This year we decided to mix things up for New Year’s at my in-laws. Traditionally we’d have a turkey or a ham or some sort of roast. And it would be fine and good, but somehow the holiday always felt like a bit of a letdown. New Year’s Eve is all about your expectations. Popular culture tells us we have to have big plans, a last huzzah to finish out the old year and ring in the new, but for a gathering for a family of eaters the menu was getting a bit stale. While I won’t knock tradition, our New Year’s eating tended to resemble some hybrid of Thanksgiving and Christmas and how can you really compete when you’ve already celebrated those holidays in fairly short order? This year I suggested rethinking the menu entirely and that’s just what we did, preparing an Indian feast in the process…
Here’s what we had…sorry there aren’t more pictures but after two days in the kitchen, I wanted to get my feast on.
In the large tureen above there was a glorious Mulligatawny soup from Saveur. Seriously, this soup is not to be missed. It does require a homemade chicken stock, but it’s so, soooo worth it.
Also on the menu, a ridiculously smooth and creamy Paneer Saag, dal, tandoori chicken, a super rich curry chicken that came to my mother-in-law courtesy of an Indian Ambassador friend, aloo chaat that I whipped up on the sly, naan, and homemade Pondicherry dosas a la the Vendy winning NY Dosa cart from Washington Square Park, you can find that recipe in our forthcoming book New York a la Cart (now available for pre-order on Amazon or IndieBound), and mango lassis whipped up from some frozen mango and plain, unsweetened kefir.
We ate VERY well and there was plenty leftover to ensure we didn’t need to do any cooking, just reheating on New Year’s Day. Not sure if Indian New Year will become the new tradition or if we’ll pick another cuisine next year, but I can say that the menu swap was much enjoyed.
What New Year’s food traditions do you look forward to?