December 2, 2012

East-Indian Dressing/Stuffing

Masaledaar Dabalroti or Masala Bread was something my mom used to make for us kids when we were growing up. It was one of those dishes that must have been improvised on a hot summer day when either my mom, or one of my aunts, didn't feel like making chapatis for the kids, but had sliced bread handy. Traditional Thanksgiving Dressing or Stuffing is very similar to its Indian counterpart, so it was relatively easy for me to Indianize it for my Thanksgiving. The cool thing about this recipe is that you can eat it any time of the year.

East-Indian Stuffing
  1. 1 loaf of White or Wheat bread, air dried overnight; cut/torn.
  2. 1/2 loaf of 12-Grain bread, air dried overnight; cut/torn.
  3. 4 tbsp Earth Balance non-dairy butter (optional).
  4. 2 Large Yellow onions, diced, ~3 cups (cut/refrigerate on previous evening!) 
  5. 1 big bunch of Celery, diced, ~3 cups (cut/refrigerate on previous evening!) 
  6. 4 links Field Roast Italian (vegetarian) sausage links (optional)
  7. 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, coarsely chopped. 
  8. 8-10 fresh Sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  9. A spring of fresh Rosemary, chopped
  10. 1 tbsp Better-Than-Bouillon Vegetable Seasoning. 
  11. 2-3 cup Vegetable Broth
  12. 2 tbsp Garam Masala
  13. 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  14. Salt and Pepper, to taste 
  15. 1/4 cup raisins, or pine nuts, or chopped walnuts/pecans (optional). 
Directions (2-3 hours before Dinner):
In a large pan, or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat and add chopped onion and celery and cook until translucent. If using vegetarian sausage, saute the sausage first in a separate pan, and transfer to the dutch oven in which the stuffing will be prepared. Depending upon how greasy the sausage is, adjust the amount of butter, or skip it altogether. Then add celery and onions until translucent, mix in sausage, add spices, mix well. If using cubed bouillon, add to 1 cup of broth and microwave for 2 min to help dissolve the cube. To the pan with celery and onions, add cubed bread, a little bit at a time and mix well using a sturdy wooden spatula. Add nuts or raisins (I generally skip the nuts and raisins if I'm using sausage). Moisten with vegetable broth, mix well. Add more bread, and broth until all ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a buttered lidded casserole dish and let sit in the oven, at 250 F until ready to serve. Bake uncovered at 350 F for about 15 min for a crisp crust just before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

I used a crock-pot to keep the dressing warm this year. Instead of transferring to a casserole dish, I transferred the prepared stuffing to the crock and let sit on warm until I was ready to serve dinner. 

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