Some Greens for the Thanksgiving Table

November 22, 2010

Creamed Saag
I always struggle with what types of greens to put on the table for Thanksgiving. Though I love creamed spinach, it always seems too indulgent for an already cream-and-butter-laden meal. Green beans are my default, because everyone else seems to love them so much, but they’re really not my favorite. Asparagus isn’t in season, and broccoli just doesn’t seem very Thanksgiving at all.

However, for last year’s Southern Indian-inspired Thanksgiving, the sides weren’t too creamy, so I decided to do a riff on creamed spinach that contained a hint of cream, but was also filled with flavors and spices of India, so as not to be bland. The result is one of my favorite ways to serve spinach, Thanksgiving or not! (more…)

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Punching up the basics: Masala Mashed Potatoes

November 21, 2010

Masala Mashed Potatoes

Part of the beauty of making a South Indian Thanksgiving is the sides themselves are easily inspired by the vegetarian cuisine of Southern India. If you have a blended group of carnivores and vegetarians coming to dinner, this menu is sure to please both. The vegetables will be full of flavor without any added meat (it really is possible to make vegetables without bacon fat!), and the tandoori turkey will be a perfect complement to the vegetables that will end up stealing the show.

Mashed potatoes are a must at every Thanksgiving, but these get a spicy makeover with ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and tumeric. The result is a flavorful potato that will have your guests asking for seconds, thirds, and possibly fourths! (more…)

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Happy Diwali!

November 4, 2010

Kaju Barfi and Carrot Halwa

Today is Diwali, or the festival of lights, which is celebrated in India among many other countries. I’ve been on board with this holiday since my husband (then boyfriend) told me about it. The Indian New Year — it means you get to buy new clothes!

Really, though, can you imagine a guy getting all that excited about clothes? Over the years, as he told me a little more about the holiday (because previously I just heard “new clothes” and didn’t care too much about the actual meaning) he would always talk about the sweets his mom would make, and he’d get that happy look on his face, twinkle in his eye. Ahhh! This is what it’s all about for him — sweet treats! (more…)

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