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Indian Christmas Dinner Ideas to Spice Up the Holiday Feast

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Tired of the same old Christmas dinner every year? Want to add some spice to your holiday feast? Look no further than Indian cuisine, with its bold flavors and aromatic spices. In this blog post, we will guide you through an Indian-inspired Christmas feast from start to finish. From setting the table with traditional Indian decorations to choosing the perfect starters, main course, vegetarian delights, seafood dishes, bread basket, side dishes, desserts and drinks that will bring warmth and flavor to your dinner party. We will also give you tips on cooking Indian food for Christmas and share traditional Christmas dishes from different regions in India. So why not try something new this year and impress your guests with a unique and delicious Indian Christmas feast!

Indian Christmas Dinner Ideas to Spice Up the Holiday Feast

Indian Christmas Dinner Ideas to Spice Up the Holiday Feast

Table of Contents

Setting the Christmas Table: Indian Style

Setting a festive table for Christmas dinner is an important part of creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for your guests. By incorporating traditional Indian elements into your Christmas table decor, you can add a touch of vibrancy and cultural richness to your holiday feast. Let’s explore some traditional Indian Christmas decorations that will set the stage for a festive Indian-inspired dinner.

Traditional Indian Christmas Decorations

To embrace the vibrancy of Indian culture, consider incorporating Rangoli floor art into your Christmas table decor. Rangoli is a traditional Indian art form where intricate patterns are created on the floor using colored powders, rice, or flower petals. These colorful designs not only add a festive touch but also symbolize good luck and prosperity.

Another way to bring a traditional Indian touch to your Christmas table is by using torans or door hangings. Torans are decorative pieces made of fabrics, beads, or flowers that are hung above the main entrance of a house for festive occasions. Incorporate a beautiful toran into your Christmas table decor to add a splash of color and a festive vibe.

For a more natural and traditional touch, consider using mango leaves, marigold flowers, and banana leaves as decorations. Mango leaves are considered auspicious in Indian culture, and they are often used for festive decorations. Adorn your table with a garland of fresh mango leaves for a traditional Christmas touch. Marigold flowers, known for their vibrant orange and yellow hues, are a common sight during Indian festivals, including Christmas. Use fresh marigold flowers to create a festive centerpiece or table runner. Banana leaves, a staple in Indian cuisine, can also be used as a table runner or as a base for serving dishes, adding a rustic touch to your Christmas table.

To complete the traditional Indian Christmas table decor, consider using brass or copper utensils for a classic Indian look. These utensils not only add a touch of elegance but also reflect the rich culinary heritage of India. You can use brass or copper plates, bowls, and glasses for a traditional Christmas feast.

In addition, incorporating intricate Indian brass or wooden carvings into your table decor can add a sense of artistry and craftsmanship to your Christmas dinner. Look for small statues, figurines, or decorative pieces that showcase the beauty of Indian craftsmanship and place them strategically on your table for a touch of classic India.

By embracing these traditional Indian Christmas decorations, you can create a festive and culturally rich atmosphere for your holiday feast, setting the stage for a memorable and unique Christmas dinner experience.

Using Indian Spices for a Holiday Aroma

One of the hallmarks of Indian cuisine is the use of aromatic spices that add depth, flavor, and a festive aroma to dishes. By incorporating these spices into your Christmas dinner recipes, you can infuse your holiday feast with a delightful Indian fragrance that will tantalize the senses of your guests. Let’s explore some of the Indian spices that can add a holiday aroma to your Christmas dinner.

  • Infuse the air with the scents of cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, which are commonly used in Indian cuisine. These warm, fragrant spices can be added to dishes like roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even a festive apple cider for a touch of Christmas cheer.
  • Create a holiday aroma with the fragrance of roasted cumin and fennel seeds. These seeds, when roasted, release a warm, earthy scent that can be used to season roasted vegetables, stuffings, or even a holiday cocktail.
  • Utilize the warm, earthy scent of turmeric for a festive atmosphere. Turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice, is not only known for its health benefits but also for its aromatic properties. Add a pinch of turmeric to dishes like mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, or even a festive cocktail for a touch of Indian warmth.
  • Incorporate the sweet, floral aroma of saffron for a delightful holiday fragrance. Saffron, a prized spice in Indian cuisine, adds a unique flavor and aroma to dishes. Infuse saffron into desserts like rice pudding, custards, or even a festive cocktail for a touch of luxury and exoticism.
  • Introduce the pungent, aromatic notes of mustard seeds for a unique holiday aroma. Mustard seeds, commonly used in Indian pickles and curries, have a strong, pungent aroma that can add a festive touch to dishes like roasted brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, or even a holiday sauce.

By incorporating these aromatic Indian spices into your Christmas dinner recipes, you can create a festive holiday aroma that will transport your guests to the vibrant streets of India, adding a unique and memorable touch to your holiday feast.

Choosing the Perfect Indian Christmas Starters

A festive Christmas dinner is incomplete without a selection of delicious appetizers to kick off the meal. When it comes to Indian Christmas starters, there’s a whole range of mouthwatering dishes to choose from. Whether you prefer seafood, vegetarian delights, or classic Indian flavors, we have some appetizer recipes that will surely impress your guests. Let’s explore a couple of recipes for a tangy shrimp cocktail and crispy vegetable samosas, perfect for a festive Indian-inspired Christmas dinner.

Tangy Tamarind Shrimp Cocktail

Impress your dinner guests with a festive cocktail recipe that offers a unique twist on holiday appetizers. Juicy shrimp mixed with tangy tamarind sauce, fresh herbs, and spices create a quick, gluten-free dish ideal for busy holiday preparations. The sweet and sour taste is sure to be a hit, suitable for various dietary restrictions.

Crispy Vegetable Samosas

Enhance your holiday dinner with a prime rib alongside crispy vegetable samosas. These samosas, filled with spiced vegetables, offer a flavorful blend of classic and Indian cuisine. Serve them with chutney for an authentic experience, perfect for Christmas eve or dinner guests. Make ahead and bake just before serving for maximum convenience.

Main Course: Adding an Indian Twist to Classic Christmas Roasts

The main course of a Christmas dinner is often a roasted turkey, ham, or beef, but why not add a touch of Indian flavor and spice to these classic dishes? By infusing traditional Christmas roasts with Indian seasonings, herbs, and spices, you can create a main course that will excite your guests’ taste buds and take them on a culinary journey through India. Let’s explore a selection of recipes for a spiced maple-glazed ham with coriander, tandoori roast turkey, biryani-stuffed chicken, and Chettinad style roast lamb, all of which will add a delicious Indian twist to classic Christmas roasts.

Spiced Maple-Glazed Ham with Coriander

Infuse your holiday dinner with bold flavors by adding Indian spices to the classic maple-glazed ham. The coriander in the glaze adds a fresh, herbaceous note, complementing the warmth of cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Elevate the dish with spiced rice pilaf and traditional sides for a festive Christmas feast. Serve up a unique twist on a holiday classic.

Tandoori Roast Turkey

Elevate your holiday dinner with a Tandoori Roast Turkey, marinated in yogurt, spices, and citrus for aromatic flavors. Serve with traditional sides and repurpose leftovers for Indian-inspired dishes. This festive main course introduces guests to the vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine, making your Christmas dinner table a memorable one.

Biryani Stuffed Chicken

Impress your holiday dinner guests with a fusion dish that combines classic flavors and Indian spices. The Biryani Stuffed Chicken, stuffed with biryani rice, vegetables, and spices, is a versatile centerpiece for your Christmas dinner table. Customize it to suit your taste and dietary preferences, and elevate your holiday feast with this unique and flavorful dish.

Chettinad Style Roast Lamb

Add some heat and spice to your holiday dinner with Chettinad Style Roast Lamb, a spicy and flavorful dish. Made with aromatic spices like peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon, the lamb is marinated in yogurt, ginger, and curry leaves. Perfect with rice, bread, or roasted vegetables, this dish adds an Indian twist to your Christmas feast.

Vegetarian Delights: Indian Flavours for a Plant-Based Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be centered around meat dishes. If you’re looking for vegetarian options to delight your guests, Indian cuisine has a wide array of flavorful and festive dishes to offer. From creamy paneer dishes to aromatic biryanis, let’s explore a couple of recipes for a shahi paneer lasagna and a vegetable biryani with saffron rice, perfect for a plant-based Christmas dinner with a touch of Indian flavor.

Shahi Paneer Lasagna

A delightful fusion of Italian and Indian cuisine, Shahi Paneer Lasagna is a festive holiday dinner option suitable for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. This hearty dish comprises layers of pasta, rich tomato sauce, and spiced paneer cheese, with a unique twist from Indian spices like garam masala and cumin. Customizable with additional vegetables, it’s a sure crowd-pleaser.

Vegetable Biryani with Saffron Rice

A classic Indian dish, Vegetable Biryani is made with aromatic spices and saffron-infused rice. This vegetarian option can be customized for individual preferences and dietary restrictions. Typically, it includes a mix of vegetables such as peas, carrots, potatoes, and onions. The addition of saffron rice brings a luxurious flavor and aroma to the biryani, making it a perfect addition to any holiday dinner.

Seafood for Christmas: Indian Inspired Dishes

If you’re a seafood lover, why not incorporate Indian-inspired dishes into your Christmas dinner menu? India’s coastal regions are known for their bountiful seafood dishes, brimming with bold flavors, aromatic spices, and fresh ingredients. Let’s explore a couple of recipes for a Goan-style Christmas prawn curry and a Kerala fish fry with a Christmas twist, perfect for a Christmas dinner feast with a taste of India’s coastal cuisine.

Goan Style Christmas Prawn Curry

Adding a flavorful and aromatic touch to your holiday dinner, the Goan Style Christmas Prawn Curry combines coconut milk, spices, and fresh prawns for a hearty meal. Reflecting Indian and Portuguese influences, this dish is a perfect way to incorporate seafood and spice into your Christmas feast. Serve with rice or bread and delight your dinner guests with this classic dish.

Kerala Fish Fry with a Christmas Twist

Elevate your holiday dinner with a Christmas twist to the classic Kerala fish fry. Experiment with seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for a unique flavor. Pair different fish types with naan bread, rice, and chutneys for a complete meal. Spice up your Christmas dinner with this delightful southern Indian dish.

Indian Bread Basket: Perfect Accompaniment to Your Christmas Dinner

Enhancing your Christmas feast with an Indian bread basket adds flair. From flaky naan to crispy papadums, the variety is sure to please. Pairing perfectly with prime rib and slow cooker curries, this assortment elevates your holiday dinner table. Spice up your Christmas eve or christmas day spread with this delightful addition.

Garlic Naan

Indulge in the aromatic delight of garlic naan, an Indian flatbread infused with garlic and herbs. This versatile bread complements curries and tandoori meats perfectly. Whether made in a traditional tandoor oven or on a stovetop, it offers a delicious alternative to regular dinner rolls and breadsticks. Elevate your holiday dinner with this homemade treat.

Peshawari Roti

Enhance your holiday dinner with the delightful addition of Peshawari roti, a traditional Indian flatbread with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Pair it with spicy curries or rich gravies to elevate your Christmas dinner table. Easy to make at home, this roti adds a unique and flavorful twist to your festive meal.

Tandoori Paratha

Tandoori Paratha, a popular Indian bread, is made with whole wheat flour and yogurt. Cooked in a tandoor oven, it gets a crispy texture and smoky flavor. This versatile bread pairs well with various Indian dishes like curries, kebabs, and biryanis, making it a great addition to any holiday dinner. Homemade Tandoori Paratha can be prepared using a regular oven or stovetop.

Side Dishes: Elevating Your Christmas Dinner with Indian Spices

Elevate your Christmas feast with Indian-inspired side dishes that add a flavorful twist. From aromatic butternut squash with creamy sauce to spicy garlic bread, these dishes will delight your dinner guests. Don’t forget the festive cocktail or sweet potato casserole for a holiday classic. Embrace the merry Christmas spirit with these delectable additions to your Christmas dinner table.

Masala Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Elevate your holiday dinner with Masala Roasted Brussels Sprouts, featuring a blend of Indian spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Roasting brings out natural sweetness and adds a crispy texture. Easily made vegan, this dish is a unique addition to any festive meal.

Turmeric and Honey Glazed Carrots

Adding a vibrant twist to traditional roasted carrots, turmeric and honey glazed carrots boast anti-inflammatory properties from turmeric and balanced sweetness from honey. Packed with nutrients like vitamin A and fiber, this dish is a convenient, flavorful addition to any holiday dinner. The vibrant yellow color of turmeric complements the natural sweetness of the carrots, creating an impressive festive side dish.

Indian Inspired Christmas Desserts

Get ready to impress your dinner guests with delectable Indian-inspired Christmas desserts. From creamy kulfi to decadent gulab jamun, these sweet treats are perfect for adding a touch of spice to your holiday spread. Embrace the festive spirit with luscious flavors of saffron, cardamom, and rose water, making Christmas dinner an unforgettable experience.

Gajar Ka Halwa Cheesecake

Indulge in a festive fusion dessert with Gajar Ka Halwa Cheesecake, blending traditional Indian flavors with a creamy Western delight. Impress your holiday dinner guests with the rich taste of carrot halwa, cream cheese, and graham crackers. Prepare in advance for a stress-free Christmas day treat, customizable to accommodate various dietary preferences and restrictions.

Rose and Cardamom Panna Cotta

Infusing Indian flavors into the classic Italian dessert, panna cotta, brings a unique twist. The delicate floral flavors of rose and cardamom perfectly complement spicy Indian dishes, making it an ideal conclusion to a holiday dinner. This creamy dessert can be prepared in advance, allowing more time to celebrate with loved ones.

Adding Indian Warmth to Your Christmas Drinks

Spice up your Christmas drinks with festive cocktails like pomegranate seeds, a holiday classic. Infuse warmth into your beverages with flavors of apple cider and balsamic vinegar, perfect for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day gatherings. Impress your dinner guests with a creamy sauce or a touch of maple syrup in your drinks. Cheers to a merry Christmas!

Masala Chai Eggnog

Elevate your holiday dinner with the unique and warming flavors of masala chai eggnog. The blend of cinnamon and cardamom in masala chai adds complexity to this festive drink, perfect for serving warm or cold. Customize it to suit individual preferences and treat your dinner guests to a flavorful and creamy experience.

Spiced Mulled Wine with Star Anise

Spiced mulled wine with star anise creates a delightful holiday atmosphere with its warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. The addition of star anise adds a unique and complex flavor to the wine, giving it a festive touch. This versatile drink can be enjoyed with Indian appetizers or made non-alcoholic for everyone to enjoy.

The Leftovers: Indian Style

Transforming the leftovers into flavorful Indian dishes can be a delightful way to extend the festive dining experience. Consider using the prime rib to create succulent curry or adding brown sugar to sweeten the Christmas ham leftovers. Leftover roast chicken can be reinvented with aromatic spices and creamy sauce to bring forth a whole new dining experience for the family.

Curry Turkey Salad Sandwich

Give your leftover turkey a taste of India with a flavorful curry salad. Combine shredded turkey and crunchy veggies like red onion and bell pepper. Add traditional Indian spices such as cumin and turmeric to the salad dressing. Serve the curry salad on naan bread for a unique twist or as a wrap with lettuce. Enjoy a delicious and exotic way to savor your holiday leftovers.

Spicy Lamb Vindaloo Using Leftover Roast

Transform your holiday roast into a delectable Spicy Lamb Vindaloo, a classic Indian dish. Customize the spiciness to your liking using ginger, garlic, and vinegar. This flavorful meal breathes new life into leftovers, creating a festive fusion of Indian and traditional flavors. Serve with rice or naan for a merry Christmas dinner table.

Tips for Cooking Indian Food for Christmas

When preparing an Indian Christmas dinner, consider popular dishes like slow-cooked prime rib or flavorful pork shoulder. Incorporate festive ingredients such as pomegranate seeds and maple syrup for a holiday twist. Try making traditional dishes like sweet potato casserole or creamy green bean casserole with a modern touch, using fresh herbs and a festive cocktail to complement the meal.

Essential Indian Spices for Your Christmas Kitchen

Infuse your holiday dishes with the exotic aromas of traditional Indian spices to enhance the festive flavors of Christmas. Stock up on essential Indian spices for a flavorful and aromatic holiday meal, elevating your Christmas recipes. Create a Christmas feast infused with the rich and warm flavors of Indian spices, bringing a touch of India to your Christmas dinner table.

Perfecting the Art of Indian Gravies

Elevate your holiday dishes with luxurious and exotic Indian gravies for a festive Christmas meal. Master the art of preparing rich, flavorful, and aromatic gravies, adding depth and richness to your Christmas dishes. Explore techniques for creating authentic Indian gravies that will delight your dinner guests.

Traditional Indian Christmas Dishes from Different Regions

Exploring the diverse flavors of Traditional Indian Christmas Dishes from Different Regions offers a culinary adventure. Indulge in flavorful prime rib from the North, or savour succulent pork roast from the East. From aromatic garlic bread to creamy sauces and festive cocktails, each region brings its unique spin to the Christmas dinner table.

Christmas Feast in Goa: Sorpotel and Bebinca

Experience the bold and aromatic essence of a Goan Christmas through Sorpotel. Delight in the decadent layers of Bebinca, a classic Goan festive dessert. Embrace the vibrant flavors of Goan Christmas cuisine with these traditional dishes, adding an exotic touch to your holiday feast.

A Kerala Christmas: Duck Roast and Plum Cake

Experience the fragrant allure of Kerala’s renowned Duck Roast, celebrating the festive spirit with succulent flavors. Delight in the sweetness of authentic Kerala Plum Cake, a holiday classic offering decadent indulgence. Immerse yourself in the rich culinary heritage of Kerala, celebrating Christmas with exquisite delicacies that embody tradition and flavor.

Christmas in North India: Rum Pudding and Chicken Biryani

Experience the festive warmth of North Indian Christmas traditions with classic Rum Pudding and aromatic Chicken Biryani. Embrace the rich essence of North Indian cuisine and celebrate the festival with indulgent flavors. Delight in the festive spirit of North India with these traditional dishes.

Making Indian Christmas Sweets

Explore the rich tradition of Indian Christmas sweets for a truly festive culinary experience. Indulge in a wide variety of sweet treats enjoyed during Christmas in India, adding a unique touch to your holiday dessert spread. Discover the cultural significance behind these sweets and delight your guests with a memorable Indian dessert menu this Christmas.

Kulkul, a Goan Christmas Delicacy

Kulkul, a Goan Christmas Delicacy, is a fried sweet snack made of flour, sugar, and coconut milk. The dough is rolled into small, curly shapes resembling shells or horns and flavored with cardamom. Traditionally served during the Christmas season in Goa, India, Kulkuls make a great addition to any holiday dessert table and can be enjoyed with tea or coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a Christmas dinner include?

A Christmas dinner typically includes a variety of main dishes like turkey, ham, or roast beef. Along with the main dish, side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and vegetables are commonly served. Don’t forget to add some festive desserts like fruitcake, pies, and cookies, as well as drinks like eggnog or mulled wine to complete the holiday feast.

How can I plan a Christmas dinner on a budget?

Planning a budget-friendly Christmas dinner can be easy. Create a menu using simple, affordable ingredients and consider making dishes from scratch. Shop at budget-friendly stores or markets for ingredients. To save on costs, ask guests to bring a dish or contribute to the meal.

Are there any traditional Christmas dishes from other countries that I can incorporate into my menu?

Yes, you can incorporate traditional Christmas dishes from other countries into your menu. Popular options include Italian panettone, German stollen, Swedish meatballs, and French bouche de Noel. Experiment with different recipes to add a unique and flavorful touch to your Christmas dinner.

What are some delicious dessert ideas for Christmas dinner?

Some delectable dessert ideas for Christmas dinner in India include Gulab Jamun, Kheer, and Ras Malai. You can also get creative with fusion desserts like a Christmas-themed Gulab Jamun trifle or a spiced fruitcake with Indian flavors. For a lighter option, serve fresh fruit with a drizzle of honey and spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Add festive flair with edible gold leaf or colorful sprinkles.


In conclusion, adding an Indian touch to your Christmas dinner can bring a unique and flavorful experience to your holiday feast. From traditional decorations to aromatic spices, there are numerous ways to infuse Indian flavors into your dishes. Whether you’re a seafood lover, vegetarian, or enjoy classic roasts, there are plenty of options to choose from. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with delicious Indian bread and elevate your side dishes with the richness of Indian spices. And for the perfect ending, indulge in Indian-inspired desserts and warm Christmas drinks. With these ideas, you can create a memorable and festive Indian Christmas dinner that will spice up your holiday season.

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