Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Magical Christmas Menu

Chicken Ghee Roast
 Christmas will always be Christmas!  No matter what happens to you or where ever you may be this is the time for family, friends, fun, food- lots of it and celebrating the birth of a baby boy who changed the history of the world. "Unto us a child is born, King of all creation, Came He to the world forlorn, The Lord of every nation!"

I always plan my Christmas Menu in advance and have lots of food and everybody's favourites are included in the list.  This year I chose to make Chicken Ghee Roast, a traditional Mangalorean delicacy which is indeed a magical recipe- simple and absolutely delicious.  Chicken Ghee Roast is a favourite in my home town and can be made with any recipe as long as it is cooked in ghee.  I can almost smell it now and I am drooling as I contemplate this special dish.

The Recipe:

1 large chicken ( about 2 kgs), remove skin, joint, wash & drain;

Masala :  1 tbsp masala powder of your choice; 2 tbsp curds; 1 tbsp ginger -garlic paste; salt to taste and 3 tbsp ghee for frying.

Marinade the chicken overnight in the above masala (except the ghee) the refrigerator.  Next day, bring to room temperature and cook for 5 minutes in a covered non stick pan without water.  There is enough water in the chicken to allow it to cook.  Remove the cover and let the water evaporate on a medium flame.   Add the ghee, gently stirring so all the pieces are coated and the gravy begins to thicken.  When the chicken is thick and brown throw in some chopped spring onions.  Remove from fire and cover and keep.  Serve with all the accompaniments as below.

Salads are a blessing to busy housewifes and a quick way to get a lot of vegetables and they always feature heavily at all my parties and feasts.  This year I have made  Christmas Candle Salad, called so because the finished dish resembles a candle of sorts.  I have also made Pineapple Pachdi to go with the Yellow Raisin Rice and two varieties of Seven Layered Salad and of course the inevitable cucumber with strawberries and pineapple.  Enjoy your meal with any of the delicious Christmas Goodies like Christmas Cake, Kalkals or Masala Nuts.  A Magical Christmas Menu Indeed.

Christmas Candle Salad
The Recipe:

1 green zucchini, cut into 5 cm pieces; 1 large tomato, cut into slices and wedges (3 should do); 1 small glass; Herbal Aloe Concentrate for dressing; salt to taste.

Arrange the  zucchini and tomatoes on a plate with the glass in the centre.  See photograph.  Arrange the tomato wedges and a few pieces of zucchini in the glass and pour 3 capfuls of Aloe over.  A crunchy, tasty salad that goes well with Chicken Ghee Roast.

Pineapple Pachdi

This is a surprising recipe that I came across in Malaysia and it goes very well with any kind of flavoured rice and meats.  It is also one that we used to eat as kids by the bottle because it was so yummy.  

The Recipe:

1 semi ripe pineapple, skinned and cubed after removing the core.  1 tsp chilli powder; 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste; 1 medium onion, sliced fine; 1 sprig curry leaves; 1/4 cup white vinegar; 1/4 cup brown sugar; a pinch of mustard and salt to taste; 3 tbsp oil for frying.

Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the mustard.  When it crackles, lower the flame, add the curry leaves and onions and stir fry till onions are golden brown.  Stir in the ginger- garlic and cook till it smells good.  Add the chilli powder, salt, sugar, pineapple cubes and the vinegar along with a cup of water.  Stir it well and then lower flame and cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Keep stirring until thick and gooey.  Add more sugar if required.  Cool and bottle.  Store in the refrigerator and erve with any flavoured rice.

                                                    Cucumber Strawberry Salad
This is a wonderful salad that looks good and I always get remarks about the strawberries whenever I serve it as the green and red colours of Christmas show up to a great advantage.  Takes a jiffy to make and can be eaten very fast as you won't be satisfied with one helping alone.

The Recipe:
1 medium cucumber, washed and sliced very thin; 3 strawberries sliced fine; vinegar and salt to taste; 3 strawberries for garnishing.

Marinade the cucunber in the vinegar and salt to taste for 20 minutes.  Drain in a large strainer.  Mix in the sliced strawberries.  Adjust for seasoning and transfer to a glass bowl.  Garnish with remaining strawberies and serve very cold.

Seven Layered Salad
Seven Layered Salad
This has to be one of the most interesting salads I have made.  I read about it a few years ago and have been waiting to try it out.  All you need is your choice of vegetables, fruits and dressing.  The only time you spend is in cutting the vegetables and you'll be more than rewarded for your efforts.  Makes a great centre piece as well.

The Recipe:

Seven Vegetables and fruits of your choice- I used salad leaves, carrots, green and purple cabbage; red and yellow tomatoes, seedless grapes and red apples which I cubed.  Salad dressing of your choice- 1 cup

Arrange the fruits and vegetables in a large glass bowl carefully maintaining a contrast between each layer.  Pour the dressing over and keep overnight in your refrigerator.  Next day arrange some red and yellow tomatoes on top and be as creative as you can.  Make sure you get a good photograph as you want to record your genius for posterity.  Serve cold.

                                                                                      Yellow Raisin Rice

This is another aromatic preparation reserved for festive occasions.  It is very popular and goes well with any kind of meat especially chicken.  As kids we loved to pick out the raisins and leave the rice.  It is one of my favourites and I was pleasantly surprised to see it featured on so many menus when we came to Malaysia many years ago.

The Recipe:

1 cup rice, washed and drained; 1 tbsp ghee; 2 tbsp raisins, washed and dried; 1/2 tsp turmeric powder; 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste; 1 medium onion sliced fine;1 stick cinnamon and a few cloves;  salt to taste and 2 cups hot water.

Heat the ghee in the non stick pan and fry the spices,  onions and ginger-garlic paste to a golden brown on a medium flame.  Add the rice and gently stir fry until all the grains are coated.  Transfer to rice cooker, add salt to taste and hot water and cook until done.  Serve with all the above dishes.

Enjoy  A Magical Christmas  Menu and may each and everyone be blessed!

Dessert:  Macaroons, Cake or kalkals.  Take your pick



Wind up your meal with Cashew nuts &  Hazelnut Liqueur

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