So you wanted to host Thanksgiving this year for your friends, or what we in the States like to call, Friendsgiving.  But that just means you’ve been tasked with creating a massive multi-course meal on a dining table heavily and beautifully adorned.  The bar has been set high and so have the expectations.  So, we scouted and sourced the best chefs & bloggers in the country to create this unique Thanksgiving meal and menu that is sure impress.

Let’s forgo the primitive history lesson about the Pilgrim, “Indians” aka Native Americans and the cornucopia of food.  We all know that’s not what really happened.  What we do know is that during the early 1600’s Puritans and Pilgrims would celebrate the successful harvest of the previous year with a feast that George Washington over a hundred years later on November 26, 1769 proclaimed a nationwide celebration.  Thanksgiving has since evolved tremendously, including a ceremonial presidential pardon of a special designated turkey’s life by the POTUS to live and roam freely on farmland.

This thanksgiving we are thankful for many things besides pumpkin pie or spiced (and spiked) hot cider. We are thankful for such a wonderful holiday in which millions gather around to give thanks to their blessing and some even take this time to serve others.  Please note that not all are as lucky as we are so remember to take some time this Thanksgiving to give back to your community.  Even just setting aside your Thanksgiving leftovers for a local shelter or food bank could make someone else’s life incredibly special.

Traditionally the American Thanksgiving meal consists of:  turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, buttered rolls, macaroni and cheese, and of course pumpkin pie.  But this Thanksgiving let’s break the mold by making a memorable meal that is uniquely representative of our heritage and our environment.  Each of the dishes below provides Indian flair to traditional thanksgiving foods!

Feast your forks on this:

TANDOORI TURKEY + TOASTED GARAM MASALA GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

Tandoori Masala

  • 2 ½ tbs coriander seeds
  • 2 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tbs ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp red mirchi
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 3” – 4” stick of cinnamon (broken into pieces)

Garam Masala

  • 24 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 3 tbs black cardamom pods
  • 2 ½ tbs cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ tbs green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp ajwain seeds
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 3” – 4” cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

Turkey

  • 1 12-14 pound turkey
  • ¼ c kosher salt
  • 5 black cardamom pods
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves

Marinade

  • 4 c plain whole-milk yogurt
  • ½ c chopped peeled ginger
  • ½ c fresh lime juice
  • ¼ c finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ c paprika
  • 2 tbs tandoori masala (see above recipe)
  • 2 tbs garam masala (see above recipe)
  • 2 tsp mirchi
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:  A turkey roasting bag

INSTRUCTIONS

Tandoor Masala

Toast spices in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Working in batches, finely grind mixture in a spice mill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For Garam Masala

Toast spices in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Working in batches, finely grind mixture in a spice mill. Sift through a medium-mesh strainer into a small bowl; stir to combine. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For the Turkey

Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub inside and out with salt; transfer to roasting bag. Stuff turkey with cardamom pods and cumin seeds, then onion, celery, and garlic.

For the Marinade

Purée all ingredients in a blender. Pour marinade into roasting bag. Smear all over turkey. Tie bag and arrange turkey, breast side down, in a large heavy roasting pan. Refrigerate overnight.  Let turkey stand in bag at room temperature for 1 hour. Turn breast side up. Create steam holes in bag if required by manufacturer’s instructions.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (puncturing bag with thermometer) registers 160°, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Cut top of bag open, being careful of steam and juices, and pull back over turkey. Roast turkey until breast is deeply browned but not burned and a thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°F, 15-30 minutes longer.  Transfer to a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.  Meanwhile, strain juices into a large saucepan. Spoon fat from surface. Simmer over medium heat until sauce is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.  Carve turkey. Serve with accompanying gravy.

This recipe is can be found here (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tandoori-turkey-368303) by NYC Chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez who has been passionate about Indian food since she opened her first restaurant Lassi in 2006.  Lassi received numerous awards including The Best Take Out In NYC by New York Magazine.  To this day Chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez still says her favorite dish to prepare for herself is “any kind of curry.”

 

CURRIED SQUASH SOUP

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 8-10)

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 squash (hubbard/butternut)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 5 cups veggie broth
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • chives
  • cayenne pepper
  • sour cream

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum paper, cut the squash lengthwise and set aside.
  3. Blend the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, sage, oil and garlic until it forms a coarse paste.
  4. Add this spice blend to the squash and evenly spread on the exposed flesh.
  5. Set the squash flesh side face down on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour on the top shelf of the oven.
  6. While the squash is roasting/baking, clean & cut your leek and carrots.
  7. Sauté the chopped leeks & carrots in a large pot over medium heat.  Cook for about 8 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the leeks are translucent.
  8. Add the veggie broth/stock and the bay leaf.  Set aside while the squash finishes baking.
  9. After the squash is done, remove from the oven and let cool.  It will be extremely hot so be careful!
  10. Carefully remove the flesh of the squash from the skin.  Be sure to avoid seeds!  Add this flesh to the broth.  Bring to a boil and then continue cooking for 30 minutes.  Do not cheat this step, otherwise the squash will not be cooked thoroughly.
  11. Remove the bay leaf, add the juice of the lemon, salt to taste and let cool.
  12. Blend to a puree consistency using a proper and strong blender.  This soup taste best when completely smooth so I like to use our Vitamix for this step!
  13. Garnish with chopped chives, a dollop of sour cream, and some cayenne pepper.  We like to add some fresh pomegranate!

 

This recipe comes to from Charisma Shah, former science junkie turned fashion designer, who loves to cook.  She started blogging her vegetarian lifestyle in hopes to remember all her mom’s recipe but it has since evolved to much more.  We love this curried squash soup recipe of hers.  Smooth, subtle, earthy and devourable.  You can find more about this recipe and her other recipes here (www.charismashah.com/recipes).  Be sure to also follow her on instagram (@charismi).

 

MOOLI MASHED POTATOES

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 4-5 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 tbs butter
  • ¼ c whole milk yogurt or curd
  • ½ c heavy whipping cream
  • 6-8 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • ¼ sweet small yellow vidalia onion (very finely minced)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Radishes for garnish (chopped)
  • Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash the potatoes and place in a sauce pan.  Cover them with cold water by 2 inches.
  2. Bring to a light boil.
  3. Add a tablespoon of salt and reduce the heat.  Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are completely cooked and soft when cut with a knife.
  4. Drain water and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  5. While the potatoes are cooling, heat the butter (low heat).
  6. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the garlic, ginger and saute until golden.
  8. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  9. Add the curry leaves.  Immediately remove from heat.
  10. Add this mixture directly to the yogurt.  Add the whole milk and stir until blended well (without lumps).  Set aside.
  11. Remove the peels from the potatoes and mash the potatoes by processing them through a mill or pushing them through a strainer into a large mixing bowl.  This should help achieve the mashed consistency.
  12. Fold in the yogurt mixture from step 10.
  13. Garnish with some freshly ground black pepper, a little bit of chopped radishes and some freshly chopped cilantro.

 

 

SWEET POTATO + SRIRACHA PANINI

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + a little extra to brush the bread slices
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce*
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 thick slices of sourdough/ciabatta bread
  • 8 large dinosaur kale leaves, torn and midrib removed
  • 8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 thick slices of crispy cooked bacon
  • 4 large fried eggs
  • extra salt and pepper for seasoning

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut it across it’s length into 8 thick slices (around 1cm in thickness). Keep aside until ready to use.
  2. Place all the ingredients from the salt flakes to the black pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl, pour in the ¼ cup of olive oil and stir to combine. Fold in the sweet potatoes, coat each slice with the seasoning mix and allow to sit for 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Cook the sweet potato slices on a grill on each side for around 4 to 5 minutes until each side gets well marked. The slices will be cooked when tender yet firm enough to hold their structure.Remove and keep aside until ready to assemble the sandwich.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the Sriracha and mayonnaise until combined. Keep aside until ready to use.
  5. Heat up your panini press or grill, brush the grates with a little vegetable oil if needed. In the meantime, start to assemble your panini. Brush the outer side of each bread slice with a little olive oil, then spread a generous teaspoon of the sriracha mayonnaise on the inner surface of the bread. Layer one slice of bread with a couple of the torn kale leaves, followed by two grilled sweet potato slices, two slices of mozzarella, a slice of bacon and another layer of kale leaves. Place the second slice of bread over the assembled panini, brushed oil surface facing upwards. Prepare the remaining three sandwiches. Grill each panini for about 3 minutes on each side until the bread gets well marked.
  6. OPTIONAL:  Place a freshly cooked fried egg, sunny side up over each sandwich and season with a little salt and pepper. Serve hot with extra Sriracha mayonnaise on the side.

 

Our regular readers will know that we are BIG fans of Nik Sharma and his blog A Brown Table.  You can check out more of his fusion recipes and gawk at his lovely pictures here (http://www.abrowntable.com/recipe-index/).  Don’t forget to subscribe to his blog and follow him on instagram (@abrowntable).

 

MASALA MAC N CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

  • Dried Macaroni (or pasta of your choice) – 1 cup
  • Salt & Pepper as per taste
  • Butter – 2Tbsp
  • Onion – ¼ cup, finely chopped
  • Ginger – 1tsp, minced
  • Garlic – 1tsp, minced
  • Jalapeno – 1 minced (optional)
  • Cumin powder – ½ tsp
  • Paprika – ½ tsp (or as per taste)
  • Garam Masala powder – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 ½ Tbsp
  • Milk – 1 ½ cup
  • Cheddar Cheese – 2 cups (grated)
  • Bread slices – 2, crust removed
  • Cilantro – 2Tbsp, chopped

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a baking dish with little butter.
  2. In a food processor, add the bread with cilantro and ½ Tablespoon of butter. Give it a quick pulse, till it starts to look like crumbs. Don’t over do it, little texture tastes good. Add ½ cup of cheese and mix everything well. Keep it aside.
  3. Cook the macaroni according to the direction on the packet; keep it aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of butter on medium heat. Then add the chopped onions, stir and cook until the onions are just beginning to turn golden brown. Now add the ginger, garlic and jalapeno, cook for another minute. Keep stirring.
  5. Add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and paprika, stir for 20-30 seconds to bring everything together.
  6. Now add the flour, salt and pepper and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the warm milk and continue to stir as the milk mixture starts to thicken, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 ½ cup of cheese. Stir well till the cheese melts into the sauce. Set the cheese sauce aside.
  7. Stir the drained macaroni into the cheese sauce and give it a nice mix. Pour everything in the greased baking dish, topped with bread and cheese mixture we prepared earlier. Bake in 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly on the top. Enjoy.

Be sure to subscribe to Simply Reem for more wonderful recipes like this one and follow her on instagram (@reemrizvi).

 

PUMPKIN WALNUT STREUSEL CAKE

ADAPTED FROM HIMANSHU OF THE WHITE RAMEKINS

INGREDIENTS

STREUSEL

  • 1/3 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50 gm cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

 

FOR THE BATTER

  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 gm butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp saffron threads

 

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of an tangerine or orange

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Toss in the butter and, using 2 table knives or a pastry cutter, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Alternatively, whir the ingredients in a food processor. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
  3. To make the batter, in a bowl, sift together both the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, saffron threads and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix with the spatula. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.
  4. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto the rack.
  5. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, zest and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Cut into thick wedges and serve.

 

CARDAMOM PUMPKIN PIE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1 pie crust

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Beat eggs, mix in sugars, salt, spices, lemon zest: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.
  3. Add pumpkin and cream: Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.
  4. Pour into pie shell and bake: Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)
  5. Cool on a rack: Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.
  6. Serve with whipped cream.

 

SPICED HOT SANGRIA

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 bottles of red wine (rioja, merlot, cabernet)
  • 1 pint of fresh orange juice
  • 1 pint of apple cider
  • 1 c Grand Marnier
  • 2 pears (julienned)
  • 2 oranges (sliced)
  • 2 granny smith apples (julienned)
  • 1 lime (sliced)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole green cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Sugar to taste (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients in large pot and cook over low heat for 1 ½ hours before serving (meant to be served warm/hot).

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