Spread the Cheer: Chefs dish out fun recipes to help light up your Christmas table

As Christmas draws closer, we take a sleigh ride around leading kitchens in the country and ask chefs to dish out fun recipes to help light up your holiday table.

Written by Shantanu David | Updated: December 21, 2016 12:08 am
cranberry apple walnut gujia, mulled wine, christmas, christmas recipes, christmas food, recipes from christmas food, holiday season, christmas holiday, indian express, india news Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Gujia by Chef Sujan Sarkar, Ek Bar.

Christmas feasts — as synonymous with the holiday as presents and Christmas trees, the meal can take place any time between Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. Every Christian community around the world has their own take on the festival spread but the reason, that of celebration, is universal. In the Philippines, the dinner takes place after midnight mass on Christmas Eve and is called Noche Buena (following Hispanic traditions) where the main course is ideally a whole haunch of roasted pork, while the French prefer a réveillon, long dinner parties that stretch interminably from Christmas to New Years Eve. The Japanese, following a highly successful campaign by KFC, love their Christmas meals, which are booked up to months in advance. And in India, there are as many different ways of celebrating as there are different sects. So we take a leaf out of several books and bring to you a panoply of dishes for your Christmas spread.

Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Gujia by Chef Sujan Sarkar, Ek Bar

Ingredients
FOR THE DOUGH
Refined flour 500 gm
Ghee 80 gm
Water 50 ml

FOR THE STUFFING
Cranberries and walnuts 50 gm each
Green apples 300 gm
Butter 100 gm

FOR THE SYRUP
Water 250 ml
Sugar 750gm
A pinch of saffron
Cardamom powder 5 gm
Rose water 25 ml
CONDIMENTS: Toffee sauce, silver vark, pistas, rose Syrup

Method
Sieve and keep the flour ready for the dough. In a mixing bowl, add all the listed ingredients to form a tight dough. Once the dough is ready, rest it in the fridge for one hour. Peel and dice the apples. Add a few drops of lemon juice and keep aside. Roast the walnuts and crumble them. Take out the cranberries seeds and dice them. In a sauce pan, heat the butter and add the apples and cranberry to sweat them out. Then, add the roasted walnuts. Mix them properly. Cook it on a low flame for five minutes. Once the mixture is ready, let it cool. In another saucepan, add sugar, water and rose syrup. Mix it well to form the gujia syrup. Once the syrup starts simmering, take it off the heat and add saffron and cardamom powder. Use a rolling pin to form a two-inch diameter base. Use 25gm worth of the gujia stuffing. Moisten the edges with melted butter and seal it with a fork. Dip into a preheated fryer of 140 degrees celsius and fry till golden brown. Rest it till the excess oil drains off. Dip into sugar syrup and rest it for three-four minutes. Garnish with sliced pistas, silver vark and drizzle with toffee sauce. Serve hot.

cranberry apple walnut gujia, mulled wine, christmas, christmas recipes, christmas food, recipes from christmas food, holiday season, christmas holiday, indian express, india news Mulled wine by Fio.

Mulled wine by Fio

Ingredients

Cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, cloves, rosemary (according to taste)
Red wine 120ml
Orange juice 30ml

Method

Infuse all the spices in red wine for 48 hours. Warm up the mixture on heat for two-three minutes till lukewarm. Add orange juice after taking it off the heat and stir.

plum cake, cranberry apple walnut gujia, mulled wine, christmas, christmas recipes, christmas food, recipes from christmas food, holiday season, christmas holiday, indian express, india news Plum Cake by Chef Gurdeep Panwar, The Chatter House.

Plum Cake by Chef Gurdeep Panwar, The Chatter House

Ingredients

Chopped dried cherries 1/8 cup
Chopped dried mango 1/8 cup
Dried cranberries 1/4 cup
Dried currants 1/4 cup
Chopped candied citron 2 tbsp
Dark rum 1/4 cup
Butter 1/4 cup
Packed brown sugar 1/4 cup
Egg 1
All-purpose flour 1/4 cup
Baking soda 1/8 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Unsulphured molasses 1/4 cup
Milk 2 tbsp
Chopped pecans 1/4 cup
Dark rum 1/4 cup

Method

Soak cherries, mangoes, cranberries, currants, and citron in ¼ cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees. Butter a 6×3 inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in an egg. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together; mix this into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle two tablespoons of rum. Cut out one piece of parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with one tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper.

pork belly, plum cake, cranberry apple walnut gujia, mulled wine, christmas, christmas recipes, christmas food, recipes from christmas food, holiday season, christmas holiday, indian express, india news Pork Belly by Chef Vikram Khatri, Guppy.

Pork Belly by Chef Vikram Khatri, Guppy

Ingredients

Deboned pork belly (raw) 1kg
Oil for searing 50ml
For braising stock
Water 1 ltr
Ginger 150 gm
Sake 180 ml
Light soy 100 ml
Sugar 50 gm
For the sauce
Dark soy sauce 100ml
Mirin 80ml
Sake 80ml
Honey 80ml
Potato starch (dissolved
in water) 15gm

Method

Clean pork belly and remove excess fat. Cut  and sear the pork in a pan on high heat. For braising it, clean and slice some ginger. Heat water and add sake, ginger, soy and sugar. Bring it to boil and add seared pork belly. Make sure that it is immersed in the liquid. Reduce the heat and simmer for three-and-a-half hours. Now take it out and bring it to room temperature. Press it with a weight for eight hours to make it firm. Cut in cubes. For the sauce, mix all the ingredients except potato starch. Heat the mixture and thicken with potato starch. Sear the cooked pork belly on medium heat till all sides are crisp. Pour sauce on it and glaze it properly. Serve hot.

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