A Christmas Ta(b)le to remember: Recipes from India’s top chefs

As the festivities get louder and more colourful each week, so does the flurry of Christmas invites. With each Christmas table featuring so many different items, how do you make yours stand out?

Cocktails 

Hot chocolate for christmas? Spiced hot chocolate for christmas? Double yes.
Hot chocolate for Christmas? Spiced hot chocolate for Christmas? Double yes.

Nothing gets a party started on the right note like a refreshing welcome drink. As the world continues to seek healthier alternatives and lighter drinks post pandemic, the cocktail culture has evolved to keep up with the same.

For the perfect Christmas beverage list, there should be something for everyone at your feast. So be it whiskey cocktails with a chai twist, rum lovers looking to explore, or those with a taste for the premium; we’ve got you covered! 

Mulled Wine 

There's nothing like a warm glass of homemade mulled wine for the perfect christmas setup
There’s nothing like a warm glass of homemade mulled wine for the perfect Christmas setup

Since its origin in the 2nd century AD, the drink has evolved leaps and bounds. From its original designation as a shield against harsh weathers and even plagues in Victorian England’s case, the drink has now found a rather prestigious niche in Christmas traditions. 

Made using mulling spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, among others, the drink is a true embodiment of the warmth of Christmas if brewed right. Like with most things, mulled wine too has been adapted and localized by different parts of the world, making the drink super customizable. Give it a shot and give your party the Christmas spirit it needs. 

Christmas Pudding 

Made and nurtured weeks in advance, a traditional christmas pudding is the ultimate festive dessert
Made and nurtured weeks in advance, a traditional Christmas pudding is the ultimate festive dessert

While a traditional Christmas pudding is the arguable showstopper on any Christmas menu, it’s a lengthy process to undertake in its most traditional form. 

Beginning all the way from Stir up Sunday, where the first batch of dry fruits are steeped in an alcoholic mixture, the final pudding is stored, fed regularly over weeks and served only much later. The payoff is undoubtedly worth it, as millions of people across the globe would tell you. 

Christmas Cakes 

A traditional christmas plum cake is but natural for the season. Recipe and image courtesy chef rahul bhale, novotel chennai sipcot
A traditional Christmas plum cake is but natural for the season. Recipe and image courtesy Chef Rahul Bhale, Novotel Chennai SIPCOT

This Christmas, you can bake your cake and eat it too! There’s nothing like a great traditional cake to win the festivities potluck. Think Christmas, and you almost magnetically lean toward plum. And every good chef worth their salt has their own special recipe for it. That’s not to say that traditions haven’t evolved over the years, of course. There’s plenty of date and walnut, banana, and super festive cakes popping across gatherings. 

When some of the best chefs from the leading hotels of India including Master Pâtissier Chef Surendra Negi, Chef Shipra Khanna, Chef Akshraj Jodha and more give you their personal recipes though, you stop and take note. So if store bought Christmas cakes just aren’t cutting it for your palate anymore, there’s no time like now to follow these simple recipes and create some truly gobsmacking cakes! 

Christmas Desserts 

Christmas desserts have evolved over the years, and you now have delicious pavlovas to explore this season! Recipe and image: raffles, udaipur
Christmas desserts have evolved over the years, and you now have delicious pavlovas to explore this season! Recipe and image: Raffles, Udaipur

When they say it’s the most beautiful time of the year, they’re referring to the desserts served during Christmas.

Gone are the days of rum balls (but not really though), it’s the age of truffles, pavlovas and more. When it comes to India, people also choose to devour warm and luxurious halwas, a perfect antidote to the chilly weather. 

With Christmas setting the tone for some homemade vibes, bonding activities just got sweeter with these dessert recipes. There’s also a fun surprise and great side to any of these desserts right at the end. So don those pastry chef hats and fill the halls with the enchanting aroma of your creations!

Christmas Savoury Dishes 

This lime roast chicken by chef rohan is undoubtedly on its way to be a showstopper at any christmas gathering this festive season!
This Lime Roast Chicken by Chef Rohan is undoubtedly on its way to be a showstopper at any Christmas gathering this festive season!

A traditional Christmas meal as depicted by popular culture involves overly extravagant food. The big roasted turkey with stuffings of your preference tops the list of course. Alongside this, you have other popular favourites like yams, greens, potatoes, roasted chicken, and a lot more. 

In India, while some staples like Roast Chicken do make their way to Christmas tables, there’s a whole aspect of meat and culinary traditions that have not been explored. And who better than the very best chefs of India to educate us on the same? With some handy tips and tricks to get through the process, these recipes are sure to yield magnificent dishes, as well as the envy and praise of all feasting! 

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