Thanksgiving Sides: Candied Curried Yams and Spiked Cranberry Relish

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend marks a deepening of our transition into Fall: the season of Vata Dosha.  During vata season we experience an increase in the elements air and space.  The accumulation of these two lighter elements creates a need for grounding.  In this season heavier foods that are sweet, sour, and salty in taste should be favoured. These vata balancing side dishes are good enough to eat alone, but make a nice accompaniment to a turkey if that is on your menu.  The ‘spike’ in the Cranberry Relish is of course optional; it tastes great with or without it!

Spiked Cranberry Relish

 1 bag (340 g) fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup water

1 medium sized apple

1 medium sized pear

2 tsp. grated orange rind

¼ cup spiced rum

Chop the cranberries coarsely in a food processor or blender and put them in a bowl.  Peel and coarsely chop the apple and pear.  Boil the water then add the sugar and simmer for 3 minutes without stirring to create a syrup.  Pour the syrup over the cranberries.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Chill before serving. 

Curried Candied Yams

2 large yams

¼ cup butter

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp. organic ground ginger

1 tsp. organic curry powder

1 tsp. organic ground cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Peel and cube the yams and evenly distribute them in a baking dish.  Slice the butter and layer over the yams.  Evenly sprinkle the sugar and spices over the yams as shown in the photo below. 

Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes then remove and stir butter and spices evenly throughout, then cook for another 25 to 35 minutes.  Check at ten minute intervals and sprinkle with water with your hands and stir if they look dry.  Cooking time will depend on your oven.  The yams are cooked once you can easily poke them through with a fork.