It is the time of the year to be thankful, as an Indian, we did this during Diwali in October and now as an American, I have another chance in November. I am conflicted partly because the Native American Indians may not be viewing this celebration in the same light as a lot of Americans, given that history and culture is written by the victors. Just as is the case with Diwali, a victory of Deva tribe over the vilified Asura tribe, is celebrated by all Hindus but not the vanquished, the Asura tribe in India.
Regardless, as a cultural participant in both festivals, I am thankful to have my DD and DH by my side. I am thankful, my health has recovered and I am on the verge of going back to work, after spending a year at home. I am thankful for my brother who takes care of my aging parents. I am thankful for my supportive family, and friends.
What are you thankful for?
As a bedtime routine, I check with my DD, what are you thankful for? DD is thankful for toys, playing, her friend/s, and such. At school, they made a lovely paper pumpkin with each strip of the pumpkin saying ” I am grateful for…”. I wonder if she knows what she makes of that.
It made me reflect on myself as a 4 yo child, and wonder if I ever felt thankful when I was little and growing up. I think my memories of childhood are of, why are parents like this or grandparents like this or our family like this? We were upper middle class but lived a minimalistic lifestyle. I took the bus to school, while friends came in a car. My friends ate potato chips and drank juice, I drank water and ate home made snacks and juice.
As an adult, I expect myself to work hard and live a simple life. I did not grow up with luxuries and I have desire for just a few good things that I will use till the end, like my mom, and her mom before her. I have old things in my home and I love them.
As an adult, I feel thankful for the family time, for the car drives, going for plays, for making fruit squash and ketchup every year, for my mom letting me help her even if it meant that same the work took so much more time to get done, with, sometimes, her having to re- work it.
I love my life and wish my DD can say the same for hers when she grows up.
We are spending Thanksgiving, just the 3 of us since DD is sick. My parents are in Mumbai, his mom is in Austin. And my sister, who lives close by, has her DD visiting from college.
I was perusing what I could make tomorrow for Thanksgiving and thought I would write it in my blog.
This is the menu I landed on:
And if you have never had avocado milkshake [recipe], I say give it a try. Make it vegan, using alternate milk, my favorite is coconut milk. I mistakenly had it recently, and what a sweet mistake! This mistake is the only reason, why avocado mousse made the cut.
By now you must be wondering, so what about the main dish?
It is a popular street food from the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. I was fortunate have our ancestral home in one and to be born in the other. And it is…Ragda pattice.
Why Ragda pattice? It is quick, easy, healthy and can be made with sweet potato, a staple for Thanksgiving. most important, DD has a lot of fun helping me make it. Not only, it is also versatile, in my many adventures with it, I have made it with whatever root, I have at home. Just do not forget to include the skin! it is where all the nutrition is…
Now, having said that it is quick and easy, you will find many recipes for this online with real long ingredient list, enough to put off even the most experience cook.
I break it up as making pattice and making ragda.
For the Pattice:
Boil potato, any way you do it, I use organic potatoes, if you want 10 pattices, use 3 big Russet potatoes or sweet potatoes or a combination of the two. You could experiment with parsnips and carrots and beets. Mash with peel on with potato masher or hands, no blender. Add bread if too moist. Add seasoning: salt, amchur, optional: turmeric, red chili powder, cumin seeds, cilantro, paneer, green peas, kasuri methi. Mold into little burgers, use a burger press if you have it, apply ghee to your hands if molding with hands. Air fry at 400F for 10 min or traditional would be: shallow fry till golden brown not black as in the picture above.
Tip: Amchur: is dried, and powdered green mango. It is available in Indian store or online at Amazon or a local online Indian store. [no, I do have the affiliate marketing stuff with anyone].
Tip: I use the Cuisinart toaster/ over air fryer.
For the Ragda:
If you have an Instant pot, now is the time to bring it out and put it to good use. Soak 1 cup dried white peas overnight. After 24 hours, rinse and add salt, and cook for 45 minutes, high pressure, natural release. If that is tedious or you are is a rush, ok to use canned chickpeas.
I have bought the dried white peas from Indian store in Sunnyvale, but does not cook well, even after soaking for 24 hours [ same as black beans] and using I pot for 1 hour. So now I just use chickpeas. If you have a way to make soft yummy white peas, please share. And no fresh green peas will just not work.
So while, the I pot is toiling away, I prepare the gravy for the ragda.
Tip: I have a much loved and used Kitchenaid chopper/ puree machine. It is the best $25, I have spent, granted, hand chopped has a better flavor, for my busy days, I love this machine.
I chop 1/2 red onion [ has the most antioxidants of onions] and puree 3 to 4 tomatoes in it. I do this for all my gravies. You can add ginger to it as well.
For the Gravy Seasoning:
Tip: The most minimum you need: ghee/ oil, onions, tomato puree, chole masala.
In a pot on the stove, I add 1 tbsp ghee [ I make mine at home from kerrygold sweet cream in the I Pot], then in goes mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida, and turmeric powder followed by bay leaf, a piece of cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves, 2-3 garlic cloves till slightly brown, then onions till translucent, and lastly the tomato puree. Let it all simmer, till tomato puree appears cooked. Add 1 tsp of chole masala, I use Badshah brand.
Tip: I take out the bay leaf ,cinnamon stick and cloves, DD does not like crushing these in her mouth.
To the gravy: add the cooked peas, add jaggery [check before buying for added colors, or use Grandma’s molasses] or brown sugar if that’s what you have at home, and tamarind water. I do not add the tamarind sauce since I add the above ingredients directly to the ragda. The ragda has to have a balanced sweet and sour taste. You can use store bought tamarind chutney, just check ingredients and make sure there are no added colors.
Tip: I check all foods we buy for these, and it is a deal breaker. My biggest concern is for ADHD in children associated with increased ingestion of food colors, which these days is present in a lot of foods marketed to kids. See this link from American Academy of Pediatrics or this link.
Once the ragda is ready, it is time to relish your creation. Less effort than getting the turkey ready.
In a plate, add 2-3 pattice, add ragda till all pattice are covered, garnish with chopped onions and cilantro and optional tamarind sauce and mint chutney a.k.a pesto and sev a.k.a fried lentil noodles.
I use the leftover to make samosa chaat, with fresh or frozen store bought samosas.
I use the leftover pattice to make vada pav a.k.a bread roll, using it instead of bataka vada [shown below], garnishing it with onion, garlic chutney and tamarind sauce.
Or we eat pav a.k.a dinner roll with ragda. Or bake a sweet potato and garnish it with ragda, tamarind sauce, mint chutney, and onions to eat baked potato Indian style!
What did you do for Thanksgiving?