I thought everyone might like to see how we turned this traditional American holiday dinner into an Indian meal. Or at least, spiced with the flavors of India and in the process, mangled both cultures cuisines.

East Indian Thanksgiving

At Sub Rosa we're always turning ideas inside out just to see how they look from a different angle. Take Thanksgiving for instance.

The American Indians had held harvest celebrations for centuries before the Pilgrims showed up. America’s early settlers had a rough go of it and ended up ill and starving. The generosity and compassion of the First People saved our ancestral butts. Let’s take it back just a little further in time to find the real inspiration for this idea - no, not to Leif Erickson, but to Christopher Columbus.

Chris was looking for India and spices when he ran into the outer shoals of the Bahamas. Spice wise, it is not that hard to make the bridge from our traditional Thanksgiving dinner to an East Indian Thanksgiving meal.

Pumpkin pie leads the way to India - nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and baked pumpkin. If you know your Indian food, you instantly recognize these as staples in the Indian kitchen and key ingredients in your mom's favorite pumpkin pie.

So you jack that up with crystallized ginger and a cardamom whipped cream and you are sailing straight towards Kerala, a State at the tip of India. Cumin rub on the bird; stuffing with dried fruits and cinnamon; Horseradish mashed potatoes; Cranberry chutneys gone to Bombay and back all help turn your American standards into East Indian delicacies.

The Dinner Recipes:
Appetizer: Curried Nuts
Greens: Gujarat Green Beans
Starch: Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Curried Yams with coconut milk
Turkey: Cumin and Coriander spice rub
Condiments: Cranberry Chutney
Cucumber Raita
Stuffing: With raisins, cinnamon, almonds, celery and of course, bread
Dessert: Chiffon Pumpkin Pie with crystallized ginger galore
Original Post
When I lived in India and Pakistan we used to pay a small fortune to have frozen turkeys imported from Australia for Thanksgiving. The trouble and expense just made them taste all the better! Smile

But we never considered trying to make them Indian. Sounds interesting.
I'd like to point out tha there is no actual link between the American "Indians" and real Indians. They were called "Indians" because... oh sod it. Yeah they made curry, naans, chapattis and everything. They even did a mango chutney and a great lime pickle.
Naked Thanksgiving. Heavens no. The clothing optional thing happens in the summer and it is the wait staff that is topless. Not that things don't get crazy with the guests and chef from time to time on a hot summers eve.

As far as the connection between the American natives and the East Indians... the only connection is that Columbus set out looking for one and almost found the other. But then, if you had read the story, you'd know that.

This East Indian Thanksgiving is something we have been doing off and on for about 5 years now. We change the recipes, add new vegies and generally have a good time.

Here is the story that matches specific wines with these dishes.

Here's a few paragraphs about the real 'first Thanksgiving'. Revisionist history always goes to those who prevail.
I've always worried about Columbus over this. Here he is, a "great" explorer and he goes West to find India. We can now take "great explorer" to be synonymous with "bad navigator".

Sub Rosa, from above:

"The American Indians had held harvest celebrations for centuries before the Pilgrims showed up. America’s early settlers had a rough go of it and ended up ill and starving."

suggests some connection. I should now point out that to be politically correct, American Indians are those actual Americans that are the descendants of actual Indian immigrants. Anyway, everyone know that it was "Injuns".
My family is the real deal East Indian and we always have an Indian meal for Thanksgiving. I am going to try some of these recipes next year. Thanks Sub Rosa!
We lived six years in India and two years in Pakistan, Bond Girl, where are you and your family originally from? What do you serve for your Thanksgiving/Indian supper?
bman,
My mom is from Bombay and my dad is from Delhi. I was born and raised in Chicago. We always have a turkey, but have a variety of Indian appetizers and side dishes.
Where did you live? Why were you there?
Bond Girl
We lived in Delhi, from 90-93 and 95-98, then two years in Isbad after that. I was working at the Canadian High Commission (embassy) both times. I also trained there for eight weeks in 1993.

We were in Chicago in August for Otis' Cellar Diminishment Party, perhaps we will meet at a future one. Smile

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