For our November 2018 “Feast Around the World” feature, we asked five of the state’s top chefs to create festive meals to serve this season. What we got was a cornucopia of global flavors.
Not long after chef Kiran Verma opened her first upscale Indian restaurant in Houston, she started what would become a local tradition for many customers by offering her own version of a traditional Thanksgiving spread. It’s a tradition that moved with her when she opened Kiran’s, in 2004. Below is Verma’s alternative to cranberry sauce for her “Tandoori and Beyond” feast.
Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon onion seeds
½ cinnamon stick
5 or 6 whole cloves
3 ancho chiles
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
12 whole star anise
¼ cup good olive oil, mild-flavored
1 tablespoon ginger puree (available in stores and online)
1 pound fresh cranberries (if using frozen berries, thaw first)
½ cup canned cranberry jelly
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup ruby port
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slivers
¾ cup orange juice
2 cups sweetened cranberry juice (if using unsweetened, add sugar to taste)
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, toast first 7 ingredients until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and transfer spices to a bowl. Add olive oil to the skillet, heat 1 minute or so, and put the toasted spices back in, stirring. Add ginger puree and fresh cranberries and sauté until the berries begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberry jelly, salt, brown sugar, port, and red wine vinegar, stirring to blend. Cook 15 more minutes. Add the slivers of ginger, orange juice, and cranberry juice, and cook until mixture starts to thicken, another 2 to 3 minutes. Refrigerate to firm up. Serve cold.