December is not a month – it is a feeling! And a heartwarming feeling at that. Everything from the sparkling stars that deck up shops on the sidewalk to the festive holly wreath on our front door and Christmas delicacies on our table, gives you a feeling of Christmas in the air! While the pandemic has foiled a lot of our Christmas plans, there’s nothing that can stop us from putting together a fabulous menu with traditional Christmas palaharams. Here are 9 Christmas delicacies that you gotta include in your Christmas menu:
What’s Christmas without treating your tastebuds to some yummy plum cake? Sure, you may eat plum cake all round the year, but there’s something about having it during the Christmas Season that evokes a special kind of joy. Plum cakes take me back to some of the fondest memories of childhood and unlock a million emotions in me. I especially love the plum cakes that are golden brown and packed with nuts and dry fruits soaked in rum! The process of making one of my favourite simple plum cake recipes gives me immense joy. Btw, there are various plum cake recipes online that can satisfy your tastebuds!
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Kallappam and Chicken Stew
What could be as hearty and comforting as a plate of Kallappam and Chicken Stew on your Christmas table? Though the traditional Kallappam is fermented using toddy, these days many pick up yeast as the fermenting agent. The perfect companion for Kallappam is deliciously thick and creamy, coconut-milk infused Chicken Stew, or Chicken Ishtu, as it is fondly called. Lakshmi Nair’s Chicken Stew is quite famous, especially because it has flavours that’ll remind you of your home during Christmas. Try it out!
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If there’s anything that will rouse all the Christmassy feels, it is naadan munthiri wine for sure! You know the most magical time of the year is just around the corner when you see your mum popping in some crushed grapes into that jar which wakes up from its slumber once a year. The only whinable aspect about this wine (pun intended!) is that we need to wait for a good 21 days to gulp it down. Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to winemaking!
Palappam and Duck Roast
This combination defines home for me. Hailing from the land of Kuttanad, where you can find the most indigenous breeds of ducks, Christmas for me is not complete without stowing a juicy, succulent piece of Kuttanadan Duck Roast into the crispy and lacy rim of the Palappam and dipping it in the flavorful gravy. And then straight to my mouth! Malabar duck roast, mishmash duck roast are a few varieties you could try your hand at this Christmas. After all, varutharacha tharavu curry is a different feel altogether!
Bread and Fish Molee
A classic Anglo-Indian dish that originated from the Syrian Christian kitchen, the scrumptious combo of Bread and Fish Molee is a must-have on your Christmas menu. Shallow-fried chunks of fish are simmered in coconut milk-based broth until cooked. Fish Molee is predominantly mild on most palettes and makes a kickass combination when eaten with some bread loaves. This one is sure to instantly satiate your hunger! I personally love fish molee made in Kottayam style.
Beef Cutlet and Challas
Come Christmas and you’ll see this lip-smacking meat treat adorning your snack table. The crispy and delectably golden-brown crust encases an amalgam of minced beef, mashed potatoes and lacha onions that will just melt in your mouth. While a lot of people prefer to have their cutlets with a dash of tomato ketchup, I still vouch for nammude swantham Challas as a side. For non-Malayalis who are wondering what Challas is, it is a typical Kerala-style salad with onions that is prepared by simply tossing in thinly sliced onions, green chillies, and a dash of lemon juice.
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This panji pole soft delicacy is essential at any Christian festival! Fluffy and spongy, special Kerala style Vattayappam or steamed rice pancake is made using rice flour, flavoured with cardamom, dotted with cashew nuts, sweetened with jaggery and topped with raisins. Whether it is accompanied by a hot, steaming cup of chaya or a wholesome serving of Chicken Mappas, the meal is equally tempting for the tastebuds.
Pidi and Kozhi Curry
Pidi, which is basically rice dumplings simmered in coconut milk, served along with some spicy chicken curry, is a traditionally eaten breakfast combination for Christmas. They say the spicier the kozhi curry, the more delicious it would taste with the Pidi. Pidiyum Kozhiyum has its roots among the Knanaya Community, it has now evolved and spread to other parts of Kerala as well.
Kuzhalappam and Achappam
If you’re a hardcore fan of karumuras and deep-fried rice snacks, then you would surely want to gorge on Kuzhalappams and Achappams this Christmas. Both these karumuras are inevitable items on your Christmas delicacies menu, especially if you are craving something crunchy, crispy, and savoury at the same time.
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These are our favourite Christmas delicacies! What’s yours? Let us know in the comments section!