Indian Christmas Menu Ideas

Times like Christmas are made even more special by the foods we love. These are usually things our mothers or grandmothers made when we were growing up. Most of us continue to cook and serve these dishes at our own tables on festive occasions, adding a couple of our own. None of these have to be "fancy" or especially difficult to prepare so they can qualify. It's the memories of the happy times spent sharing them that make them desirable!

  • 01 of 14
    Mutton Biryani in a White Bowl
    Ravsky / Getty Images

    A regal dish, Mughlai Biryani is fit for a king and was probably eaten by many too! This makes the perfect one-dish meal for when you have company. It combines ingredients typical to the Mughlai style of cooking.

  • 02 of 14
    veg pulao , indian food
    Zohaib Hussain Getty Images

    This tasty rice dish is a classic at North Indian meals. It gets its name from the Yakhni (meat stock) it is cooked in. I like to serve Yakhni Pulao with just a simple vegetable raita but you can go all out and add a curry dish too.

  • 03 of 14
    Idli, Chutney & Sambar
    RajeshNarayan / Getty Images

    This typically coastal Indian food is eaten with curries, stir-fries and even on its own. There's nothing like warm, soft and fluffy to go with a Pork Vindaloo or Sorpatel!

  • 04 of 14
    Pork Vindaloo
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    Hot and tangy, this dish is from the heart of beautiful Goa on India's western coast. Eat it with plain boiled rice or Jeera Rice and a leafy green salad.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14
    Nargisi Kofta in Gravy
    Nargisi Kofta in Gravy. Pepper Garlic Kitchen/ Wikimedia Commons / CC By 4.0

    This dish sounds exotic and tastes it too! Add it to a dinner party menu and friends will think you slaved to prepare it for them. In truth, Nargisi Kofta is fairly simple to make.

  • 06 of 14
    Plate with tasty chicken tikka masala and rice, closeup
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    The word Tikka means pieces or bits. Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious dish in which pre-marinated pieces of chicken are grilled and then added to a thick creamy gravy. The result is a lovely smokey flavor. Serve Chicken Tikka Masala with hot Naans (leavened Tandoor-baked flatbread).

  • 07 of 14
    Tandoori Chicken
    Sam+Yvonne / Getty Images

    Among the most famous Indian foods, Tandoori Chicken is loved by people the world over. The nicest thing about this dish though is that it's really easy to make!

  • 08 of 14
    Mughlai Chicken
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    This is a dish for special occasions - not for any other reason except that it is rich! Its mild, thick, creamy gravy is inspired by the food of Central Asia and came to India during the rule of the famous Mughal dynasty. Cook and eat it and you will feel like royalty yourself!

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14
    Chicken manchurian / chilli chicken, red hot and spicy curry Mumbai Indian.
    santhosh_varghese / Getty Images

    From Tamilnadu in South India, Chettinad Chicken is a fiery curry. There's no reason why you can't reduce the chilis to suit your own palate though. Chettinad Chicken tastes great with parathas (pan-fried flatbread) or rice.

  • 10 of 14
    Malai Prawn
    Lauri Patterson/ Getty Images

    This creamy prawn curry is a north Indian delicacy. Serve it with Jeera Rice.

  • 11 of 14
    Malai Kofta - Classic north Indian dish with Paneer potato balls tossed in rich tomato cream base gravy
    vm2002 / Getty Images

    A dish for special occasions, Malai Kofta is the vegetarian alternative to meatballs. It goes very well with naans (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Jeera Rice.

  • 12 of 14
    palak paneer
    Zohaib Hussain / Getty Images

    Another hot favorite North Indian dish! This mildly flavored dish is super healthy too. If Paneer is not on hand or you want a dairy-free option you can also use tofu or veggies like cauliflower or potato.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14
    matar paneer masala - an indian cuisine
    prabhjits / Getty Images

    Made with mutter (peas) and paneer (cottage cheese), Mutter Paneer is probably the most frequently ordered dish in Indian restaurants. Make it in your home and you've got a sure crowd pleaser!

  • 14 of 14
    Indian Cuisine Vegetarian Dal
    joannatkaczuk / Getty Images

    Kaali Daal is also known as Ma Ki Daal (mom's lentils) since it is wholesome and delicious! Another popular name for it is Daal Makkhani. Serve Kaali Daal/ Daal Makkhani with a vegetable side dish and Naans (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Butter Chicken and Naans.