Christmas is indeed a time for merriment and what better way to enjoy it than to indulge in delicious, traditional Christmas delights. However, this festive season I decided to not only gobble Christmas sweets but also learn their method of preparation. Thus, the Holly Jolly East Indian Christmas cook-up held by India Food Network and Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal's APB Cook studio at Craft Deli.Bistro.Bar, Mumbai proved the perfect opportunity to do so.
The affable duo of Chef Paul Kinny & his beautiful wife Smita Kinny as well as Chef Tanai Shirali educated attendees about popular Christmas delicacies and also shared accounts around these treats. This was the first time Mrs. & Mr. Kinny were cooking together and it was an absolute pleasure to watch them churn out lip-smacking Christmas goodies like guava cheese, marzipan and milk cream.
While Mrs. Kinny did most of the cooking since crafting these sweets is her forte, Chef Kinny weaved Christmas stories around them.He apprised us about origins of East Indian Catholics, the community's world famous Bottle Masala made from nothing less than 30-40 ingredients and how it is different from the Goan Cafreal masala and also the tradition of receiving 'khuswar' where kids would run up to houses in the neighbourhood post the Christmas mass to collect tasty, traditional sweets from elders.
Immersing ourselves into these anecdotes we learnt three, traditional Christmas sweets delights as under:
Mrs. Kinny also mentioned that the shelf life of the sweets made for Christmas is about a week, just enough to last until the New Year celebrations. Also during this period, the aforementioned sweets should NOT be refrigerated or stored in air tight containers.
While sweets are an integral part of Christmas celebration, beverages too are vital to Christmas festivities. So, Chef Tanai Shirali showcased two, much-loved Christmas concoctions - EGGNOG and MULLED WINE albeit with his own inventive twists to both recipes.
The cook-up concluded with all participants receiving goodie bags complete with scrumptious Christmas sweets prepared during the cook-up as well as a surprise addition of kulkuls - a crispy fried treat of flour, sugar and eggs with the appearance of ridged seashells.
It was indeed a fun, informative cook-up and I had a wonderful time learning and tasting Christmas specialities.
Till then, HAPPY EATING...
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast