It began with Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals. Looking through sample menus at the end of the book for a dinner party at my house, I realized such a menu was much needed for a Thanksgiving feast! After much research and culinary experiments, I came up with several dishes that incoroprate American food and South Asian flavors.
Thanksgiving dinner at my house has become my family's tradition. I always keep various eating preferences (yes there are some picky eaters in my family) and dietary restrictions in mind. So here's a sample of what to expect this year: turkey infused with lots of spices with a generous caraway seed rub (I usually get this from one of the many Pakistani restaurants in Houston. It saves a lot of time). The side dishes include thinly sliced potatoes sprinkled with crushed red pepper and roasted mustard seeds; cauliflower baked with tikka masala; corn cooked with some salt and crushed red pepper; rice with peas and carmelized onions and mini rotis stuffed with white poppy seed paste. Cucumber raita and cranberry chutney compliment the meal as condiments. Carrot Halwa cheesecake and tea conclude the traditional meal.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Find your culinary inspiration at the library!
Saima K., Librarian at HPL