Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kerala Christmas Recipes – Pick & Create your own menu

From the house where I grew up, there is a mosque just 200 feet away from my home……and in less than 100 feet from there is a temple……and within the next half a kilometer , there is one more temple and a church. Whether it is in a straight line or in a triangle, this co-existence of different religious institutions is something you can find uniformly throughout Kerala and this attitude of tolerance and cohesiveness is reflected in the celebration of festivals as well. Onam or X’mas or Eid, Keralites across the state celebrate the festival season with the same fervor and gaiety. We embrace the non-religious aspects of any festival season and make it a reason and season for celebration. Non- X’ians may not follow the month long advent and the mid-night mass, but right from writing out season’s greetings to hanging paper lanterns to Santa’s visit to each home, in the company of carol groups are part of generally everyone’s X’mas celebration and part of my memory too. One may not make a grand feast at home yet he /she is part of feast at their friends’ houses…….everyone gets to enjoy atleast a piece of cake and a small glass of wine………and for the same reason, before and after marriage, X’mas holds a special place in my heart. So this year, I thought I will draft out a menu-chart for the readers of this blog to help you create your own traditional Kerala X’mas menu to prepare the grand feast.

As in any other celebration, food is the central part and mainly because of the month-long advent followed till the eve of X’mas, the feast usually is a gastronomic extravaganza and based on my personal experience, it is generally a non-veg affair. But the trademark of the season is fruit cake and sweet wine. Guests are usually treated with a piece of fruit cake and wine and here’s the list of my choices for you:

Fruit Cake Beetroot Wine - Sweet wine Grape wine Pineapple wine

X’mas day breakfast is something everyone looks forward to and for many like us, it’s always Paalappam with a stew of your choice:

Paalappam Potato Stew Beef Stew Kerala Chicken Stew Duck Roast

Lunch is a grand feast with a table full of delicious array of food and you could make it a course menu. Hope the choices below will help you make up your mind on what to cook:

I - course
Meat Cutlets Meat Rolls in White Sauce Deviled Eggs - Indian Style Chemmeen Vada - Kerala Style Prawn Fritters

II - course
Meen Pollichathu Chicken Fry Chemmeen eerkiliyil kuthi varuthathu Mashed Tapioca & Fish Curry

III - course
If you are having new guests for lunch, you may repeat the course of Paalappam or bread with stewed meat or seafood.

Paalappam Beef Stew Fish Molee Karimeen Pappas Crab Roast Duck Roast

IV - course
Chicken Biriyani Chemmeen Biriyani Egg Biriyani Fried Rice Vegetable Ghee rice Ghee Rice Mutton Curry

V - course (Rice & curries)
Kuthari Choru with


Chicken Roast - Kuttanadan Style Beef Varattiyathu Roast Chicken Mutton Fry Chemmeen Varattiyathu-Prawn Roast Prawns Stir Fry Mutton Liver Fry Njandu Varutharachathu Fish Curry - Central Kerala Style Pepper Fish Fry Mutton Curry Curried Sardines Mathi Varuthathu Erachi Olathiyathu/Sauteed Chicken Fry Duck Curry

Pork Fry


Mambazha Pulissery Sambar Chakkakkuru-Maanga curry Rasam Sambharam Cabbage Thoran Koorka

Pickles & Condiments

Manga Achar/ Spicy Mango Pickle Pickled Raisins Puli Inji Pappadam ,Pazham and Banana chips

VI - course
I personally prefer to keep a dessert menu with a combination of something fancy and traditional.

China Grass Pudding Orange Delight Mango Sorbet Tiramisu Parippu Pradaman/Payasam Semiya Payasam Double Chocolate Pudding Parfait Name it ! Caramel Pudding

Tea Time Snacks
Diamond cuts Mexican wedding cookies Fruit Cake Pazham Pori Orappam Kuzhalappam Achappam Vattayappam

By the end of the day , you re probably stuffed up till your neck and will be mostly in a mood to have something light and the best option is to go for a bowl of….

Kanji & Payar Dried Prawn Condiment Manga Achar/ Spicy Mango Pickle Manga Chammanthi

I hope the menu options come handy for atleast a bunch of confused minds out there! There are many other dishes too that are part of the feast; this list is purely based on the recipes I have featured till now.

And my dear Non-Keralite friends, please don't be confused that we eat all the above mentioned dishes in one single feast, these are just a list of choices for you to mix and match and create our traditional X'mas feast :)

For more options, Go to complete recipe index.

We wish you all a beautiful , peaceful and safe X’mas :)


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