October 12th was Pitri Paksha, which translates to The fortnight of the Ancestors. This new moon day we show gratitude to our ancestors. Not only do we owe our existence to them, it is due to their contribution that we enjoy everything else in this world. We are ourselves because of the gifts that we have received from them. If we broaden the definition of the term ancestors, from our parents or grandparents to the whole humanity, then we have even more reason to be thankful. The clothes we wear, the food we enjoy, the technology we use, the way we entertain ourselves, have all come down from ‘the ancestors.’ It is only natural that we sometimes pause in our life, bow our heads in gratitude and pay our debts to them
The ritual involves offering water to their soul. The fresh harvest, a symbolic gesture for food, is also offered.
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada on the 12th. It is a day we thank the almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which we have been blessed. Families get together for sumptuous feasts, parades are held and pumpkin pies are baked to celebrate the day.
Two faraway countries, India and Canada, but similar traditions.
I had carrots and beets freshly harvested from the garden. Instead of pies I worked them into flatbreads. With crunchy radishes or smooth yoghurt and some fierce pickles for a side, it made an excellent brunch menu.
Recipe: From my friend Parul.
Made 4 pieces.
Grated carrots 1/4 th cup
Grated beets 1/4 th cup
Grated Cauliflower 1/4 th cup
Corn flour ( see notes ) 1 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the cream to make it into a soft dough. Divide them into four equal parts to form lemon size balls. Line the countertop with a piece of wax paper. Roll the ball gently in a circle, 3 inches diameter circle. Take care, for the absence of gluten makes it hard to bind.
With the help of a flat spatula transfer this on to a greased heated frying pan on medium heat. After about a minute, gently flip it over. Put a teaspoon of oil on it. Gently press the surface with the spatula and rotate the bread on the pan. Repeat the same with the other side until lightly crispy, about 8 minutes total.
Serve hot with a dollop of butter on top,
While rolling the dough, run the pin to one side ( say north ), lift the pin, bring it to the middle, now roll it to the other side ( say south ). Rotate the wax paper and repeat the above procedure.
If you see the sides are not as smooth, tuck them in with wet finger.
Traditionally it is served with Saag ( leafy greens ). However potato or any other curry goes well too.
It could be done just plain without any veggies too.
I have used this brand of cornflour “Punjabi Makki de Atta PTI”.
I have referred to Wikipedia and Isha foundation blog for the details on Pitri paksha.