Capturing the Thanksgiving spirit with ‘Brahmarpanam’

Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) finds her own way of offering thanks. She say, “Our family tradition is to go around the table and share at least one thing that has happened to you that you are grateful for. The prayer brahmarpanam (see has become very popular.”
This sharing becomes the expanded communal prayer and creates a spirit of thankfulness.” Having worked with many Hindus in creating community awareness of service or seva, she says, “The Thanksgiving observance fits in very well with the Hindu sensibility – festivities filled with food, company of friends and family and with a values- oriented focus; a time to appreciate all that you have in life and a time to share your merits with others, so it is only natural that Hindu Americans join in the spirit of the observance with a natural élan.
Hindus do know how to party and celebrate. What we need to do more is to serve, to bring the UtsavSeva (service through festivals) component more to the forefront.” She adds, “Seva is an important aspect on this holiday. Many of us feed the homeless in some manner or form – either actually serve on that day, or before or after or even collect canned food and deliver.”
Spicy Turkey a pictorial representation. Stock photo from Dreamstime,

Desi Turkey recipe 

For the turkey

12-15 lbs turkey, giblets removed

1 lime/lemon

2-3 garlic clove, halved through the thickest part

For the marinade

6-8 large garlic cloves, crushed

4-5 inches (3-4 thumb sized) piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

2-3 green chilis, finely chopped (including the seeds)

3 – 4 tbsp garam masala

2 tbsp ground cumin

3 tsp turmeric

8 oz thick yogurt (Greek style)

5 tbsp tomato purée

juice of 1 lime


Mix all of the marinade ingredients together. (Adjust chili hotness to taste). Loosen the skin around meat so that the marinade can be put directly on the meat. Spoon the marinade and rub it in well under the skin. Set aside in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop.

Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 – 2 hours before roasting to allow it to come up to room temperate.

Preheat the oven to 375degrees. Season the turkey generously and place in a large roasting tray. Stuff the cavity with the lemon/lime (if not using stuffing) and garlic. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for the 3 -4 hours, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the turkey with a sharp knife where the thigh meets the body. (The simplest way to figure out turkey roasting times is to calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb. turkey, or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey). Keep an eye on the skin, covering with foil once it has browned.

Once cooked, remove to a warm serving platter and rest, covered in foil, for at least 20 minutes before carving.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here