11 Popular Indian Christmas Food


Are you a Christian in India and you’re wondering what food to have during Christmas? Look no further, this article will highlight most of the Indian Christmas food you need to know. India is a beautiful place known for it’s curries around the world.

There are different Indian Christmas food including mutton cutlets, tharavu roast, mutton stew, coconut toddy, pork vindalo, palappam, Kerala’s neyyappam, Nagaland’s smoked pork and zutho and many more.

India has always been a place that sparks a lot of curiosity. With a percentage of 2.3 out of the 1.4 billion human population, Indian cuisines have evolved. Unlike before the 52 A.D., India has more Christians. The entry of Christianity also brought about the existence of Indian Christmas food.

Types Of Indian Christmas Food

Indian Christmas food can either be a traditional meal or a blend of different countries’ cuisines. The origin of Indian Christmas food began at the Malabar coast. It is a place popularly known as one the most cosmopolitan regions of India. And as such, trade and commerce grew there and also attracted many more travelers.

The blending of different cultures and the entry of Christianity gave birth to what we know as Indian Christmas food. Let’s go on to discuss them one after the other.

1. Mutton Cutlets


Mutton cutlets is one of the Indian Christmas food that is best eaten for breakfast. It is served alongside teas in almost all the tea shops in Kerala. Also known as kheema croquettes, the mutton cutlets are made from a variety of meat, either chicken, lamb or fish. Which is mixed with ginger, garlic, garam masala, potatoes, chilis and onions. Then it is molded into patties and bathed in eggs before being fried in shallow oil.

The Mutton cutlets are crunchy and crispy on the surface but very soft and smooth on the inside. This allows you to enjoy it so much, as it doesn’t give your teeth a lot of work.

2. Tharavu Roast

Tharavu roast, also referred to as duck roast, is one Indian Christmas food you should try. It is not just tasty but it is so soft that you wish it never finished in your mouth. This is one of the meals served in special events like weddings. It’s almost unimaginable for traditional Indian homes not to rear ducks. Therefore, there is always a supply of fresh duck meat during the holiday season.

The fresh duck meat is chopped into medium-sized pieces and mixed with ingredients like shallots, coriander powder, cinnamon, black pepper, coconut oil, and curry leaves. It is cooked in a wide but shallow pot known as the urali. Where it is left to boil slowly with low heat while being stirred from time to time till it is cooked properly.

The Tharavu roast is so soft and tasty, with a very rich flavor. You might be tempted to wonder if the duck meat can be substituted for chicken while maintaining the same taste and flavor. Well, the answer is yes and no. You can substitute the duck meat with chicken but you cannot get the same flavor and taste. This is because duck meat’s taste is different and can be enhanced with the use of coconut oil. The case is different when chicken is used.

3. Mutton Stew

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Mutton stew, also known as ishtew, is one of the lightly flavored Indian Christmas food. It is usually eaten as breakfast in Christian homes on Sunday mornings. It is preferably eaten alongside rice hoppers. It is made with beans, green peas, carrots, and whole spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. It is often eaten with a glass of freshly squeezed coconut milk by the side. Giving it a whole lot of nutrition-filled elegance.

Mutton stew is usually made with lamb meat but can be made with chicken or gamey mutton.

4. Coconut Toddy

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Coconut toddy is one of the natural beverages among Indian Christmas food. It is made entirely of the sweet nectar of the coconut palm. The sap of the coconut palm is extracted very early in the morning. It is deliciously sweet at that time but ferments as the day goes on. It has a very short lifespan because it turns acidic before night falls. Therefore, it is mostly taken in the morning and afternoon.

The over fermented coconut toddy is referred to as coconut vinegar. Which is used as a natural leavening agent. It is used in preparing appam or rice hoppers, giving them a tart, sweet taste.

5. Pork Vindalo

Pork vindalo is one of the Indian Christmas food that is made with pork meat. It’s so popular that it can be found in all Indian restaurants across the globe. It is made with a base of tomatoes and other spices mixed up into a gravy. The pork meat is chopped into small pieces and parboiled before being added to the curry. The pork vindalo is incomplete without the addition of coconut vinegar.

The coconut vinegar gives this spicy dish an umami flavor and leaves a tangy aftertaste. This dish can be enjoyed with rice or appams. One interesting thing about the pork vindalo is that it gets better as it ages, just like wine. It has a rich, meaty taste after being reheated for two to three days.

6. Palappam

Palappam is a type of bread that can be eaten with all kinds of Indian curry. It is sometimes referred to as rice hoppers. It is made from rice flour, coconut milk, coconut toddy or baking soda. It is usually prepared in an iron-cast pan, also known as appam chatti.

It is mainly eaten as breakfast and although it can be paired with any curry, it is best eaten with spicy fish curry. Even spicy coconut gravy goes well with it. Some people even prefer to eat Palappam with freshly made coconut milk or as motteappam.

For preservation, Palappam is best preserved in the refrigerator as it can ferment. The reason for it’s fermentation is due to the presence of coconut milk in it’s dough. The taste of the Palappam becomes sour after fermentation and not everyone likes sour bread.

7. Kerala’s Neyyappam

Kerala’s neyyappam, just like Palappam, is one of the flour-made Indian Christmas food. It is made from a combination of all-purpose flour, maida, also known as rice flour, grated coconut, jaggery, otherwise known as sugar and cardamom. This delicacy is also referred to as rice cake and it is mostly eaten during festive periods like Christmas.

Neyyappam is crispy on the outside but so fluffy and soft on the inside. Just one taste will keep you asking for more.

8. Beef Fry

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Although not all parts of India eat meat for religious reasons, the southern part of the country has a long history with beef. The beef fry is not just the mere frying of beef; it’s a whole lot more than that. Before chopping the beef, a curry made with different species is made as a base for the beef. These spices are grounded together and roasted in coconut oil to give it a very unique taste. Then the beef is chopped and added to the curry. Using a hard-bottomed pot, the beef is cooked slowly with shallots and some dry coconuts.

The aftermath of the beef is a chewy, spicy and aromatic dish that melts in your mouth.

9. Nagaland’s Smoked Pork With Zutho

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Christmas in India is not complete without a plate of smoked pork and a chilled glass of zutho. To make this delicious Indian Christmas food, pork is dried first before being smoked. To smoke the pork, there is a careful selection of wood. This extreme care is taken because the type and quality of wood would determine, to an extent, the flavor of the pork.

The pork is usually smoked in an open fire and it is a flavorful dish eaten alongside Zutho. Zutho is a drink made from fermented rice. It’s taste depends on the length of the fermentation process. It can either be sweet or sour.

10. Gongura Mutton

Gongura mutton is one of the traditional Indian Christmas food you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The gongura Mutton is made up of goat meat, gongura leaves and a mix of different aromatic spices. Spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger, garlic powder, and coriander powder. These spices give the curry a unique sour taste and a very rich flavor.

The gongura mutton is best eaten with rice, Indian bread like roti or naan and biryani.

11. Manipur’s Nga Atobia Thongba

Nga Atobia Thongba is a very popular Indian Christmas food. It is a traditional Manipuri fish curry. It has an age-long history of uniting people together and gives a sense of inclusiveness. It is one food that people like eating together. ‘Nga’ is a Manipuri word for fish, ‘Atobia’ refers to hot chili; and ‘Thonga’ means curry or stew. It often cooked with bamboo shoots and eaten with rice.


Indian Christmas food is always something to look forward to. As diverse and unique each part of India is, food seems to be the unifying factor. With rich flavors and mildly flavored meals, Indian cuisine has always juggled our palettes and doesn’t intend to stop. Try any Indian Christmas food and send me your feedback.



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