In every Anglo-Indian household, the sweet scent of cardamom and the sound of wrapping paper marks the arrival of Christmas. Rooted in a history spanning 500 years, this community’s traditions are embedded in cherished recipes passed down through generations. Despite the richness of their heritage, the Anglo-Indian community is experiencing a decline in numbers, casting a shadow over their distinctive Christmas celebrations. This year, Social Nation would like to celebrate the traditional recipes that the community swears by and you could enjoy too! We curated a list of the yummiest Indian Christmas recipes we found on YouTube that would make your holiday simply jolly.

Certain recipes hold a special place. Kuswar is a plate of sweets and snacks enjoyed during Christmas among Christians in the Konkan region. In Goa and Karnataka, 22 recipes form this unique plate. In Bombay, East Indian Catholics celebrate Koswad, a dinner that symbolizes the spirit of ‘sharing’ with dishes like kidyos, nevryos, Christmas cakes, duck roasts, and marzipan. For many, Christmas mornings are marked by the joy of making these treats alongside family. Another culinary gem is the rose cookie, which transcends mere food; they become tokens of affection shared with the neighbourhood, highlighting the spirit of generosity that defines the season. So, dear reader, put on your favourite Christmas movie on Netflix, wear your cute apron and jingle your bell way into making these recipes.

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These are classic candies that are shaped like little curls. Every Indian Christmas meal comes with these deep-fried sweet pastry snacks. Indian Catholics from Maharashtra, Goans, and Mangalore make it. Some say that Kulkuls are a variation of the Portuguese Filhoses Enroladas, a Christmas dessert made of curved noodles or deep-fried, glazed rolls. It is thought that Kulkulsarrived in India via the Portuguese. Instead of baking, these curls are deep-fried, and to enhance the flavour, they are rolled in sugar. Yum!

Ingredients you need: All-purpose flour, semolina, powdered sugar, ghee, milk, salt and oil

Rose Cookies

Rose Cookies, also called Achappam in Kerala, are a beloved Anglo-Indian treat, especially popular among Indian Christians during Christmas. Whether known as Rose cookies or Rose Cake, these crispy, sweet delights, also called Rosettes, are a common sight on Christmas platters, known as Kuswar. Deep-fried to perfection, they are so addictive that people enjoy them throughout the year. In South India, especially in Kerala, these cookies are made with coconut milk, giving them a unique taste.

Ingredients you need: Egg, powdered sugar, salt, milk, all purpose flour, rice flour, black sesame seeds and oil.

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Plum Cake

Plum Cake is a Christmas essential in India, and its origins can be traced to Thalassery, Kerala. The Royal Biscuit Factory, established by Mambally Bapu in 1880, holds the honour of creating India’s first Christmas fruitcake. In 1883, inspired by a sample brought from England by British planter Murdoch Brown, Bapu added local spices and a brew made from cashew apple and banana, giving the Plum Cake its unique Indian twist. No Indian Christmas celebration is truly complete without a slice of this rich and flavourful treat!

Ingredients you need: Dates, raisins, tutti frutti, mixed berries, fig, apricot, grape juice, butter, brown sugar, oil, curd, all purpose flour, almond powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, clove powder, cinnamon powder, pistachios, cherry and cashew (It is quite a lot but soooo worth it!)


Also known as ‘bibik,’ Bebinca is Goa’s favorite Christmas dessert with a strong Portuguese history. It’s rightly dubbed the ‘Queen of Goan Desserts.’ Though its origin is a mystery, some say Portuguese nuns created it in the 17th century. What makes Bebinca unique is not just its delicious taste but also the zero-waste baking approach. Legend says that it was born as a solution to save leftover egg yolks. A nun named Bebiana created a seven-layered pudding representing the hills of Goa and Lisbon. Priests, impressed but wanting more, suggested increasing layers to at least a dozen. Now, Bebinca can have 7 to 16 layers! If you’re heading to Goa this Christmas, make sure you don’t miss the chance to enjoy this iconic Goan treat.

Ingredients you need: Coconut milk, lots of egg yolks, lightly beaten, all-purpose flour, nutmeg powder, sugar, water and ghee.

Guava Cheese

Guava Cheese, or Perad, is a delicious traditional Indian Christmas sweet crafted during the festive season. With roots traced to Portuguese colonialists, this multicultural treat is a favorite among East Indians and Goans in India. Boasting a chewy and fudgy texture, every bite is a delightful burst of guava flavor. Once you indulge in these cheesy, tempting chunks, you’ll find yourself craving more.

Ingredients you need: Guava pulp, sugar, butter, lemon juice and salt

Don’t just read! Go get in the kitchen now ♡

While curating this list of Anglo-Indian Christmas treats, we’ve uncovered more than just recipes; we’ve discovered stories passed down through generations. These dishes aren’t just about ingredients; they’re about family and culture. Let’s remember that each bite carries with it a piece of tradition and a connection to a unique heritage. Whether you’re enjoying the crunch of kalkals, the sweetness of rose cookies, the richness of plum cake, the layers of Bebinca, or the chewiness of guava cheese, each dish has a story to tell. 

May your holiday season be filled with the flavours of tradition and the warmth of shared moments. Here’s to a Merry Christmas filled with joy and delicious memories!