Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I would like to share two recipes that are heavenly together hearkening to the theme of Pilgrims and Indians. The "Indians" in this context are from Asia, not North America but wasn't that the whole conflated mistake that Columbus made? Enjoy!

My creative friend, Tonia Kalouria suggested sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for this dish. A few months later I was dining at Tabla in NYC with another friend, Carolynn Bridge when we tasted their coconut pooree—and I was inspired to combine the two! Voila! Unforgettable with the cranberry chutney.

PUFFED SWEET POTATO BREADS Shukragunday Masala Pooree (vegan)

Yield: sixteen, 5½” poorees
2 med. sweet potatoes,slit, microwaved, peeled and mashed (about 2 cups)               
¼ cup fresh or thawed grated coconut (optional)       
¾ teaspoon salt                                                               
½ teaspoon ground cumin seed
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
3 teaspoons ground pomegranate seed (optional)
3 cups chapatti flour
½ cup warm water, plus more, if needed
1 teaspoon coconut flavor extract     
Canola oil for frying                              

Microwave the sweet potatoes for 3-6 minutes or until soft. Add the coconut, salt and spices. Mash again before adding the flour, and then incorporate the flour with an oiled hand or in a miser with dough hook until the yam is integrated into the flour. The mixture will be crumbly. Add a half-cup of the water and begin kneading. Gradually add more water if necessary-- the amount will depend on the moisture in the yam. Make a medium-stiff dough. Continue kneading until the dough becomes somewhat elastic and no longer clings to your hand. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes more.

Divide the dough into four equal-sized balls. Roll the balls into logs, making sure they are completely smooth. Brush the logs with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for several hours or up to two days.

Remove the wrap and cut each log into four even pieces. Lightly flour a rolling pin and a board. Flatten the ball into some loose flour and roll into a disk about 5½ inches round. If you put waxed paper between the breads, they may be refrigerated for several hours.

Heat the oil in a wok to the depth of several inches until it is very hot (360) but not smoking over a high flame. Carefully slip the pooree into the oil. Fry about ½ minute on one side, pushing the disk down once to cover the top with hot oil. Let it balloon up with steam inside and then turning it over. Fry for about ten seconds. Drain on paper towels and wrap in tea towels. Serve immediately with chutney or with the meal. If you cannot serve immediately, they may be cooled then frozen with waxed paper between the breads and wrapped well with foil. Remove the waxed paper and reheat in the foil in a 250-degree oven.

Yield: 3 cups
1 cup golden raisins
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1” piece fresh ginger, grated
1 cup gurd or brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1½ lemons
¼ teaspoon salt
2 X 12 oz pkg. fresh or thawed cranberries
3 pears or apples, peeled and cubed           

Bring the raisins and spices to a boil in two cups water in a medium pot. Stir in the gurd and the white sugar. Grate the lemon peel (yellow only) and add to the sugar water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the seeds from the lemon and juice the three halves. Add to the raisins. Wash and discard the stems and any imperfect cranberries. Add them and the cubed pears to the simmering pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove the spices, if you wish. Taste for sweetness and stir in more white sugar if needed. Refrigerate.