Stuffed turkey, duck or chicken, pork vindaloo… there’s a lot of meat on any Christmas table, especially if it’s an Anglo Indian one. There’s pulao of course, and salad is always a favourite amongst the health-conscious. Kulkuls and rose cookies are the typical sweets, but black halwa, a tradition adopted from the Kerala Christians in Chennai has found its way into the Anglo Indian menu. Flammable Christmas pudding, made with dry fruits and raisins, is typically soaked in wine for three weeks, before it is baked. Pour a little brandy over it, light it and watch the flames dance as your pudding warms up, ready for you to devour. Plum cake soaked in rum is another specialty. Home-made wines—grape, rice, carrot, ginger and berry—are a big hit. Those who don’t make wine, buy it from those who do.
Inputs from Paul Jacobs
Pork all the way
Pork is the key word in a Manglorean Christmas lunch–bafat made with a special Manglorean powder, sorpotel in a semi-gravy, Indad (sweet and sour pork in a thick gravy), pork chilly and a pork salad (go well with drinks)! Sannas go well with shavio (rice vermicilli) and panpole (neer dosa) is best eaten with chicken roce curry (in a coconut gravy), green curry or vindaloo. You’re bound to find delicious mutton-chops or sukka among the meat dishes. Traditionally, salad is a tossed wholesome affair, but a cucumber and ground coconut salad is not uncommon. Light veggies may find their way to the table, but meat is the clear winner. Pulao is made with sweet chutney, raisins and dates. For those with a sweet-tooth, there’s sponge cake, mani (like dodol but a lighter brown), kulkuls, neuris, rose cookies, ladoos and chaklis.
Inputs from Marjorie Saldanha
A bottle-masala Christmas
At an East Indian home, lookout for stuffed chicken, tongue moile, pork roast and beef-mince potato chops. Make sure you serve yourself heapfuls of delicious pork sorpotel made with bottle-masala. Fugias or chitaps go best with it. Pulao sprinkled with fried onion, plums and cashews is perfect with mutton kuddi curry. Thali sweet, borose and bolene (coconut-based)are the main sweets. But, Christmas is not Christmas without its cake with mixed peels. Dried black grape is fermented with sugar and water for 20 days and Voila! We have wine.
Inputs from Christabelle Fonseca
Sorpotel and Sannas
Kulkuls and Jujups. Image courtesy: Sean Fernandes
While fugias and sorpotel are a favourite in East-Indian households, it would be a crime to forget sannas and sorpotel in Goan homes. Pulao, prepared in Portuguese style with sausages is also popular. Don’t miss out on chicken xacuti, assad (roast beef), beef stew, baked and roast pigling (cut in four pieces and cooked in green masala), Goa sausages and stuffed chicken (prepared the Goan way with egg, veggies, chicken liver and masala). Marzipan, neuris, kulkuls, dos, kokad, pinag, bath, dodol, bebinca, vade (made from jaggery) are the desserts to gorge on.
Inputs from Elvira Viegas Gonsalves