What to Cook for East Indian Dinners & Christmas?

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East Indian food is so delicious and tasty, once you’ve tried it, you’ll be craving for more. From appetizers or breads, to main courses or desserts, you’ll be left drooling!

Have you ever been in a situation where you are having guests over for dinner for an occasion and are not sure what to cook? Well, not in our home! If you know there’s an occasion coming up, dinner menus are decided well in advance and even the prepartions begin days before the big occasion. There’s never just one of each dish, there’s always a range of options from appetizers, to main dishes and desserts too.

We, the East Indians of Bombay are known for our culture and food. East Indian food is both unique to the community and oh-so flavourful. If you’ve lived in or visited Mumbai at some time, you’ve of course tasted at least one East Indian dish, be it stuffed chicken, sorpotel, vindaloo, foogias, orias, or other traditional East Indian dishes.

Ever wonder what a traditional Christmas Dinner menu for East Indians is made of? Or what we cook and serve for other festive occasions or celebrations? What does an East Indian festive dinner party menu actually look like?

You don’t have to guess anymore, here is a quick guide to the dishes we serve and relish for Christmas dinner, celebrations, parties, and also other festive occasions. Add them to your dinner party menu this year, and let us know how your guests like them!

Drinks, there’s always drinks first!

1. East Indian Fresh Grape Wine (Black or Green)

The East Indian recipe for grape wine uses fresh either black or green grapes or a mix of the two. Easy to make at home for a cheap table wine.
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Two glasses with homemade grape wine.

2. Homemade Rose Petal Wine (Not Rose)

Homemade rose petal wine is a heady wine drink with the aroma of roses. After some experimentation, we made this earthy wine with dried rose petals, and it's perfect for celebrations or regular days in.
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Close up of rose wine served.

3. Spicy Homemade Ginger Wine Recipe

Homemade ginger wine is a light and refreshing drink for celebrations or regular days in. Using ginger root we make this spicy wine in 2 weeks and add a few optional ingredients for different flavors.
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Glass of clear ginger wine on a blue mat - Pic by Sarah of TheWingedFork

4. Homemade Currant Wine or Raisin Wine Recipe

The East Indians of Mumbai make this traditional currant wine for Christmas, Easter and other festivities. Here's the recipe with a few personal tweaks.
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Currant wine is ready to drink - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork

East Indian Appetizers Are Different!

5. East Indian Corned Tongue Or Salted Ox Tongue Recipe

The East Indian recipe for corned tongue or salted tongue takes a few days but is delicious and perfect for many dinners and sandwiches.
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Corned tongue slices on a bed of lettuce with a bowl of green chutney.

Breads and More Breads!

6. East Indian Bread – Orias or Varias

For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these doughnut-shaped breads are just delicious. They're especially popular at East Indian weddings and special events.
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Varias pyramid served on a plate.

7. Gluten Free Chitaps or Rice Crepes

East Indian chitaps are a light and fluffy rice crepe that goes well with anything. Abby modified the recipe to make it gluten free for her friends.
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Gluten Free version of Chitaps - TheWingedFork

8. Foogias: Soft East Indian Bread

Foogias are one of the many traditional East Indian varieties of bread. Round, soft and fluffy, they disappear almost as soon as they're placed on the table.
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Ready foogias served in a plate.

9. How to cook yellow (turmeric) rice perfectly?

Rice is a staple food all over India, and is eaten as a main dish with a variety of dals or curries. But yellow rice is tastier and healthier.
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Rice served with coriander and tomatoes.

Mains Contain offal Too!

10. East Indian Stuffed Roast Chicken Recipe

A traditional roast chicken dinner for Sundays or feast days and family gatherings! This one is stuffed with mom's homemade bread liver stuffing.
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Top view of whole Roast Chicken cooking in a vessel with spices and gravy.

11. East Indian Chicken Liver Stuffing

The traditional East Indian stuffing for Christmas meals consist of a chicken liver and bread pudding that's stuffed into the chickens' cavity before roasting. Here's how to make this delicious homemade liver stuffing that's sometimes called a giblet stuffing.
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Chicken liver stuffing on a white plate.

12. East Indian Beef Tongue Roast

The East Indian Beef Tongue Roast is a simple and easy-to-cook recipe using a handful of ingredients. All you need is an hour and a half!
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Beef tongue roast in a vessel with spices.

13. Spicy East Indian Pork Vindaloo Recipe

The Spicy East Indian Vindaloo Recipe dish created by the East Indians of Mumbai, India has been influenced by the Portuguese Carne de Vinha D'Alhos dish.
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East Indian Pork Vindaloo Recipe - By Abby from TheWingedFork

And Who Can Forget The Christmas Dessert Platter!

14. East Indian Bolings for Snacks & Christmas

Bolings are a sweet coconut semolina cookie that is made around Christmas time in most East Indian Catholic households!
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Bolings are ready.

15. Date and Walnut Cake East Indian Style

A delightful cake made of sweet pitted dates and crunchy walnut pieces, the East Indian Date and Walnut Cake is easy to make at home.
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Date and walnut cake on a black surface with some walnuts and dates.

16. Traditional East Indian Vanilla Cream Recipe

Vanilla Cream or Milk Cream is a East Indian dessert made for Christmas every year. It's more lighter than a fudge and melts in your mouth.
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Homemade East Indian Vanilla Cream bites.

17. Carambolas: An East Indian Christmas Kulkul Sweet

Carambolas are a traditional East Indian dessert made around Christmas time. More commonly known as Kulkuls, this sugary frosted treat made by most East Indian Christian households are called carambolas when they're star fruit-shaped.
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Sweet carambola shells in a white bowl.

18. Easy East Indian Walnut Fudge Recipe

The traditional recipe for the East Indian walnut fudge dessert made for Christmas using milk, sugar, and walnuts is gluten-free as well as vegetarian.
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7 pieces of walnut fudge on a white plate with circular designs.

19. East Indian Cashewnut Marzipan Recipe

The East Indian Cashewnut Marzipan is an East Indian Christmas dessert that's moulded into the shapes of Christmas ornaments or fruits and flowers.
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East-Indian-Mass-Pav-or-Marzipan on a black plate.

20. East Indian Thalie Sweet

Thalie Sweet is a traditional East Indian coconut cake usually baked around Christmas Time or for celebrations. But they're perfect for tea time too!
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Diamond shaped Thalie sweet on a black tray.

21. East Indian Date Rolls Recipe

Traditional East Indian date rolls are delicious bites of dates and walnuts wrapped in buttery shortbread-like cookies.
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East Indian Date Rolls are ready - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork

22. East Indian Coconut Cake

This traditional East Indian coconut cake is different from regular coconut cakes. It's dense and moist, and a delight to eat. Traditionally made with fresh coconut, you can also use desiccated coconut.
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A coconut cake log and a coconut cake slice on a black plate.

23. East Indian Guava Cheese

Guava Cheese or Goiabada is a tasty East Indian sweet dish prepared for Christmas time! Both chewy and fudgy, there's a mouthful of Guava in every bite.
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More Guava Cheese on a black serving plate.

24. Dark Fruit Cake for Christmas

East Indian dark fruit cake is so delicious and dense, it will tickle your taste buds. Serve for Christmas lunch or dinner with some great homemade wine.
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Cut the cake into slices and serve on plate.

25. East Indian Bol de Coc | Bolos de Coco | Coconut Cake

Bol De Coc is a traditional East Indian cake with a delicious coconutty taste and a moist crumb, and is the perfect tea time snack!
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Delicious Bol de Coc

26. East Indian (Coconut) Cordial Recipe

Our granny’s recipe for East Indian Coconut Cordial is one of our favorite easy to make traditional Christmas recipes.
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Traditional East Indian Cordial - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork

27. Light Fruit Cake

Light Fruit Cake is a delicious treat for Christmas or even at tea time. So yum and fruity, you won't be able to stop at just one.
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Serve Tooti frooti cake on a plate.

28. East Indian Nankhatai Recipe

Simple and easy to make, the eggless Indian Nankhatai is a perfect treat for Christmas time or any other time of the year!
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Homemade Nankhatai topped with tooti frooti on a black tray.

29. East Indian Bol Lucrecia | East Indian Coconut Pie

Bol Lucrecia is a traditional East Indian Coconut Pie dessert that is moist on the inside and crispy outside. You'll love it as much as lyou love coconuts.
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Bol Lucrecia on a white plate.

What else does your family have on their East Indian Christmas dinner menu? Comment and let me know! And I’ll try to add it to this list soon!

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