Season’s Eatings: This Christmas, ring in the Yuletide spirit with a panoply of dishes

Pooja Pillai
christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Savour these special recipes on Christmas.

What makes a dish a Christmas dish? The festival, which is celebrated around the world, sees all manner of food being cooked and shared, as communities come together to feast. What one considers a Christmas dish, therefore, wholly depends on where one is celebrating: while roast turkey is an American Christmas tradition, in Germany, it’s the Christmas goose, and in Jamaica it is the curried goat. In India, too, what finds its place in a Christmas feast varies — from duck curry in Kerala to pork sorpotel in Goa and pork with bamboo shoot in Nagaland.
Certain ingredients and even preparations, however, are a common motif in celebrations around the world: dried fruits, spices like cinnamon, clove and pepper, ginger, rum and, of course, cakes. Based on this, TALK has sourced, from chefs around India, recipes that will make a great addition to any Christmas celebration.

Purple Yam Chop by Executive Chef Hussain Shahzad, O Pedro, Mumbai

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Savour Purple Yam Chop.

Ingredients
*1 kg purple yam (peeled)
* 500 gm potato (peeled)
* 6 tbsp corn starch
* Salt to taste

For the stuffing
*1/4th cup oil
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
* ½ tsp turmeric powder
* 1 tsp red chilli powder
* 1 tsp garam masala
* 1 tbsp green chillies
* 1 cup fresh toor dal (lightly crushed)
* 1 cup grated paneer
* 1.5 cups Amul cheese
* ½ cup coriander (chopped)

Method
Cut the purple yams and potatoes into small pieces and steam till they are tender. Add salt and cornstarch and mash into a smooth mix, with no lumps. Divide the mash into 10 equal balls and reserve.
To make the stuffing, heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add the onions and sauté till translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw flavour is gone. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Add crushed toor dal and cook till soft. Now lower the heat and add the grated paneer and cook to bind the mix. Fold in the chopped coriander and turn off the heat. When it cools down, gently fold in the grated Amul cheese. Cool the mix for an hour and divide into 10 equal balls.
Flatten the yam mash and place the balls of stuffing in the centre, wrap it around the filling, making sure that you completely cover it. In a sauce pot, set oil at medium flame, fry till golden and drain on paper towels. Serve with ketchup or green coriander and chilli chutney.

Risotto Fragola by executive chef Daya Singh, CinCin, Mumbai

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Enjoy Risotto with friends and family

Ingredients
180 gm carnaroli rice (can use arborio)
250 gm fresh strawberries
60 gm mascarpone cheese
20 gm onion
20 ml white wine
30 ml prosecco
60 gm Parmigiano Reggiano
50 gm butter
10 gm fresh red chillies
250 ml vegetable stock
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh mint

Method
Take a medium or a large pan, melt 25 gm butter over medium to low heat. Chop the onion and cook it until it softens. Add the rice and stir well so it does not stick to the pan, assuring the rice gets coated with the butter. Pour some white wine and cook till it evaporates. Add some vegetable stock, half a cup at a time and stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed before adding more stock to the pan. Add the chopped red chilli and season the dish with salt and pepper. Once the rice is half cooked, cut fresh strawberries into halves and add it to the pan. Continue adding the vegetable stock and stir for about 20 minutes, until the rice is creamy and soft but with a slightly firm bite. Stir in the remaining strawberries, pour in prosecco and add the remaining butter to the pan. Stir till you get a creamy texture. Pour the contents on a plate and add some cheese, freshly ground pepper and serve the dish with a garnish of fresh strawberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

House of Kyoto by Head Mixologist Niladri Sarkar, Kampai, Delhi

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Usher in the Christmas celebrations with this recipe.

Ingredients

60 ml whisky
45 ml black tea (fresh and hot)
10 ml fresh ginger juice
10 ml maple syrup
2 dashes of aromatic bitter
Ginger and cardamom (for garnishing)

Method
*Mix all the ingredients well and garnish with ginger and cardamom. Serve hot in the cocktail glass, preferably a brandy balloon.

Mince pie by executive chef Prem K Pogakula, The Imperial, New Delhi

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Enjoy the lovely recipe with family.

Ingredients
1 large jar (about 600 gm) mincemeat (not meat but a mixture of chopped dried fruit and spices)
2 oranges (segmented)
1 apple (finely chopped)
1 lemon’s zest
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the pastry
375 gm plain flour
260 gm unsalted butter, softened
125 gm caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 large egg
1 beaten egg, for glazing

Method
*Place plain flour and softened unsalted butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency.
*Add caster sugar and one large beaten egg, and mix together. On a lightly floured surface, fold until the pastry comes together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 minutes. Scoop the large jar of mincemeat into a bowl and add the oranges, apple and zest of lemon.
*Heat the oven to 220C/200C. Roll out the pastry to about 3 mm thickness, cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays. *Put 1½ tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
*Reroll out the pastry to cut 7 cm lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the beaten egg, sprinkle with the extra caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops.
*Bake the mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dust with a little more icing sugar before serving.

German Stollen Bread by Anjali Mohan, chef, Danbro Patisserie and Boulangerie, New Delhi

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Have you had a taste of this bread?

Ingredients

200 gm salted butter
250 gm refined flour
38 ml fresh milk
10 g fresh yeast
5 gm salt
38 gm breakfast sugar
50 ml water
25 gm orange peel
25 gm lemon peel
25 gm candied ginger
50 gm sultanas
50 gm black currant
50 gm almonds
50 gm candied cherries
1 gm ginger powder
1 gm cinnamon powder
a pinch of nutmeg

For garnish

25 gm icing sugar

Method

*Make a starter with 50g flour, yeast, little sugar and salt and 20 ml water. Let it sit for 4 hours. Sift flour.
*Mix all the fruits and spices together with flour and set aside. Cream butter to soften it.
*Add all the milk and water to the butter and then add the starter and then add rest of the sugar and salt. Mix well. Lightly fold in flour and then knead the dough till a good elasticity is achieved. Rest the dough till it doubles. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one part to about 8 inch long and about 3 inch wide.
*Depress one end with rolling pin to make a trench about 1 inch wide and about 2 inch deep. Fold this one end over to cover the trench in half and then fold over the rest to cover it and rest for half an hour.
*Repeat the process with the other dough also. Polish the breads with little milk and bake at preheated oven at 180 degrees for half an hour. Cool and dust with icing sugar and serve.

Grain-free Christmas Cake by Rebekah Blank, brand head, Fabcafe by Fabindia, New Delhi

christmas recipes, merry christmas, christmas wishes, christmas food, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, christmas special,

Enjoy the getogether with this delicious recipe.

Ingredients

2 eggs
2.5 tbsp ghee
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tbsp vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract
3 tbsp rum
1 tbsp orange zest
½ cup grated carrot
¼ tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup almond flour
1 cup ground almond
2/4 cup dates
¼ tbsp baking soda
¼ tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tbsp ginger
a pinch of clove
1 tbsp raisins
¼ cup cranberries
1/8 cup blueberries
1/8 cup walnuts
a pinch of nutmeg

Method
*Soak fruit in rum for at least a few days. Cut dates and walnuts into small pieces. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix wet ingredients separately. Add dates and walnuts.
*Bake in preheated at 130 degrees for 45 minutes.

Panettone cake by Paul Kinny, culinary director, The St. Regis, Mumbai

Ingredients

Dough I

1 gm gluten
15 gm flour
3 gm yeast
0. 5 gm caster sugar
9 gm water

Dough II

27.5 gm flour
3 gm yeast
1.5 gm caster sugar
1.5 gm gluten
5 gm yolk
12. 5 gm water

Dough III

50 gm flour
3 gm yeast
2.5 caster sugar
2.5 gm gluten
5 gm yolk
5 gm water

Main Dough

250 gm flour
85 gm caster sugar
10 gm gluten
75 gm butter
25 hm yolk
135 gm eggs
3.5 gm salt
100 gm fruits (chopped, soaked in rum and spices)

For the Paste

35 gm almond flakes
15 gm apricot
20 gm caster sugar
10 gm custard powder
10 gm flour
25 gm egg white

*Make a culture by mixing all the ingredients of Dough I together, cling wrap and transfer to a proofer.
*Add this culture to Dough II ingredients and mix together and proof again. Repeat the same steps with Dough Ill ingredients and proof.
*Add this culture to the main dough ingredients, except salt and fruit, and make a dough. Knead well and once soft and elastic, add in the salt and fruit and knead well to combine. Portion 200 g of this dough in a 6" paper round mould kept on a tray, and transfer to the proofer. To make the paste, mix all the ingredients together and keep till use.
*Once proofed (the dough will rise to the rim of the mould), spread a layer of prepared paste.Bake in a pre-heated deck oven at 200°C till golden brown on top.