Christmas- the very word gives us the image of beautifully decorated Christmas tree, Santa Clause, sparkling fairy lights and a table full of mouth-watering delicious food.Compared to the other festivals, Christmas is utterly a small festival in India but still it is celebrated with joy all over India. Largest community of Christians resides in Mumbai and then in Goa; Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram also have high populations of Christians as well. People start preparing for the festival a month before, singing carols at the church and attending midnight mass are very important services for Christians in India. Christmas is just around the corner and to ring in the Christmas mood people have started shopping for the festival.Christmas season is also known as “season of giving” people exchange gifts and sweets while greeting each other. Preparations for the Christmas start with deciding about the décor to decorate the house and Christmas tree, dresses they will wear while going to the church that day, gifts they are going to exchange while greeting each other on Christmas and most importantly food they are going to prepare on the very auspicious day. Days like Christmas are made even more special by the food we love, and it’s not only about food it’s about the love and the affection with which our mothers and grandmothers prepare those delicious dishes for us and the time and laughter which we spend while eating it on the dining table. It’s not important that food should look fancy and decorative to taste delicious; it’s all about the feelings and memories which builds up while preparing and serving the food. Christmas food in India varies from place to place; Goan cuisine has the influence of Portuguese cuisine whereas aromatic spices are the stars of all the dishes in North India and East Indian states, In South India coconut and chillies rule all the dishes.
As Christmas season has just started you might be feeling burden up about the preparations of the festival and especially about the dishes to prepare for the Christmas Eve, Therefore to unburden your load we have shortlisted some of the mouth-watering dishes from around the corners of India for you:
GOAN PORK VINDALOO:
This mouth-watering dish is from the very heart of beautiful Goa, name of “vindaloo” is derived from the Portuguese dish “Carne de Vinha d’ Alhos” which is prepared from meat, mostly pork, wine and garlic, but this dish was modified with the Indian touch using vinegar as an alternative for the red wine and addition of red Kashmiri chillies, Kashmiri red chillies give this dish it’s very own authentic rich red colour. This is not fiery in fact it’s mildly spicy and tangy, traditional Goan Vindaloo is intensely flavoured with the spices rich in fragrance. This dish is popularly served with Goan Sannas or rice and is served with pride in every Goan house on Christmas, New Year and Easter. If you want your Vindaloo to taste best prepare it one day before, more it gets marinated in the gravy more it tastes delicious.
A Christmas dining table would be incomplete without this baked chicken, traditional Christmas dinner has roasted turkey but it totally depends upon the choice of the people whether they are fond of the bird or chicken. Chicken is stuffed with several herbs and spices which give this dish it’s very own taste, Serve it with red wine and continental food or you can serve it with Lachcha parantha. This dish is not heavy but tastes delicious, this dish can be great for those people who are on their diet and want to lose weight.
This dish is from the Royal state of Hyderabad. This dish was originated from the royal kitchens of Mughals and is famous worldwide for its authentic taste. This dish is basically prepared using Mutton and rice but people also prefer using chicken with bones as it tastes delicious when soaked in gravy; beef, fish and prawns are the other alternatives. This dish is flavoured with spices such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon etc. along with cashews and kismis. Biryani is prepared in ghee and is served with dahi (curd), chutney, egg, raita or curry. For more royal touch you can also add saffron on the biryani while serving it hot.
This dish sounds so exotic, but it is a curry of lamb and egg and is fairly simple to prepare. Koftas made in this dish are basically prepared using meatand egg. Firstly, meat is chopped into fine pieces to prepare the mixture along with herbs and spices and then boiled egg is covered with this mixture, and then it is deep fried to prepare the koftas which are the showstopper for this dish. Gravy is prepared using tomato purée and dry fruits. This dish is popular among the people of Luckhnow, and is served along with rice. If you don’t want to serve it as a main course dish you can serve it as an appetizer by not serving it with the gravy. This can be an eye catching dish on your dining table on Christmas Eve.
Christmas will look incomplete without a Christmas cake, Christmas cake is just like the classic treat on the table, and ideally a Christmas cake should be prepared two months before Christmas, so that you can fed the cake with brandy at regular intervals of time this process helps in the maturation of cake. If you are late on time, you can soak the dry fruits in brandy a night before and proceed with the recipe on the following day this will add more moisture to the cake. Christmas cake is prepared with lots of dry fruits and cherries. You can also cover the cake with white cream or red cream according to your mood and decorate it with cherriesor strawberries. You can also gift these homemade cakes to your near and dear ones as a sweet Christmas gift.
Eggnog is a delicious creamy holiday beverage, and is inseparable part of the Christmas festival. Milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs are the main ingredients of this dish, often it is flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg and it tastes just amazing. It keeps the body warm during the harsh winters and is commonly served with brandy or rum. You can decorate it with raisins or cinnamon powder. You can also serve it with cookies.
Strawberries dipped in chocolate just look amazing as an appetizer on the Christmas Eve. Key ingredients of this dish are dark chocolate, white chocolate and strawberries. Dark chocolate and white chocolate are melted separately, strawberries are washed and if you want you can take off their leaves. Afterwards each strawberry is dipped in the melted dark chocolate and then it is kept in the fridge. Now with the help of apipe decorate the strawberries with melted white or Brown chocolate you can go in a zig zag motion to create that beautiful design. Serve it chilled along with short breads in the middle.
If you are a pie geek we have got something for you too, An Apple Pie, as the name suggests principal filling ingredient of this pie is apple. It is served with the whipped cream or ice cream on the top of it; you can also prepare the upper crust of the pie like a lattice woven of crosswise strips. As you are preparing an apple pie on Christmas, you can dress up the pie with pieces of coloured pie dough like red, green and white coloured dough which are related to Christmas to create a Christmas tree, Santa Clause or small little cute things related to Christmas or cut the upper crust of the pie from the centre of the pie in the shape of a Christmas tree or stars or put star shaped and Christmas tree shaped cookies on top of the pie. An apple pie can be served as a dessert towards the end of your Christmas Eve party or as a gift to your neighbours, friends and family.
Yakhni pulao is a mouth-watering dish from the very heart of alluring Kashmir. Key ingredients of this dish are chicken, rice and lots of Indian spices that are rich in essence and flavours, this dish is perfect for the people of all age groups and is tastes best when served hot with vegetable raita but people also serve it with curry. While preparing this delicious dish don’t forget to seal the pot with atta dough or foil paper properly, they will avoid the release of aromatic fragrances from the dish and keep them sealed in the pot. This tempting combination dish of chicken and rice can be a flavourful option to be served at a party or a family dinner. Sprinkle onions or coriander leaves on the top of the pulao to make it look more beautiful before serving it hot with raita or you can decorate it with the help of lemons and chillies or you can use cashews and saffron to make it look more beautiful.
This delicious dish comes from Bengal and is extremely popular Bengali curry, it is a celebratory dish and is usually called ‘Chingri Macher Malaikari’ and is so easy to make. This delicious prawn recipe is a traditional dish and is served on special occasions. It is a mild curry which doesn’t get its creaminess from malai but from the coconut milk gravy used in this recipe along with lots of aromatic spices. It is enjoyed best when served with rice or parantha.
Paneer tikka is a popular starter dish from North India; chunks of paneer cubes are marinated in spices along with vegetables like capsicum, onions and tomatoes cut into square pieces and then are grilled in tandoor or tawa. It can be a great alternative for meat dishes and for vegetarian people. Don’t forget to sprinkle some lemon juice on top of it before serving it; serve this with chutneys and sauces.
Christmas without cookies seems to be baseless, everyone just love eating cookies. Cookies are like classic treat for everyone so, prepare one full batch of cookies for yourself and your dear ones. You can cut out the cookies into the Christmas inspired shapes from the dough and decorate the cookies with red, white and green coloured cream. There are a number of options available on the internet about the types of cookies, you can choose any one and try baking something new for Christmas. You can also prepare a gift hamper of all the things you have baked for Christmas like cookies, muffins, cakes, etc. and give this token of love to your dear ones.
Matar paneer is a vegetarian dish from north India. It consists of peas and paneer in a tomato puree with lots of spices and garam masala. Serve this dish with hot basmati rice or any Indian type bread (roti, parantha, naan, poori etc.) depending upon the taste many other ingredients are often added to it, such as potato, corn, yogurt or malai. You can garnish the dish with onions and coriander leaves.
Christmas puddings are served traditionally around the world as a part of Christmas dinner, and it has lots of dry fruits and raisins in it. Christmas pudding is aged for a month or even more than that to enhance its taste and high alcohol content of pudding prevents it from spoiling during the time of maturation. It is mostly decorated with skimmia leaves along with red berries or cherries cam also be used.
These were some of the recipes from all over India which we have shortlisted for you, they are not only delicious but they are super easy and fun to make. So go on prepare them and don’t forget to spend good time with your friends and family this Christmas.