Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Indian Thanksgiving — November 6, 2010

What better way to kick off the holiday season than a hearty five-course Thanksgiving dinner — with a unique Indian spin! We were thrilled with the great response to our invitation and, once again, with the fabulous mix of guests. It was chilly outside...but inside, the food (and the ambience) was warm, spicy, and delicious.

Our Menu

Alka presents the pani puris

Amuse-Bouche: As a starter, we served a Foodist Colony twist on the classic pani puri — popular Indian street fare consisting of crispy fried bread puffs, zesty chickpeas sprinkled with fresh mint, and water spiced with tamarind and cumin. And vodka: after a taste of the classic dish, our guests received a spiked version of the spiced water.
Lisa spoons some chickpeas into a puri;
the next step is to add the spicy pani!


Pedro offers Seema more of the
spicy spiked pani

Laetitia and Marty enjoy the party 

First Course: Once everyone was warmed up from the vodka pani puris, we followed up with aloo tikki, a piping-hot potato and red onion croquette. The tikki was served with freshly homemade mint chutney and yogurt and dusted with chaat masala.

The aloo tikki gets a final sprinkle of chaat masala
before being whisked off to the guests
Jerome gives us two thumbs up — so far, so good!

Pedro, Roompa, Pedro, and Monica

Soup Course: Next, we served steaming bowls of creamy pumpkin bisque with a hint of warm Indian spices, topped with toasted cumin yogurt and pumpkin seeds.    

Pedro serves up the soup...

...and promptly refills Ivonne's water glass!
The man is everywhere!



The ladies savor the soup

Dinner Cocktail: We presented our guests with a delicious cranberry-lime vodka infusion...the perfect interlude before the main course.

Megan, Sheila, Laetitia, Marty, and Tania
raise their glasses

Seema and Joy toast their tablemates


Guru poses with the Pedros
Main Course: Finally, it was time for the main event! We showcased some American Thanksgiving classics — with a decidedly Indian interpretation.

Our take on turkey: a savory tandoori turkey roll, marinated for days with a special blend of paprika, garam masala, ginger, garlic, and cumin, among other spices. We then stuffed the turkey rolls with a creamy, spicy mashed potato and bell pepper mixture before roasting. In addition, we served masala macaroni and cheese: elbow pasta nestled in a cheddar and colby bechamel cheese sauce, as well as tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, and more. Our "masala mac" was topped with sliced tomato, as well as buttered naan and paneer "breadcrumbs," and baked until bubbly.

We also reinvented two traditional side dishes. The first, sauteed green beans, were prepared in a spicy South Indian style with toasted coconut. The second was a whole grain bread stuffing, tossed with pearl onions, leeks, ginger, mushrooms, pistachios, and golden raisins plumped with hot buttered rum.

Dinner is served — tandoori turkey time!

Mmmm...masala mac, fresh from the oven...

Jerome and Tania share a secret grin over dinner
Megan and Sheila smile pretty

Alka and Pedro prep in the kitchen

Dessert: Some of our guests claimed to be stuffed after the entree... yet somehow they all managed to find room for our dessert trio! We served gajar halwa — a warm Indian carrot pudding topped with sliced almonds  and a freshly baked strudel filled with cranberry chutney, mascarpone cheese, and dark chocolate. Rounding out the trio was a homemade cinnamon ice cream milkshake sprinkled with saffron.

Our dessert could say our guests hit the post-turkey trifecta...ha!

Digestif: After dessert, everyone relaxed with warm apple cider — mulled with spices, garnished with cinnamon sticks, and kicked up with rum.
No one was in any particular hurry for the night to end!

Kitchen shenanigans

Pedro and Monica are all smiles

Sharing some cider and laughs

Joy, Pedro, and Thao in mid-chitchat


The Foodist Colony's Thanksgiving was everything this holiday is about: great food and drinks, fabulous people, and a festive atmosphere. We thank our guests for participating and for making the night such a success. And we look forward to seeing you again soon!