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While traditional Christmas roasts vary from duck to suckling pig to lamb, we're plumping on the feathered gobbler. French Farm, located near Manesar on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, is the de facto "turkey central". But for those who want their birds a little closer to their nests, French Farm retails its products at The Altitude Store, located in Gurgaon and Mehar Chand market, as well as Tattva in Hauz Khas Village. Meanwhile, Steakhouse in Jor Bagh, which has catered to the Capital's well-heeled as well as diplomatic tribes for more than half a century, sells domestic turkey at Rs. 1,000 a kilo.
However, given that on an average, it takes a full day just to roast the turkey (never mind the other preparations), you can pick up your Christmas lunch from one of the city's several five-star hotels, from Taj Palace to Hyatt Regency. For instance, at the Leela Palace in Chanakyapuri, a roasted 12 kg bird with all the trimmings — including giblet gravy, corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts with glazed chestnuts, waldorf salad, pecan pie, apple pie and a selection of traditional breads — is priced at Rs. 30,000. But this is available only upon advance request.
After gobbling up the turkey and quaffing down the wine, what does one look for? Well, no Christmas celebration is complete without the traditional Christmas cake. You can call it a plumcake, a Christmas pudding or simply what it is — a decadently rich cake studded with copious amounts of wine or rum-soaked fruit peel, nuts and dried fruits (which really aren't that dry after drowning in alcohol for several hours). Wenger's, the habitue of Delhi's pastry fetishists, provides its patrons with a cornucopia of Christmas cakes, with or without icing and with or without plums, in a variety of sizes. While the small Christmas Cake costs Rs. 520, the extra large one will set you back by Rs. 1,400. For those who don't mind spending a few extra bucks, the folks at The Imperial's bakery are serving both the Fruit Cake and the Plum Pudding at Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,600 respectively.
Just in case you're looking for more variety in desserts, you can also pick up a Yule Log from bakeries and confectionaries across the city. Traditionally meaning a very large and solid log that is burned in the hearth to warm one's bones during Christmas, Yule Log also refers to a Christmas dessert of French origin. While the Wenger's version is for Rs. 720, the one by Bread & More, which features three layers of chocolate and a raspberry filling, costs Rs. 600 a kilo.
What better way to wash down all that protein with a glass of toasty warm mulled wine. While brewed for practically every religious holiday in Europe, the centuries-old fortified wine is especially welcome during Christmas. Chef Saby of Olive Bar & Kitchen, Delhi, gives the low-down on brewing the perfect mulled wine:
Red Wine 1 bottle
Cointreau 60 ml
Brandy 90 ml
Orange Juice 200 ml
Sugar 100 gms
Cinnamon 30 gms
Cloves 20 gms
Star Anise 20 gms
Orange Rind 1 orange
Preparation time: Three minutes
Cooking time: Three hours
Method: Boil the spice and orange rind in water until the flavour is extracted. Add the red wine and sugar, and bring the whole mix to the boiling-point. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg, star anis and cinnamon. Any kind of wine may be mulled, and the latter requires a very large proportion of sugar. The vessel that the wine is boiled in must be delicately cleaned, and should be kept exclusively for the purpose.
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