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Families that cook together

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time for roast turkeys and chicken to get stuffed.

mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2010 01:13 IST
Aarefa Johari

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time for roast turkeys and chicken to get stuffed.

For most Christian families in the city, whether East Indian, Goan or Manglorean, rich stuffed meat is the highlight of the traditional Christmas dinner that follows midnight mass.

At Annabelle Ferro’s Bandra home, preparing the roast chicken on Christmas Eve is an elaborate but intimate family affair.

“My husband uses his mother’s recipe and stuffs the chicken with bacon, sausage and baby potatoes,” said Ferro, a children’s theatre director whose twin daughters then throw in some wine and stitch up the chicken.

A Goan married to an East Indian, Ferro ensures that her Christmas table is a cultural mix.

While her mother cooks pork sorpotel in spicy Goan style, her mother-in-law fried the fugias, traditional East Indian bread dumplings. The meal usually ends with rum soaked Christmas pudding with brandy flambé.

While roast chicken is not always a part of Aloysius Fernandes’ festive meal, his family spends the day before Christmas elaborately cooking sanah (a rice dish), and sweets such as the flour-based kul-kuls to perad, sweet guava cheese that comes from the Portuguese-Goan tradition.

“A few relatives always come over, and the whole family celebrates together,” said Fernandes, a Marine Lines-resident.

For Grant Road-resident Timothy Gaikwad, ‘family’ extends to several children from the orphanage he runs, who help make traditional biryani for a grand Christmas lunch.

“It is a special recipe that has been passed down the generations and come to my wife, and once a year we come together to prepare it,” said Gaikwad, whose Maharashtrian household is already snacking on the karanjis, chaklis and chivda that defines all festivals.

The Gaikwads, who usually gift home-made Christmas chocolates to their friends, have decided to sell them as ‘LOL’ (Lots of Love) chocolates this year.

“We will charge a nominal rate and use the money to spread the Christmas spirit among underprivileged children,” said Gaikwad.