Nothing says a Desi Christmas like a full tandoori roast turkey to tantalise the taste buds.
When it comes to the festive season, aside from all the family interaction and present-giving, the food is most definitely the biggest highlight.
But does everyone opt for the traditional English Christmas dinner?
For those Desi’s looking for a little more heat and spice on their Christmas table, we have sought out some special Desi-esque treats and recipes to make your Christmas meal one to remember.
From traditional Indian Goan sweets called Kulkuls, a Tandoori style roast turkey, Desi Christmas Pudding designed by Chef Sameer, and a Turkey Curry for all the leftovers on the day after, we have everything you need to enjoy a magical Desi-style Xmas.
- 500g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 230 ml coconut cream
- 4 tbsp sugar, powdered
- 1 tbsp butter
- Oil for deep frying
- 200g sugar (granulated)
- 3-4 tbsp water
- Mix the flour and baking powder well.
- Add the butter a little at a time, mixing gently.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the mix.
- Add the powdered sugar and coconut milk to this and mix into a soft dough.
- Form the dough into small marble-sized balls.
- Grease the back of a fork with some oil and flatten and press a ball of dough onto it.
- Starting at one end, roll the dough off the fork and into a tight curl. The end result will be a tube-like curl! Make the remaining dough similarly until it is all used up.
- Fry the kulkuls in hot oil, making sure to turn often, until they are a light golden brown in colour. Drain and cool on paper towels.
- Put the granulated sugar and water in a separate pan and cook until the sugar melts fully.
- Put the cooled kulkuls into this sugar syrup and coat well.
- Remove and allow to sit until cool. Store in an airtight container.
Tandoori Roast Turkey
For the Turkey:
- A 6-7kg turkey
- 5 black cardamom pods
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- Sea salt
For the Marinade:
- 950 ml plain whole-milk yogurt
- 100g chopped peeled ginger
- 120 ml fresh lime juice
- 50g finely chopped garlic
- 50g paprika
- 2 tbsp tandoori masala
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the homemade Tandoori Masala:
- 2 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 ¼ tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 large cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- ¼ tsp ajwain seeds
To prepare the Tandoori Masala:
- Toast spices in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often, until fragrant, for about 2 minutes. Let cool.
- Working in batches, finely grind mixture in a spice mill.
To prepare the Turkey:
- Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
- Rub inside and out with sea salt; transfer to roasting bag.
- Stuff turkey with cardamom pods and cumin seeds, then onion, celery, and garlic.
To prepare the Marinade:
- Purée all ingredients in a blender.
- Pour marinade into roasting bag. Smear all over turkey.
- Tie bag and arrange turkey, breast side down, in a large heavy roasting pan. Refrigerate overnight.
- Let turkey stand in a bag at room temperature for 1 hour. Turn breast side up. Create steam holes in bag if required.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Roast turkey for 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 180°C. Roast about 1 1/2 hours longer (or until turkey is 70°C)
- Cut top of bag open, being careful of steam and juices, and pull back over turkey. Roast turkey until breast is deeply browned but not burned, 15–30 minutes longer.
- Transfer to a platter. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, strain juices into a large saucepan. Spoon fat from surface. Simmer over medium heat until sauce is reduced to 800 ml, about 20 minutes.
- Carve turkey. Serve with accompanying gravy.
Desi Christmas Pudding: Lagan Nu Custard
- 5 eggs
- 1500 ml milk with full cream
- 120 ml condensed milk
- 300g sugar
- Pinch of green cardamom powder
- Pinch of nutmeg, grated
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- Handful of almonds (peeled, sliced)
- Bring the milk to boil and simmer.
- Add sugar and condensed milk and stir until completely dissolved. (Add or reduce sugar if you prefer). Simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the milk gets thicker and the colour changes from white to yellowish. Remove from fire and keep aside.
- Mix egg, cardamom powder, grated nutmeg and vanilla essence. Add slowly to milk at room temperature and mix well.
- Pour the mixture in a greased baking pan, bake at 200-220°C for 45 -50 minutes in a preheated oven.
- Garnish with sliced almonds and let it chill before serving.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2.5cm slice of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 8 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
- 570 ml chicken or turkey stock
- 125 ml yoghurt
- 85 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 large handfuls roast turkey, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick pot.
- Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and ground coriander.
- Cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft, being careful not to burn the spices.
- Add the potatoes and butternut squash and cook until the potato begins to stick to the bottom of the pan slightly.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes and butternut squash are tender.
- Stir in the yoghurt and cream, then add the lemon juice.
- Add the cooked turkey, fold in and simmer to heat through.
- Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
The winter festive season is always a special time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. And nothing says a Desi Christmas like a full tandoori roast turkey to tantalise the taste buds. Have a very Happy Holidays!