Thanksgiving is a holiday synonymous with eating. And in most cases, it isn't just eating people think of when they think of Thanksgiving. It's overeating.
For most people, overdoing it when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey is a stuffed sacrifice they're willing to make. However, those hosting the holiday this year should also prepare something for vegetarian guests. When doing so, choose a dish that features something you'll already be making. For example, yams have long been a popular side dish come Thanksgiving. For those cooking for vegetarians this holiday, the following recipe for "Crushed Yam with Chile and Garlic" from Monisha Bharadwaj's "India's Vegetarian Cooking" (Kyle Books) serves the dual purpose of satisfying both yam loving meat eaters and vegetarians.
Crushed Yam with Chile and Garlic
10 ounces yam, peeled, washed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 fresh small green chiles, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (see box)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoons crushed peanuts
Pinch of asafetida
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
Large pinch of sugar
Salt, to taste
1. Put the yam in a heavy saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it is just tender, each cube being cooked through but still holding its shape. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in another pan and fry the mustard seeds for 1 minute until they pop. Add the asafetida, green chiles and the ginger-garlic paste. Reduce the heat and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring.
3. Stir in the turmeric and add the reserved cooked yam. Turn up the heat, season with salt and stir to blend. Don't worry if the yam disintegrates a bit — it is meant to.
4. Add the peanuts, cilantro and sugar, mix lightly, and remove from the heat. Serve hot.