Festivals in India are not complete without an elaborate spread of delicious food and sweets. Christmas is no exception, and infact a tempting one for many foodies to give into indulgences. This time of the year instantly transports us into the magical world of carols, Christmas trees, scrumptious meals, friends and family. After all, nothing says festive togetherness quite like food and merriment.
Here are some of the classics that are shared on kitchen tables in homes across the country. How many of them have you tried?
Sorpotel: Those who have visited Goa might be well aware of this delicacy. A scrumptious culinary legacy left by the Portuguese is continued in catholic homes across the state. Sorpotel mainly comprises of pork parboiled, diced and sauteed before being cooked in a spicy gravy. This fiery, tangy dish made in the Goan community is usually enjoyed with savoury rice cakes called sannas and is the centre of meal-time conversations during Christmas.
Chicken Stew: Chicken stew is a classic Keralite preparation with very few ingredients. A combination of appam and stew is served in most households during special occasions like Christmas. The amount of spice added to the stew determines the shade of brown that the stew attains. Vegetables like green peas and carrots add some colour to the stew. Best enjoyed with appams, this dish is equally delicious with white bread.
Kaukswe: The Burmese Kaukswe is a traditional Christmas meal in Mizoram. Each household in this part of North-East India has a slightly different version of the dish. In a nutshell, this delicacy is tender chicken sautéed in an onion, garlic and ginger base and left to simmer in coconut milk along with lime and coriander which are also important components of this meal. Combined with a bowl of boiled noodles, you have the ultimate Christmas meal.
Fruit Cake: An indelible part of Christmas in India, this sweet has its roots in ancient Scotland. The cake traditionally has rum in it and is combined with rich dry fruits with a beautiful aroma. Delicious by itself, or covered with a layer of almond paste this is a must bake item during Christmas and a perfect gift for the traditionalists. Here’s an interesting piece by Kavita Devgan on the original Christmas Cake.
Dodol: This is a jelly like yet firm based sweet that is found in most homes and bakeries in Goa and is impossible to be enjoyed in moderation. With a soft, sweet, texture like pudding, dodol is very popular during Christmas. Goan dodol is not baked but cooked on slow fire till it reaches this consistency. It has three main ingredients- ragi, coconut and palm jaggery. This is a tough treat to prepare but the result is always lip-smackingly delicious.
Stuffed Chicken Roast: Stuffed chicken roast, one of the most common meals during Christmas in India, is a combination of a western dish with Indian ingredients. A secret we’ve been told by our resident chefs at Holachef is that using egg masala as the stuffing gives the roast chicken loads of flavour. Also, a good roast chicken is only as good as the marinade. This is a definite crowd pleaser that you should try out this festive season.
Chilli Biscuits: A chilli lover’s delight, these biscuits are made in prodigious quantity all around Nagaland. The Christmas cutters give these cookies some creative festive shapes as well. Wonderfully crunchy, they pack a sweet and spicy punch and should definitely be on your shopping list if you are planning to travel up north east anytime. The taste is sure to linger long after you have eaten the final crumb.
It’s that time of the year again – silver bells, candies, carols, cakes, holiday, family time – all good things rolled in together. Needless to say, we are jolly excited and the effect is snow-balling on our menu. Relish some freshly baked goodies, chocolates, English desserts and oodles of happiness with our Christmas special food fare at Holachef.