Thanksgiving in Delhi!


I promise I didn’t eat it all myself!

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I was busy recovering from the Thanksgiving dinner food coma; and hitting the Black Friday sales! I hope everyone who celebrated had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in many parts of the world to give thanks for the harvest, as well as the preceding year. Though popularly linked to the United States of America, it is not peculiar to them. Many cultures and religions celebrate a day of Thanksgiving to pray for all their blessings. Mostly it is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, heralding the onset of winter.


Delicious roasted turkey

My association with this festival is quite recent. My mother-in-law, Janet Chawla (check out her work here), is from the USA. Having lived here for the last 40 years, she is Indian by disposition; but enjoys celebrating festivals from her childhood. Thanksgiving and Christmas are as important to our family, as Diwali (read more here) and Gurpurab (read more here)!

Typically, Thanksgiving dinner has a set menu, and the extended family is invited for a sit-down meal. Dinner is served early- around 6:00 p.m. giving us enough time to digest all the delicious, heavy food before bedtime! A long table is set for everyone to eat together. Grace is said to thank the lord for food on our table and everything else.


The table is set

The piece de resistance of any Thanksgiving dinner is the full turkey, roasted to perfection in the oven. Turkeys are not easily sourced in Delhi, but my mother-in-law used her contacts to get a large one from the American Embassy School. Unfortunately, they don’t sell to general public. Other important items include the delicious stuffing paired with a sweet cranberry sauce; beets, buttery mashed potatoes, and thick gravy to dress the turkey. To add a healthy touch to the meal, we usually serve salad, and steamed or sautéed vegetables on the side.

From L-R: Spinach salad, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sauteed vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy, beets

No meal of this order is complete without dessert. Traditional Thanksgiving desserts include pumpkin pie (which our cook calls kadu cake) and pecan pie, which is harder to make for lack of ingredients. We devoured the pumpkin pie and caramel custard that an aunt had brought. Wine is served aplenty with the meal.

Usually we host the dinner at home, but due to a shortage of domestic staff, my sister-in-law hosted this year. Her cook did a fantastic job of recreating these unusual recipes for the first time. It’s a wonderful occasion to spend with family. More than the delicious food, I personally am thankful for my family and all the love (touchwood).


Thankful for this wonderful lot!

No post on Thanksgiving would be complete without the Black Friday sales. The crazy online sales the day after Thanksgiving, are a new concept in India. I shopped from early in the morning, but (read more on them here) was out of service for the large traffic it received. I believe there are fantastic deals on online shopping the entire weekend, and shopaholics should make the most of it!

I’d like to thank everyone who takes time to read my blog. I’m no professional, but everyone’s kind words and encouragement push me to give it everything I’ve got. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Festival rating: 4.5/5


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