We continue our special series on traditional Christmas recipes from Christian communities around India.
Hazel Daniel tells us how Anglo Indians bring in the festival.
Flavours of Christmas in Anglo India
Madras Christmases, Anglo-Indian style, were about Chicken Roast, Beef Biryanis, Pork Vindaloo.
No turkey in those days! We all would be home from boarding school for the holidays and preparations for Christmas would begin: All the sweets: dol dol, kalkals, Chocolate Fudge and the Christmas cake.
The boys in the family would help with the beating of the batter.
In those days there were no cherries so the cake had sultanas, ginger and almonds.
I would take the cake batter to the bakery by hand rickshaw and my Auntie Myrtle would make a marking on it, with flour to make sure the cake baker didn’t steal any batter.
Auntie Myrtle would make a semolina cake called Beveca with ghee, coconut milk, packed with raisins and cashews, which we had after returning from midnight mass. They would have either ginger or beetroot wine.
Here's a recipe of roast chicken and another of Beveca, cooked per Anglo Indian traditions:
Image: feministjulie/Creative Commons
- 1 full chicken, washed well, skin intact, patted dry well
- 2 long red Kashmiri chillies
- 5 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground or crushed, can increase as per taste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1/2 cup water
- Clean and wash a whole chicken well. Keep the skin on. Pat dry, so no moisture drops cling to the chicken.
- In a large pot heat oil (can add a dab of butter too). Add cloves, cinnamon, red chillies, garlic paste and chicken.
- Roast it a bit on all sides so it browns evenly but lightly.
- Add about half cup water and the pepper powder and cover.
- Cook till most of the water absorbed but a little water left so you have a bit of gravy.
- Alternately strain the gravy out and thicken with a dash of flour so you have a proper gravy.
- Serve with bread or roasted potatoes.
Courtesy Chef Mireille
- 1 cup semolina or rava
- 1 cup flour or maida
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp almonds, sliced
- Mix together the rava and the flour and keep aside.
- Cream the sugar with the ghee. Add the eggs. Then the coconut milk. Mix.
- Slowly add the flour and the rava. Add caraway seeds.
- Pour into greased and lightly floured cake tin.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
- Bake in hot oven for 40 minutes.
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