Thanksgiving Meal Full of Flavor by Hari Nayak
BRING FLAVOR INTO YOUR THANKSGIVING MEAL
Thanksgiving is a time when friends and family come together and enjoy the warmth and comfort of food cooked using traditional recipes. Traditions are a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday, and every family has their own way of celebrating. This is perhaps the only meal of the year when you know what to expect at the dinner table. But since I celebrate Thanksgiving with my extended family in the US, I always expect the unexpected! Trust us to add a desi twist to everything around us! I have been served quite unusual items like Tandoori Turkey kati roll!!! Mutton Curry and Take out Indo- Chinese to name a few. Loved it!
Hey, what can I say? Indians will always remain deep rooted to their cuisine no matter what tradition says. But after all it is the time to gather with your friends and family and enjoy a good meal and have a good time. And, we sure know how to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving!
I was introduced to thanksgiving celebration and tradition when I came to this country 12 years ago. Since then I have always enjoyed creating my version of traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
Here are a few of my recipes that I have used to entertain during the holidays. These recipes are perfectly balanced between my Indian influence & my American Tradition. Most of all full of FLAVOR!!!!
Here are some recipes & ideas to bring flavor into your holiday meal
Chef Hari Nayak's Chettinad Spice Rubbed Turkey
Chettinad is a region of southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. Chettinad food is considered one of the spiciest and most aromatic in India. Chettinad cuisine is characterized by liberal use of oil and spices. Here i have used an inspired version to create a spice rub to enhance the flavor of the roasted turkey.
1 (8 to 10 pound) whole turkey
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup Spice Rub, recipe follows
4 sprigs of kaffir lime leaves
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 lemons, halved
2 large white onions, quartered
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise
4 celery stalks
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash the turkeys, inside and out, and dry well. Coat inside and out with half of the olive oil. Season each turkey on the outside generously with the spice rub, pressing it in to adhere. Place kaffir lime leaves rosemary sprigs and 2 lemon halves inside the cavity of each turkey.
Arrange onions, carrots and celery stalks on a half-sheet pans or baking sheets. Position the turkey on top of the carrots and celery so that the turkey does not rest directly on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle turkeys with remaining olive oil.
Roast until an instant-read thermometer (inserted deep into the thigh but away from the bone) reads 165 degrees F and juices in the thigh run clear when pierced with a fork, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours; begin checking at 2 hours. Remove from the pans and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Reserve pan juices for gravy.
While turkeys are resting, make the gravy. In a medium heavy saucepan, cook flour and butter over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a blond roux is formed. Add pan juices and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer until thickened and ready to serve.
Carve turkey as desired and serve with gravy. Serve it with a side dish of aromatic butternut squash with coconut
Chettinad Spice Rub:
1 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoons peppercorn
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Put the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin in a heavy pan over medium heat. Watch carefully, tossing frequently so the seeds toast evenly. When light brown and fragrant, pour the seeds onto a plate to cool. They must be cool before grinding, or they will gum up the blades.
Pour the seeds into a blender with cloves and cinnamon and add the salt. Blend to a fine powder, shaking the blender occasionally to redistribute the seeds. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dry place, or freeze.
Aromatic Butternut Squash and Coconut
Recipe from Modern Indian Cooking ( silverback books 2007 )
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried red chilies, stemmed
1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound butternut squash peeled, diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Salt to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
¼ cup water
¼ cup coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, red chilies, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and fry briefly. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the squash lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes. Add the ground coriander, brown sugar, and salt and cook, until the squash is softened.
Add the coconut and stir to break up lumps and blend it into the squash. Add the water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Taste for seasonings, and adjust if necessary. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Enjoy & Happy Thanks giving to all!!