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Traditional Indian Christmas Eats

Updated on December 5, 2012

Popular Indian Savoury-Chaklis

Spread Christmas Cheer!

Indian Christian households begin their festivities a month before Christmas. Houses are painted anew, interiors get a facelift,new clothes are bought for every member of the family and servants. Tailors are in great demand at this time of year as Christmas and New Year are the times when every one is on a spending spree, and additions to the wardrobe are a necessity. Lists are made to accommodate gifts for all and guest lists made to send out invites for the Christmas season. Christmas cards are bought for family and friends and posted well in advance, particularly to those living abroad. Dried fruits and nuts are soaked in rum or brandy for the Christmas fruit cake.

Which brings us to the subject of Christmas eats! So, have you wondered what Indian Christians would eat for a Christmas eve dinner or Christmas lunch? And what short eats are prepared as part of Christmas festivities?

The whole family joins in preparing short eats or knick knacks during the week before Christmas. Sometimes, the extended family also joins in for a day of preparation, particularly a recipe that is handed down from generations.

My earlier hub gives you an idea of How Christmas is celebrated in India.

Recipe for Gujia or Karjikai

Recipe for Naankatai

Christmas Short Eats!

Cakes and cookies are baked in all parts of the world and that includes India. And in addition, to lend an Indian touch, we love making rava laddoos, besan laddoos,chow chow, nippattu, kodabale, chakli, naankatai, rose cookies, coconut burfi, chocolate fudge, chocolate burfi, kajjaya, karjikai,doughnuts,and many more such savouries and sweets. Yes, these are various types of short eats which are made and stored in airtight boxes, a week ahead of Christmas, to be distributed among family and friends during Christmas season. Neighbors are either invited home or some of the eats are sent over on Christmas day. Which means an additional grocery list for Christmas becomes necessary and there will be batches of every thing made. For instance, if it is kulkuls being prepared in the morning, chaklis are prepared in the afternoon. Each day of the week leading up to Christmas Eve, a different sweet or savory is prepared and stored away from husbands and children. Every item is prepared in large quantities to last until New Year. Or so we claim! Most get over by the 27th or so of December, and sometimes a fresh batch of a few items are made for New Year. Most households prepare at least 6 - 7 items in addition to a Christmas cake. And these are served with some home made wine. This wine will be prepared and stored at least 6 months earlier. The knick knacks mentioned above are also made for Indian festivals such as Dasara and Deepavalli. But those particularly made for Christmas include the rose cookies and kulkuls, which are both fried sweets made with egg, flour, milk and soda bicarb.

Christmas Lunch

Indian recipes call for aromatic spices, and masalas to be roasted and ground and fresh herbs to be washed and sprinkled generously.

Traditionally, during Christmas season, anyone inviting guests will most definitely have a Biriyani made with Basmati rice and mutton or chicken with chicken kababs. Some prefer a turkey Biriyani every Christmas. So, the conversation usually centres around which Biryani was good and from which caterer or if made by the hostess, compliment her.

Ideally, Christmas Eve dinner is centred around a Chicken curry and Fried Rice. And all short eats prepared are tasted and offered around. With homemade fruit cake and wine, of course!

The Christmas Lunch is usually the mutton(lamb) Biriyani and chicken kabab. Some may have an additional sana and Pork Vindalloo, before the Biriyani is served.

All lunches and dinners are accompanied with raitha and salads. And end with desserts made with milk and ghee such as kheer, payasam or gajjar ka halwa(carrot halwa).


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    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Yes lyla, kulkuls and rose cookies are made by a few with a mother or grandmother overseeing or actually preparing them as these are more difficult because you have to get the consistency of dough or batter right, and making a large quantity means additional hands are required around the kitchen.

      DeBorrah, I am glad to initiate a curiosity for Indian eats.

      Princessa,I know several people who go looking for Indian food all over the world,and there is nothing weird about it.I heard there is an Indian restaurant serving dosas from South India in Paris.

      Many thanks , Ethel for stopping by.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for sharing

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      You made me so hungry... I love Indian food, especially after a party, it is a shame that where I am in France Indian food is not very popular. I take advantage and visit the Indian restaurants every time i go back to the UK, weird as it might sound it is Indian food one of the things I miss the most from living in the UK!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Purple Perl, Delightful appetizing hub! The treats sound so tasty. Luv the chicken kababs & chicken curry. I must venture out and try some different cultural treats. Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • lyla profile image

      lyla 8 years ago from India

      Purple Perl..I'm just drooling at the very mention of these sweets!:)Rava ladoo is my all time fav..and rose cookies and kulkuls were made when my grandmom was alive.Of course the very mention of biriyani makes me hungry..yum..yum..