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DON'T MISS: Xmas recipes from India's first MasterChef!

Last updated on: December 15, 2011 17:23 IST

Image: Pankaj Bhadouria
Photographs: Courtesy:

With Christmas around the corner, it is time to roll up your sleeves and toss up those yummy delicacies. Here are a few recipes from Pankaj Bhadouria to start you off with!

Earlier this week, Pankaj Bhadouria offered tips for stress-free Christmas cooking. Today she tells us how to make some of the most popular Xmas dishes this season and get them right.

Pankaj Bhadouria is India's first MasterChef. For her recipes, you can visit

Chicken Drumsticks

Image: Chicken Drumsticks

Preparation time: 1hr
Cooking time: 1 hr. + Marinating time
Serves: 4

  • Tomato ketchup: 4 tbsp
    Clear honey: 2 tbsp
    Worcestershire sauce: 2 tbsp
    Garlic: 2 cloves, crushed
    Chicken drumsticks: 8 (800g weight raw chicken with bone no skin)
    Salt to taste
    Mix everything but the chicken in a large bowl.
  • Pull off the skin from the drumstick starting from the widest part.
  • Slash through the thickest part with a knife 2-3 times. Toss with the sauce and season. Marinate in the fridge for an hour.
  • Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a roasting tin lined with foil.
  • Brush with half the marinade.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then brush with a little more marinade. Cook for another 30 minutes brushing with the rest of the marinade after 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Baked Berry cheesecake

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 mins
Serves: 8


Digestive biscuits: 200g
Toasted almonds: 50g, ground in a food processor
Butter: 125g, melted, plus extra for the tin
Golden caster sugar: 175g
Soft cheese: 300g
Eggs: 2, separated
Soured cream: 300g
Mixed berries (blackberries, strawberries): 100g, halved

for Crumble topping
Plain flour: 100g
Butter: 50g, chilled
Demerera sugar: 50g
Blackberries: 100g, halved

  • Heat oven to 160c/fan 140c/gas 3.
  • To make the base, crush the biscuits and stir in the hazelnuts then add the melted butter. Line the base of a 23cm7cm deep pan in with the biscuits mix and pack in well. Butter the sides and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
  • Whisk half the caster sugar with the soft cheese, using electric beaters, then slowly and the egg yolks, one at time, until combined. Whisk in the soured cream.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with clean beaters until stiff, then add the remaining sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition until stiff and glossy.
  • Mix the meringue in to the soft cheese mix.
  • Pour a good layer of mix over the base, drop in a few halved blackberries, then repeat the process so that all the mix and the blackberries have been used.
  • Tap on a work surface to settle the mix then cook for 20 minutes. To make the topping, whiz the flour, butter and pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Toss with the sugar and blackberries.
  • After 20 minutes, gently take the cheesecake half out of the oven scatter the crumble mix on top, return to the oven and bake for another 40 minutes.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin - it may crack a little but the crumble mix will mask it. Carefully release from the tin and cut into slices.

Plum cake

Image: Plum cake


250g Flour Sugar
250g Butter
5 Eggs
50g Raisins
50g Candied Papaya
50g Dates
50g Candied Orange peel
50g Candied Sweet line peel
50g Glazed Cherries
50g Toasted Almonds
½ tsp Caramel colour
½ tsp Baking powder
1tsp Vanilla essence
4tbsp Cooking Rum

For the Spice Powder:

1 inch Cinnamon stick
½ Nutmeg
4 Cardamoms
1 Clove

  • Soak the raisins in rum over night. Chop the raisins, nuts and all candied fruits.
  • Powder the spices together and pass them through a sieve. Beat together the sugar and butter till creamy.
  • Add eggs one at a time beating them continuously.
  • Add the vanilla essence and the spice powder and beat well. Sieve together the flour and the baking powder.
  • Add the cut candied peels, fruits and nuts to the flour and mix well so that all the nuts are coated well with the flour.
  • With a light hand, fold in the flour mixture with the butter and egg mixture. Grease a baking dish and line it with butter paper.
  • Pour this mixture in the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 250 degree for 10 minutes and then at 22degrees for 2 hours or till a skewer, when inserted, comes out clear.
  • Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow to cool for 2 hours.

Brownie Lollipops

Image: Brownie Lollipops

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20mins
Serves: 4


for Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius with rack in middle. Butter bottom and side of pan, then line bottom with a round of parchment.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium-low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter will appear curdled).
  • Transfer batter to cake pan and smooth top. Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Ingredients (for the Chocolate Sauce)

1 cup whipped cream cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
3 cups dark compound chocolate (melted)
Assorted Sprinkles, Gems

You will also need lollipop sticks / toothpicks / Satay sticks


  • Crumble the cake with hands or food processor, and put crumbs into a large bowl.
  • Combine ½ cup chocolate, whipped cream cheese, and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix this mixture into the cake crumbs thoroughly.
  • Form 1 tbsp-sized balls, and stick onto lollipop sticks. Roll the cake balls in the melted chocolate.
  • Then dip in sprinklers and freeze for approximately 30 minutes to harden shell.

Apple Crumbly Squares and Chicken Tagine

Image: Apple Crumbly Squares and Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

Preparation time: 20minutes
Cooking time: 1hr 15 mins
Serves: 4

½ cup Prunes
½ cup Dried apricots
½ cup Toasted split almonds
½ cup potato – diced
½ cup carrot - diced
3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
8 portions chicken
1 teaspoon Salt
20 Grinds black pepper
1 large Onion
2 Cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
3 Cardamom pods
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
2½ cup Chicken stock (or half stock, half white wine)
1 tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Lemon juice or water


  • Several hours in advance or overnight, soak the dried fruit in water to cover. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Fry the almonds in the hot oil over moderate heat until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and reserve.
  • Remove the skin and any visible fat from the chicken portions, thoroughly dry them, then season with the salt and pepper.
  • Fry the chicken in the hot oil until rich brown on all sides, then lift out and drain on paper towels to remove any surplus fat.
  • Lay the pieces side by side in a lidded casserole and surround with the drained fruit. In the same oil gently saute the finely chopped onion and garlic until they turn a rich golden brown (keep the pan lid on for 5 minutes to soften them in the steam, then remove it to finish the browning).
  • Add the spices and stock and honey. Stir well to release any crispy bits adhering to the base of the pan, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixed with the lemon juice (or water, if wine has been used). Pour over the chicken.
  • Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
  • Do not overcook as the chicken will soften during the reheating. Garnish the dish with the fried almonds.

Apple crumbly squares

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
Cuts into 16 pieces

2 apples, peeled and diced
100g butter, softened
175 golden caster sugar
1 egg
280g self-raising flour
125ml milk
100 raspberries

for the topping
50g butter, diced
85g self-raising flour
100g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1lemon


  • Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 20x30cm cake tin with baking paper. Put the apple in a small pan with 2 tbsp water. Cook it for a few mins or till the apple starts to soften.
  • Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. Rub the butter into the flour, sugar and lemon zest until it resembles big breadcrumbs, and then set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy then gradually add the egg.
  • Tip in the flour and milk, and continue to beat until everything is combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin smooth the surface, then dot with halved raspberries.
  • Sprinkle over the crumble topping and bake for 45mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, and the topping is golden.

Apple-n-Mint Tea Punch

Image: Apple-n-Mint Tea Punch

Preparation time: 20 mins

1 litre Apple juice
2 tea bags                 
12-15 mint leaves                      
5 tsp sugar                                   
1 liter water                                           
½ tsp Cinnamon powder              
1 Apple                                  


  • Boil the water. Add the tea bags, cinnamon powder and sugar and allow it to cool. Cut the apple into ½ inch dices.
  • Tear the mint leaves and add to the tea concoction. Remove the tea bags. In a punch bowl add the apple juice, the mint tea and the apple dices. Chill and serve.