A vegetarian Thanksgiving feast – The Indian Style

An Indian Thanksgiving for the vegetarians!A vegetarian dish
So, you don’t eat turnkey, or any other meat dishes! However, with Thanksgiving approaching, everybody is talking turkey. Thanksgiving menus are built around turnkey and meat entrees; without turkey, it is not really a Thanksgiving dinner, right?
If are vegetarian, you have a big dilemma at your hands – what to cook and what not to make for this holiday family feast! There has to be something in your dinner menu that stands out!

Don’t feel left out, there are millions of vegetarians out there facing the same question. Of course, we all take this challenge differently or underplay it, like….
“Thanksgiving is not really our holiday; we don’t celebrate it!..”
“We will just make one extra dish,… and a desert….that should do the trick!”
“Have to sleep early for Black Friday shopping next day, we will do something special for Christmas…”

If you are looking for an excuse to avoid thanksgiving dinner, there are plenty of them out there.
But, Why? Why pass on the chance to get together and have some fun with your family and friends! the Thanksgiving is all about showing the appreciation and thanking your loved ones! So, go on; celebrate! Put something together for the feast! Something that you are good at, something that is filling and ‘festive’!

The menu does not have to be American style or Indian style; it can be either, or a combination of the two. Pick out the dishes that you really enjoy; talk to your friends, build a menu in advance! Believe me, it is not that hard! You can start with something common.

Here are the suggestions for an Indian thanksgiving menu:

Sweet Potato: You can make all kinds of filling and nutritious dishes with this common staple. use it as an appetizer or even as a desert; who doesn’t like baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top!
Samosas and appetizers: Regular samosa or stuff it with vegetables or cheese. Cannot make yourself? No problem; buy them from an Indian store.
Soups: Indians have no shortage of soup dishes. start with a lentil soup or some other combination of spicy vegetable soups. Let the guests smell the wide range of Indian spices.
Bread: Where do we start here – regular roti, naan, garlic naan, poori… or a little bit of everything.. make what you are good at!
Rice: Plain Basmati rice or spice them up with vegetables and masala. Add some dry fruits, why stop short here!
The sides: the side dishes are plenty in Indian cuisine. Indian yogurt or ‘raita’ is always good. Some sort of mint chutney and pickles always come handy.
Entree, the Main dish: This is your challenge. What should be the main dish! If you were born in Punjab and you ask your dad, he will tell you that the main dish has to be ‘Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag’. Someone from the south will have an entirely different recommendation. The main dish does not have to be a traditional dish from India, but something that EVERYONE will enjoy, and something that is easy to make. Lots of people go with ‘paneer’ rich curries like shahi paneer or paneer masala…. Malai kofta is another common and filling dish. A vegetable dish is never a bad idea – something like eggplant with potatoes, mix vegetables, cauliflower or similar dishes… Make something you are comfortable with.
Desert: A kulfi, ras-malai, gulabjamun, Kheer – the rice pudding…. there is no shortage of deserts in Indian cuisine.

Now, it may not be a bad idea to twist the menu to give it a ‘thanksgiving’ flavor. Include some of these if you can:
Pumpkin: pumpkin pie is easy to make, everyone loves it.
Sweet potatoes: You can do so much with sweet potatoes as I mentioned before, and it is healthy.
Cranberry Sauce: Try it; twist it to Indian style if you must; add it to the chutney…
Gravies: well, all Indian curries are gravy based, you are already expert at this.

So, there; the Indian Thanksgiving in a vegetarian style!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

And, Thank You for being a part of this journey!

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