrace our own Indian connections (we just happen to be talking about a little bit of a geographical difference than the Indians at the first Thanksgiving)! We want to share some ideas with you on ways you can take the traditional American feast and add a little twist - a fusion of cultures and a celebration of the two societies that most influence your home. That feels like the most “Thanksgiving” thing we could do!
Let’s start with one of the first components of a traditional American Thanksgiving. What American dish creates more controversy - causes more people to take sides - divides more families - than CRANBERRY SAUCE? Fresh or canned? What’s your vote?OR
How about neither?! Yep. We have an alternative for you that is sure to win over either team of cranberry connoisseurs:
For this crowd pleaser (no matter which camp they fall into under traditional circumstances) you’ll need:
12 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp freshly ground or minced ginger
½ Tsp. ground cloves
½ Tsp. cardamom
½ Tsp. cinnamon
½ Tsp. cayenne pepper
1.Chop cranberries by hand or with a food processor. Do not worry about cutting them uniformly - variety of sizes is what you’re shooting for.
- Pour cranberries into a pot and bring to a boil util cranberries are softened, reduce heat, add the sugar, ground cloves, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and ginger.
- Cook for about 15 minutes or util the chutney has a jam like texture. It will solidify as it cools. More good news: It keeps in the fridge for weeks and is excellent on leftover thanksgiving turkey sandwiches!
Just like at the first Thanksgiving, we are going to be sure to offer a variety of options for our guests and their palates. Does your family prefer vegan options? We have a couple for you:
“Green Bean Casserole alternative” this dish is not exactly your traditional green bean casserole, but the GREEN BEANS & POTATO GRAVY recipe is a vegan gravy over green beans, potatoes, and Indian spices. It’s got some kick to it. It is cooked in roasted peanuts, so anyone with allergies, BEWARE. https://cookilicious.com/green-beans-potato-gravy/
We also have a CAULIFLOWER TIKKA MASALA as another vegan option for you.
If you are looking for a dish that doesn’t quite have as much spice to it, check out the creamy and savory cauliflower curry. This dish is quick to put together and - BONUS - it is a budget friendly meal!
This dish is vegan, keto, and gluten free.
*Tip* If you want to add a more earthy flavor to this recipe, try frying ot grilling the cauliflower before adding it to the gravy. https://cookilicious.com/vegan-cauliflower-tikka-masala/
MASALA CORN You will not believe how simple and fantastic this dish is! While canned corn is definitely a fine option for this recipe, fresh corn, if possible, is best to really capture the full flavors. As with any recipe, don’t be afraid to experiment a little. If there are seasonings that your family loves that seem like they could be an addition to your recipe - be creative! Cooking is an art form - follow the guidelines, but don;t fail to express yourself! https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/masala-corn-recipe/
MASALA MASH (POTATOES) You will not believe how simple this is. You start with 8 quick and easy steps that are going to feel like very traditional American mashed potatoes - they are, at first. Then you bring on the special twist! Your guests’s mouths will water and you will not have any leftovers to deal with (you might be sad about that). https://www.harighotra.co.uk/masala-mashed-potato-recipe
Is it even a meal without BUTTER NAAN? There’s just no beating a piece of warm, soft, buttery naan! Eat it on its own, use it to make an Indian taco with any of your favorite curries, or just dip it in any of the flavorful dishes you find on the table. Could you buy your naan at the store, pre made and pre packaged? Absolutely. And it would still be a hit at the dinner table, but there is just no argument that if you have the time, hand made butter naan cannot be beat. https://foodess.com/butter-naan/
COCONUT PUMPKIN HALWA (also known as Kaddu ka Halwa) Don’t miss the opportunity to add pumpkin to something besides your coffee this season! Pumpkin Curry is a delicious dessert - it is really good with methi (fenugreek) added to play off the sweetness of the pumpkin. This dessert is sure to blow your friends and family away this Thanksgiving. It takes under half an hour to prepare, and you can just throw all of the ingredients into a pressure cooker and let that do most of the work for you! https://pipingpotcurry.com/coconut-pumpkin-halwa-pudding/
The moment has arrived. The main course - TANDOORI TURKEY WITH HOMEMADE GRAVY. This recipe is for a roast turkey to ensure that you are capturing as much flavor as possible for this Thanksgiving centerpiece. Cook time is about 2 hours with a 30 minute prep window. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to master this easy to follow, unbeatable recipe. You are going to be the star of this year’s Indian Fusion Thanksgiving!! https://nishkitchen.com/tandoori-turkey-with-homemade-gravy/
We at Indian Ties hope that your Thanksgiving is incredible, no matter how you choose to spend it. Whether the meal is a perfect blend of Indian and American styles of cuisine, whether it's a turkey footlong from Subway, or whether it's a burned, dry turkey, the spirit of the day remains the same. Love your people and make a concerted effort to list the things in your life that you and your family have to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!