Christmas Menu – ‘Pure Indulgence’

Dear Readers,


“Bring On the Chef In You” team (Judith Serrao, Sylvia DSouza and Joyce Alvares), wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.  We do hope we have appeased your senses with our round of ‘Christmas Goodies’ made especially for you.  All of us have been working hard and ‘Cooking Up A Storm’  (sort of) for you.  We have come up with a rapid-fire round of dishes, which can adorn your dining table this season.  So what are you waiting for?. go, don on that apron, sharpen your knives and ‘cook up your own storm’ this CHRISTMAS; with our Christmas Menu?”Pure Indulgence”.  You don’t have to do all of them from A-Z;  but pick up a few and charm your way into your husband’s,  friends,  lover(s),  kids,  neighbours and of course your guests hearts????


Are you ready for this ??


STARTERS:


Beef Bites:


? Kg.  tender beef (cut into bite size pieces),   ginger ? 1″ bit,  garlic 7-8 cloves,  chilly powder (1 teaspoon),  1 green chilly,   1 onion (for grinding),   All spice powder (1 teaspoon),  sliced onion (2 big), stew-powder (1 teaspoon),   bay leaf (2),  3-4 cloves, 2 sticks cinnamon,  2-3 pepper,   2 cardamoms, 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,  2 tablespoons thick curd,  few coriander and mint leaves.



Grind fine the ginger,  garlic, 1 onion,  green chilly and coriander and mint leaves.  Powder fine the cinnamon stick, cloves &  pepper-corns.  Add to the ground masala.  Then add all spice powder, stew powder and chilly powder.  Set aside.    Add oil/ghee to a nonstick pan and keep on low heat.  Add the bay leaf – then add the meat in batches and sautee it ? remove when browned on all sides  (which will take 2-3 minutes).  Complete all the meat this way and keep aside.   In the same pan, add onions and saut? till brown flecks appear then add the ground masala and fry till the oil brims to the surface.  Add the fried meat with juices, if any, and saute for some time.  Add curds and mix quickly till incorporated.   Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato ketchup and salt to taste.   Keep frying till the meat is well cooked and you have a dry masala which clings to the meat.   Insert few toothpicks into the bites and serve hot.


Ham and Vegetable Puffs:


Ham – 200 grams,  sausages (4-5) cut into tiny bits,  mixed fried veggies (carrots, peppers, cauliflowers,  yam, peas, potatoes- cut tiny pieces and deep fry),  1 onion (minced), coriander leaves (cut fine), 1 teaspoon chilly powder,  1 egg for brushing..  



Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and saut? the onion. Then add ham, sausages and fry for a few minutes.  Add chilly powder and the mixed fried veggies and salt to taste.  Garnish with coriander leaves.     Thaw the puff pastry and cut each square into two equal triangles.   Put a teaspoon of filling in the center and seal all the edges. Gently press with fork on all open sides.   Lay on a cookie sheet and brush all over with egg with a pasty brush.  Preheat oven to 180 deg c.  Bake for 15-16 minutes till they are puffed up and golden brown on the surface. 


Spicy Sausages:


1 Packet frozen sausages (I used ‘Doux’ chicken sausages),   tomato ketchup(5-6 tablespoons), worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons),  coriander leaves for garnish,  1 spoon of  chilly powder or bafat powder.



Cut the sausages into slanting pieces.  In a non-stick pan?add little butter and saute the sausages,  quickly add the chilly powder/bafat powder and fry for sometime,  add sauces and stir fry?.   When done garnish liberally with finely cut coriander leaves.


Vegetable Sticks with Dip :



3 cucumbers, 3 carrots, 2 red peppers, 2 green peppers,  1/2 cauliflower cut into small florets and steamed in microwave.  Cut the cucumbers, carrots and red peppers into strips and arrange neatly in bundles on a serving platter.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to cauliflower and steam.   Serve with your favourite dip.  I used mayonaise to which I added a few corriander leaves and a few drops of lime.


Salty Biscuits with Cheese and Sausages



1 or 2 packets of Salty Biscuits (I used TUC), cheddar cheese (Kraft) ?grated,  sausages (cut into fine bits),  1 onion, 1 tomato,  chilly powder,  spice powder, 1 tablespoon olive oil, dash of sugar, few coriander leaves cut fine.     Saute the minced onion in olive oil, add tomato, chilly powder, spice powder,  sugar and fry till dry.   Grate the cheese.  Lay the biscuits on a flat platter,   add a teaspoon of sausage mixture,  sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with coriander leaves.


Corn and Kidney Beans Munchies


1 packet of  puff-pastry squares,  1 egg, 1 tin of sweet corn, 1 tin of kidney beans,  salt, lemon small(1), chat masala (1/2 teaspoon),  olive oil, 1 green pepper (cut fine).  Drain the tins of sweet corn and kidney beans.  Add chat masala, olive oil, green pepper, lemon juice and coriander leaves.  Toss and mix.



Cut each puff pastry square into 4 squares with a pizza cutter or zig-zag runner.   Arrange on a cookie sheet and brush liberally with beaten egg.  Preheat oven to 180 deg C and bake for 15-18 minutes till the squares puff up.  Remove from cookie sheet and transfer to a flat platter.  Top with corn and bean mixture.  Serve immediately.


MAIN COURSE :


Roast Chicken


Marinade for Chicken


3 tablespoons ginger/garlic paste
1 green chilly paste
2  tablespoons chilly powder or bafat powder
1 tablespoon tandoori masala
1 cup thick curds
? teaspoon oregano
? teaspoons all spice powder
(Make a thick paste of all above)  +  little salt to taste



1 Plump chicken (1500-1800 grms) ? wash in and out thoroughly.   Pat dry with a paper towel.  Rub  lemon juice, salt and butter all over chicken?. (Juice of 2 lemons, 2/3 tablespoons soft butter and salt)  over and under skin and in the cavity as well.


Take care not to tear skin.  Then rub the paste above all over chicken (paste will be thick and  quite a lot) and dunk the chicken in it for ? hour to 1 hour.


Vegetables ? onions (3), peppers (3), Carrots (4), potatoes (4), Spring onion (1 bunch), mushrooms (1 tin), cauliflower ? Any other vegetable of your choice.


Cut big chuck size pieces of all the vegetables.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on vegetables+ Olive oil 4-5 tablespoons.  Toss and keep aside.


In a large roasting tray?first lay down the vegetables.  Add little extra olive oil/butter.  Then keep the chicken on the vegetables which will have thick marinade all over it.


Preheat oven to 180 deg. C and keep the chicken for roasting for 2 hours,  basting every 15 minutes with remaining marinade and juice collected at the bottom of the roasting tray.  At the end of 2 hours all the liquid will be evaporated,  the vegetables will be browned all over and the chicken after basting will be golden brown all over.  Basting the chicken with the marinade is important to keep the meat moist and tender.


Serve hot on a large platter?garnished with the roasted vegetables and extra coriander leaves sprigs.  Carve the chicken to serving sized pieces and serve along with roasted vegetables and squeeze a lemon on each individual serving plate.


Beef Rogan


1 kg  tender beef,  3″ piece ginger, 1 pod garlic,  8 big onions,  3 tablespoons jeera,  4/5 pieces 2″ cinnamon,   10 cloves,  10 cardamoms,  6-8 pepper corns,   3 tablespoons bafat powder or 3 tablespoons chilly powder,  2 cups curds,  3 bay leaves, 1 flat tablespoon mixed spice powder, (extra cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves for frying whole ? few).  



Cut and wash beef till water runs clear.  Drain on a colander so that all water drains out.  In a large non-stick vessel,  brown the beef in small batches and keep aside.  Grind the ginger and garlic to a fine paste.  Grind the jeera, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns and bafat powder to a fine powder.  Cut the 8 onions into fine slices.  In the same vessel  that the beef was fried and which has a residue of oil/ghee, add the bay leaves and the extra cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves and fry for a minute.  Then add the sliced onions and required salt and fry till the onions are golden (this is important).  When lightly browned, add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for sometime,  then add the powdered spice dry powder and stir for sometime.  Add the beef and any juices left behind and keep frying till the meat is nicely fried and oil/ghee starts glistening.  Add curds, 1 tablespoon at a time, till all the curds in incorporated.  At this point check the seasoning and add if anything required.  Test if the meat is cooked;  and depending on this add a little water and cook till beef is tender.  By now you should have a thickish gravy.  Garnish with the mixed spice powder and coriander leaves and fried potatoes (optional).


Chicken Muglai with Almonds


4/5  inch ginger, 10/12  cloves garlic, 1 cup almonds, soaked in water, blanched and ground to a fine paste. 8-10  tablespoon vegetable oil,  4 pcs 2″  stick cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 8-10 cloves, 10 pods cardamom,  10 medium onions, sliced,  3 tablespoons jeera, 2 tablespoons chilly powder/bafat powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1.5 cup yogurt, 1 tin nestle cream, ? teaspoon mixed spice powder,  1 big chicken cut into big pieces, coriander  leaves for garnishing


Grind the ginger, garlic, almonds with water.



Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken until it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.  In the same pan add some more oil/ghee and add the cardamom, bay leaves and cloves. Fry until bay leaves turn brown. Put in the onions and stir fry until they get brown specs all over. Pour the paste from the blender and fry for a couple of minutes until the oil separates. Add 1 tablespoon of yogurt and fry for 30 seconds. Keep adding tablespoons of yogurt and fry until you get a consistent mixture. Put the chicken and fry for sometime and cook gently till chicken is tender;  then add the whipped cream and salt and cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes. Add garam masala and coriander leaves and cook for another 203 minutes.  Garnish with a few roasted whole almonds.  Serve hot with chappaties or parota.


Veal Chilly with Peppers



1 Kg Veal,    4-5 coloured peppers,  3-4 onions,   ginger garlic paste ? 2 big tablespoons,   4 tablespoons curds,   stew powder ? 2 tablespoons, spice powder 1 teaspoon, chilly powder 1 tablespoon,  sliced onions 4,  bay leaf. 3 pcs cinnamon sticks.   Put oil in a pan and brown the beef in small batches and keep aside.  Fry the coloured peppers for a few minutes and keep aside.  In the same oil add a bay leaf and then add the cinnamon and sliced onions and fry till the onions get brown flecks.   Add ginger garlic paste and fry.  Add the stew powder, spice powder and chilly powder and fry for some time.  Add the fried beef/veal,  and fry for some time, then add curds and salt and fry for some time.  As the veal is very tender, it  cooks very fast and should be done by now.   Add the fried peppers and add seasoning if needed.  Garnish with coriander leaves.


Vegetable Fried Rice



Make rice in microwave ? 2 cups rice add little less than 4 cups water.  Keep on high for 23 minutes till rice is tender (my microwave takes 23 minutes for this quantity ? you should be knowing how much time your MW takes).  Fluff up the rice and keep aside.  In a large pan,  add butter and few cardamoms and cinnamon and saute chopped coloured peppers till soft.  Add any other vegetables that you like.  Add salt,  white pepper powder,  soya sauce(1 tablespoon), worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and a dash of sugar.   Add rice and mix and garnish with coriander leaves finely cut.  Serve hot.


Pork Kebabs



1 Kg pork cut into bite sized pieces.  Make a marinade out of 1 cup brandy, 1/2 cup tomato ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar,  1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons bafat or chilly powder, 6 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the pork marinated for 5-6 hours in the marinade.  Take oil in a non-stick vessel and fry the meat on slow fire till all the marinade is dried up.   Keep adding water 2 tablespoons at a time till the meat is cooked up.   Serve hot on a flat dish pricked with toothpicks


Pork Indad


1.5 kg pork.  For grinding 12-15 red kashmiri chillies deseeded,  2 tablespoons bafat powder, 6 green chillies, 4 onions, 1 spoon jeera, ? teaspoon turmeric, little tamarind, 1 pod garlic, 10 pepper corns, 10 cloves, 2 pieces cinnamon sticks, 2 spoons vinegar, ? cup brandy, 2 spoons of sugar, 2 cups water and salt to taste.  ? kg potatoes.



In a vessel add oil and fry the meat pieces (cut into thick chunks) and remove aside.  Fry the potaoes in the same oil and keep aside.  Then add ground masala and other ingredients and fry for some time.  Add the meat pieces and keep frying till the masala brims with oil and starts leaving the sides. Taste and add seasoning if any required.   Add 2 cups of water and keep boiling till meat is tender.  When done add the fried potatoes.  Serve hot.


Cutlets


Ingredients :-


1 packet lamb mince ? (minced twice)
4 onions finely minced
Half pod garlic
2″ ginger
2 green chillies
Big bundle of coriander leaves
Lemon juice
2 eggs
2″ piece of Cinnamon
4-5 cloves
Pepper powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp (stew powder or  your favourite masala)
3-4 Potatoes ?boiled and mashed
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup (optional)
Bread crumbs as required



Wash and dry the mince.  In a small vessel, heat a tablespoon of oil, add cinnamon and cloves and onions and saute the onions till they are transparent.  Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir fry for a minute or two.  Remove and keep aside.


In the same oil  add the mince and fry for sometime.  Add spices and just a little water and cook till the mince is done?. Cool and keep aside.


In another big bowl..put in the boiled potatoes and mash them till no lumps remain.  Add the cooled mince, {discard the cinnamon and cloves at this point},  the fried onion mixture,  sauces, coriander leaves, lemon, stew powder and salt.   Mix and adjust seasoning as desired?.if you want it spicy add more chilly or more stew powder.


Form equal round ball and flatten them on a cutting board with a butter knife.  Shape the cutlets into rectangular or round shapes.


Beat up two eggs with 2-3 tablespoons of water (not till frothy ? just till the yolk dissolves).  Dip the shaped cutlets into egg wash and then coat with bread crumbs.  Assemble all of them like this and keep on a flat platter and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.


In a shallow non stick pan ? add a little oil  and shallow fry the cutlets on both sides till golden brown.   Use a fork to turn over (I feel this is easier than using a flat spatula). Drain on tissue paper and serve hot.


Pork Bafat with Sanna


1.5 Kg pork, 10 cloves, 2 pieces cinnamon, 6 green chillies, 7 onions, 2 pods garlic, 1″ piece ginger.   Cut onions into chunky piecs.  Cut garlic into 2 or three slices and ginger cut very fine,  slice green chillies.  Grind together to form a thick paste,  15 pepper corns, 12 dry chillies, 1 spoon jeera, 2 spoons coriander, little turmeric + 2 tablespoons bafat powder + 1/2 onion. Plus soak some tamarind in water and keep aside.




Add  just a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick vessel and brown the meat in batches for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and keep aside.  In the same vessel, add the chopped onion and sliced ingredients and cinnamon and cloves. Then the ground masala.  Stir fry for 2-3 minutes?add meat, salt to taste and vinegar.  Cook till meat is nearly done,  then add tamarind water and simmer till meat is tender.


Lamb Curry with Coconut Milk


1 Kg Lamb, 1/4 Kg. Potatoes, 2 cups thick coconut milk.  For grinding :  4 green chillies, 4 kashmiri chillies, 2″ big ginger, 8 peels of garlic,  8 cloves,  3 -2″ pieces of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons kuskus, 2 teaspoons jeera, 8 pepper-corns, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 2 big onions , a small ball of tamarind, few mint leaves and a bunch of green coriander leaves. 



Grind together and make a fine paste.  In a pan add ghee and brown one thinly sliced onion.  Add the  masala paste and fry till oil brims to the surface and the paste changes colour.  Add the meat and fry for sometime.  Add water and cook till the meat is nearly done..add salt then add potatoes and cook till soft.   After potatoes are cooked add the coconut milk and simmer for a minute?do not overboil after the coconut milk has been added.  Serve hot with pancakes or  bread or rotis.


Prawn Biryani


1 Kg. prawns, 8 big onions,   3 tablespoons ginger garlic paste, coriander and mint leaves (a bunch), green chilly 8-deseeded, jeera 1 tablespoon, badeshep 1 tablespoon, 1 big tomato, chilly powder/bafat powder 1 tablespoon, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves (few), curds ? cup, lemon juice, yellow colour, butter or ghee and coriander and mint leaves for garnish.  Grind ginger, garlic, coriander and mint leaves, gree chilly, jeera and badeshep, chilly powder and cinnamon and cardamom and cloves and tomato  into a fine paste.  Slice 8 large onions.  In a vessel add butter or ghee and fry the 8 sliced onions till golden brown and crisp.  Remove and keep aside.  In the same oil, add the ground masala and fry till oil starts to separate from the masala.  Add prawns and curds little by little.  The add little lemon juice and salt to taste and cook till prawns are done.



Make 3 cups long grain rice and fluff up the rice so that grains are separate.  Arrange the rice, fried onions and coriander leaves and prawn masala in layers till all the rice and masala is over.  Put the vessel in the oven for 5-10 minutes.   Serve onto a large platter and garnish with more fried onions.  Serve accompanied with curd raita.


Tendli with Cashewnuts



1/2 kg tendli, few curry leaves, few cashewnuts, mustard seeds, 1 onion, 1 green chilly, 1/2 cup fresh coconut, 1 tomato, 1 tablespoon or more vegetable powder,  little jaggery and salt to taste.  Take little coconut oil in a vessel,  add mustard seeds and when they splutter add curry leaves, onion and green chilly, then tomato, vegetable powder and jaggery.  Add cut tendli, salt to taste and water and simmer till nearly done.  Add fresh coconut and cashewnuts and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.


Creamy Chicken Tikka Kebabs


Boneless chicken cubed into squarish pieces,  ginger garlic paste about 5/6 tablespoons,  salt to taste, white pepper powder 1 teaspoon, egg whisked 1,  cheddar cheese grated -3/4 tin (small tin), 8 green chillies deseeded and chopped fine,  nutmeg powder 1 teaspoon,  coriander leaves-chopped, cornflour 2 tablespoons,  cream ? 1 tin,  oil/butter for basting. 



Rub ginger garlic pase and salt and white pepper onto the chicken cubes.  Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.  Add cheese, green chillies, corriander, nutmeg powder, cornflour and cream to the whisked egg. Mix well and add to the chicken mixture and marinate for sometime.  Skewer the chicken cubes and roast in an oven/grill or you can even shallow fry them on a pan. Brush with remaining marinade and baste with butter till well grilled on all sides.  Serve sprinkled with lemon juice.


DESSERTS


Jam Rolls


This is delicious served warm either as a cake or a dessert.   3 eggs, ? cup powdered sugar, 1 cup flour,  1 teaspoon baking powder,  2 tablespoons boiling water, ? cup jam, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (extra).  Grease a 25cm x 30 cm swiss roll pan, line base and sides with wax paper. 



Grease the paper well.  Beat eggs in a small bowl with hand beater for about 4 minutes until thick and creamy.  Gradually add sugar until dissolved between each addition.  Fold in sifted flour and water.  Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake in moderate oven (160 deg C) for about 15-18 minutes till it is lightly brown on top.  In the meanwhile warm jam in a saucepan over low heat.  When done turn the cake immediately on to wax paper sprinkled with extra sugar.  Trim edges of cake. Spread hot jam evenly over hot cake.  Roll up from the short side using the wax paper as a guide.   Do not wait for the cake to cool.  Make it into a large sausage covered with wax paper.   Cut into ?” slices and serve.


Mississippi Mud Cake


This is a very dense cake; serve with whipped cream if desired.  250 grams butter chopped, 150 g dark chocolate ?chopped, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup hot water, ? cup whiskey, 1 tablespoon dry instant coffee, 2 cups flour,  2.5 teaspoons baking powder, ? cup cocoa, 2 eggs lightly beaten. 



Grease a 23cm square slab pan, line base with paper. Grease paper.  Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, water, whisky and coffee in heatproof bowl and stir over hot water until chocolate is melted and mixture smooth.  Cool to lukewarm.  Stir in sifted flour + baking powder + cocoa (sift them together) and then the eggs.  Fold gently till all is mixed but take care not to deflate the mixture too much.   Bake in a slow oven (150 deg c) for 1 hour 20 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When cool dust with icing sugar. Cut into squares and serve.


Double Delight


1 packet lime jelly, 1 packet rasberry jelly, 1 397 grams condensed milk tin.  Whipped cream and cut nuts for decoration.  Make jelly as per the instruction on the packet.   Make one colour first?add 1/2 condensed milk, when the mixture is at room temperature.  



 Pour into serving glasses till half full and leave to set in refrigerator.  When set,  make the other coloured jelly and add the balance 1/2 tin condensed milk and stir.  Pour into the serving glass, which already has the red colour already set.  Put in refrigerator to set again.  Top with cream and sprinkle a few chopped nuts on top.


Strawberries and Chocolate


10-12  berries,  250 grams of hersheys milk chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter.  Royal icing  (mix together 2 tablespoons of meringue powder,  2 tablespoons water and stir in icing sugar about 1 cup or more,   till you get a thick runny white mixture-  if it is too thick just add water a tablespoon at a time ? till you get the right consistency). 



Melt chocolate and butter over a bowl of heated hot water till nice and smooth.  Dip 3/4 of the strawberries in the chocolate mixture and leave to dry on a waxed paper.  When dried drizzle the royal icing mixture.


Strawberry Panna Cotta


1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup nestle cream, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla essence, 1/3 cup sugar (add more if desired), 3 teaspoons or 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin powder, 3 tablespoons cold water, 1/2 cup strawberry pulp, few fresh strawberries for garnish, 2 drops of pink colour.



Soak gelatin in cold water.  In a saucepan, heat the buttermilk, cream, whipping cream, sugar, strawberry pulp and vanilla essence.  Bring to a slow simmer.  Remove from heat and mix the gelatin, while whisking the mixture slowly.  Pour into individual serving cups and chill for 4-5 hours in the fridge.  Once set garnish with cut strawberries and nuts.


Custard Tarts


1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter, ? cup sugar, ? cup almond powder, 1 large egg, 1 cup flour,  ? teaspoon baking powder, ? teaspoon grated lemon zest.  Combine butter with sugar, almond and egg and beat at low speed.



Add flour, baking powder and lemon zest and beat until a soft dough is formed.  Put the dough on a plastic wrap and flatten to a disc.  Refrigerate and chill.  Roll the dough and cut into rounds to fit the tart pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes till golden.  Cool on wire rack.  Make custard as per instruction in packet.  Pour custard into the baked tart shells and top with cherries or fruit of your choice.


Chocolate Cake and Custard


5-6 slices of chocolate cake,  4 cups readymade custard cups (I use Al Marai),  4 strawberries, 2 tablespoons icing sugar,  ? cup cashewnuts chopped into bits.  Crumble cake and make cake crumbs. 



Pour the custard into 4 icecream bowls,  sprinkle with cashewnuts all over the top of custard.  Top with the cake crumbs till the brim.  Put icing sugar in a sieve and gently shake over each cup.  Top with strawberry on each cup.


Chocolate Cocktail Creams & Assorted Milk Chocolates


There is nothing better than having chocolate after dinner.  These Chocolate Cocktail Creams, filled with dark chocolate and genuine spirits in cream centers, will surely get you into the festive spirit.   


 


 


The assorted chocolates will leave you in a quandary, wondering which to pick.  Its Christmas folks, and its comes just once a year, so indulge and take a taste of each one and chill out.

Author: Judith Serrao- Sylvia DSouza and Joyce Alvares