Christmas is here. It’s time for toys, time for cheer and time for family fun. It’s the season to eat, drink and be merry. And what better way to celebrate, than by playing the gourmand and Masterchef rolled into one! Happy Tripping has curated this perfect seven-course meal just for you. It can be made in the normal Indian kitchen, and celebrates the Christmas spirit from around the world. Get your boarding passes (cutlery) and bags (tummies) ready!
Let’s get started with the Appetisers
A lot can be done with a few ingredients and multiple skewers—if you doubt that just check out these two recipes.
Vegetarian: Naan, Spinach and Halloumi Bites (Middle East) This super easy dish, which is a blend of Halloumi cheese and spinach, is the perfect start to your Christmas dinner While the recipe talks of pre-made store-bought naan, you can easily make it at home too!
Non–Vegetarian: Sausage, Potato and Fig Skewers. (American) Meatlovers start your journey in The Promised Land by biting into this medley of flavours; it’s all in one bite! The spicy sausage is mellowed down by the sweetness of the potatoes and fruits, making it a typical, spice intolerant American starter; but delicious!
Works well for all: Avgolemono Soup (Aah-vo-lemeno) (Greek) Hope onto the cruise as we’re headed across the seas for the second course. This Greek egg-based soup promises to bring warmth and comfort on those cold winter nights. It’s also complements the rest of the dishes since it isn’t heavy on spices. Cook it without the chicken, for vegetarians, and with chicken, for the non-vegetarians!
Works well for all: Spinach and Pomegranate Salad. If you are going to make “I’ll go the gym and eat healthy” resolutions, give yourself a head-start with this fruity preparation, it’s easy on the stomach and the chef, because this dish can be rolled out in less than 10 minutes!
Works well for all: Zakuski (Russian) Our next stop is Russia, while caviar may not be for everyone’s taste buds and budgets, the Russians do celebrate Christmas with a dish called Zakuski. It’s got fish, and mushrooms so no one’s left hungry and is inspired by the Mediterranean Mezze. The recipe requires horseradish but ginger works as a ‘jugaad’ Indian substitute. It works well for everyone since its bits of vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients can be played around with, substitute or add ingredients that YOU think will complement the dish.
The Palate Cleanser
Glühwein (German Mulled Wine) After eating so much, and sampling all these intense flavours, it’s a must to ready the tongue for what is yet to come. Wash it all down with a goblet of mulled German wine. Sinterklaas (That’s Santa Claus in German) will be happy to know that you’re honouring his homeland!
The Main Course
Vegetarian: Leek and Corn Stuffed Peppers Dolma (Ottoman origin/Turkish) From the Middle East, to Greece, to Russia and then Germany, we’ve travelled a lot, but you’ll now find your mouth opening to take a large bite of Turkey. No, not the meat, but Turkish cuisine! Dolma is an Ottoman recipe that roughly translates to ‘vegetables stuffed with filling’. The differently coloured peppers are a treat to the eyes. And don’t they say you eat with your eyes!
Non-Vegetarian: Quebeçoise Tourtiere (Canadian) If stuffed vegetables just don’t cut it for you, head out to Canada and have a slice of Tourtiere, or minced meat pie. Canadian culture has been highly influenced by the French and the Americans, so you’ll find a delightful culinary mash of both those cuisines—and what better way to discover it than this all-out meat pie. Do not worry, it isn’t made of Reindeer meat; you’re still in Santa’s good list!
Classic Christmas cake (Scotland) Our experimental, around-the-world food adventure should end with a classic that ushers in nostalgia; it is of course, the classic, Christmas rum cake. While you help yourself to this, make sure you appoint a designated driver; the cake is quarter parts rum!
Once the meal is done. Just follow these steps to the tee, trust us, you’ll need to. It’s for your own safety!
• Leave the mess in the kitchen as is.
• Smile and graciously accept at all the praise the guests heap on you.
• Amble across, with your now huge belly, to that comfortable couch.
• Sink in; put your feet up on a chair.
• And stay there for the rest of the Christmas holidays!
Featured Image Credit: www.theorganicpepper.ca