’Tis the season to be jolly! It is that time of the year when the calories do not count, there is a nip in the air and lots of tasty treats! Christmas is slowly creeping up and nothing is more exciting than Christmas-themed dessert. Every restaurant and bakery in town is working overtime to display their festive desserts, which makes it a very exciting time for dessert lovers. Getting cakes, cupcakes and puddings is easy and almost everything has a Santa or Christmas tree decorated on it. However, that does not really make it a Christmas treat in its truest form. We thought we would dig a little and hunt for some more traditional treats eaten at Christmas – and most importantly of course, where you get them!
Christmas cake – It is the most obvious treat on our list, but it is as important as it is expected. Christmas, in our opinion, is not really Christmas till you have eaten a proper rum-soaked, fruit-infused delicious and decadent cake! Bandra bakeries and almost every place will have these cakes, but the very best ones should be ordered at Celebrations Fine Confections Bakery at Breach Candy. It is, by far, the most extravagant and delicious Christmas cake you will find.
Christmas minced pies – These are special pies that are usually found only around Christmas time. They are like a regular pie stuffed with minced meat, but they also have a generous filling of fruits, suet (animal fat), cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Of course, you get minced meat pies throughout the year, but these have a Christmas vibe with the spices and fruit. It is great fun to make at home, but can get slightly tedious so it is easiest to buy them. Bandra restaurant Villa Vandre has some excellent ones available.
Kalkal – This is really a typical Goan Christmas sweet. It is one of those dishes that is a perfect mix of Portuguese and Indian influence. Kalkal is a fried pastry made with flour, coconut milk and eggs and is coated in powdered sugar. It is made at home and often distributed to guests and neighbours. Again, it is easily available all over Bandra, but you can certainly find it at Mahima Mangalore stores on Hill Road in Bandra.
Guava Cheese – It is an odd name for a dessert, especially when there is not a sliver of cheese in it. To be fair, this is more like a jam or jelly and can be eaten on its own or even added to pies and tarts. It is made with guava pulp and sugar, it is a very well-known dessert that, despite being available all throughout the year, it is relished at Christmas time in Goa and Mumbai. It is best eaten from a local, but you get them all-year round outside Mount Mary Church in Bandra.
Milk Cream – This dessert is a favourite among Goans, and is made every year at Christmas time with great love and excitement. As the name suggests, it is a rich dessert made with milk or, in some cases, condensed milk and dry fruits. Sometimes, the fruits are skipped and it is only condensed milk or regular milk. A combination of milk, sugar, butter and nuts or dry fruits is heated and mixed well, after which it is passed through a mould to give it a little shape. The end result is delicious!
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