There’s a nip in the Kolkata air and that can mean only one thing, Christmas is around the corner. The latest pop songs to Christmas carols, and people humming along while getting their lists together: cake, presents, trees and lights, menus for family lunch or dinner. Food ends up being the centrepiece of every festival celebrated in Kolkata, and Christmas is no exception to this. From the fruit cake to rose cookies, homemade wine and traditional lunches and dinners, Christmas in Kolkata is a wide range of culinary delights.
Many people rely on the local breadman and his ready-made cakes, most Anglo-Indian families prefer to make their own; that is to say, they mix the ingredients at home and then take the mix down to the local bakery for baking. Besides the traditional fruit cake, other Chrismassy musts are kull-kulls, rose cookies, homemade wine, and salted beef. As said, there was a time when most families would make these dishes at home but now that is rare as people find it difficult and very time consuming to make these sweets and prepare food at home. In fact, people nowadays bring all of the sweets readymade or order it from their local market as they feel that it saves them from the chaos and hustle.
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People are likely to find kofta curry and yellow rice with three different types of vindaloo and some kind of roasted stuffing. Anglo-Indians get more traditional if they are going for a fancy dinner. There will be at least a couple of roasts. Turkey and duck are cooked, but they are hard to cook and a bit over budget so many people go for chicken instead. Stuffing made from liver and gizzard is a must, with dollops of garlic butter, parsley and dill. One can go crazy with the salads. From Russian to parsley potato (tossed with bits of crispy bacon, and the bacon oil goes in as well) to potato and mayonnaise with juicy pineapple bits and finely chopped green peppers, and even fresh salad on a bed of lettuce. All this rounded off with soft bread rolls. Anglo-Indians definitely know how to be merry on Christmas day.