5 Most Popular Dishes for New Year’s Eve Indian Feast
Murgh Malai Kebabs. Photo: Spicy World

While every nation in this world has its own food culture and history, we Indians have a penchant for thinking (quite rightly) that we can't do without our favorites. After all, every occasion in this country--religious, personal or related to anything else under the sky--is incomplete without a few dishes to celebrate with. Without further ado, below is 5 Indian dishes for New Year Eve you should know!

Murgh Malai Kebabs

Marinated the night before and oven friendly, these boneless chicken skewers make a great way to kick off the festivities. You can cook them well in advance on the day and simply reheat in the microwave to serve as nibbles with drinks.

Method

Soak the nutmeg in one tablespoon of warm milk. Puree the peeled garlic, ginger, green chillies and nutmeg with the oil in a blender. If you need more moisture, add some of the yogurt. Cut the chicken into chunks slightly larger than bite sized, bearing in mind that they will shrink as they cook.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together apart from the chicken and the ghee/butter for basting. Give it a little taste it to check for seasoning.

Now, add the chicken and coat it evenly with the marinade. I would recommend you marinade this for at least two hours if not overnight.

If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them well in advance of cooking to prevent them from burning to a crisp the minute they hit the barbeque. When you’re ready to cook, thread the kebabs onto the skewers in equal quantities, leaving a little gap between each piece of chicken. Then cook, turning regularly on a hot barbeque for 20 minutes turning and basting regularly until cooked through, and evenly and beautifully charred.

If you want to cook this indoors, preheat the oven to gas mark 6 or 200 degrees centigrade. Place the skewers directly onto the grill shelf and put a baking tray underneath to catch the dripping juices. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes each, turning two-three times, and basting with the ghee/butter.

Onion pakoras

5 Most Popular Dishes for New Year’s Eve Indian Feast
Photo: WhiskAffair

This evergreen Indian snack is a party favourite. My version is shallow fried, and has the added benefit of establishing you as the host with the most as you platter these up from the frying pan to serving plates. Keep the onions and ready for frying when guests arrive.

Method

Peel and slice the onions finely. Place them in a large mixing bowl.

Now add the spices, salt and mix well with a spoon without breaking the onions. Cover and leave to sit for half an hour.

When the time is up, you’ll see moisture will have seeped from the onions. Now sift the gram flour into the bowl, and add water a tablespoon at a time. You should need a quarter cup.

Mix this well incorporating the onion into the batter fully. Now bring a small wok or kadai to heat on medium high with the oil.

When the oil sizzles around a wooden spoon when touched gently with it, you’re ready. Spoon equal portions of the onion into the hot oil, no more than four or five at a time. I often use an ice cream scoop to do this.

Shallow fry for four minutes on either side, flipping them twice to get a golden even crust. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen towel. Serve these hot, with a cheat’s chutney of tomato ketchup spiked with a drop of the hottest chilli sauce you can find, according to Evening Standard.

Chingri Malai Kari

5 Most Popular Dishes for New Year’s Eve Indian Feast
Photo: Desi Cooking Recipes

This Bengali prawn curry in coconut milk is a festive affair cooked on every special occasion. Buy the largest prawns you can find and get ready to impress.

Method

Drain the prawns and toss them in half a teaspoon each of turmeric and salt. Leave to sit. Cut the onion into chunks and puree it in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, just grate it or chop it fine.

In a wok, bring the oil to heat on medium. When it’s hot, seal the prawns in it, for a couple of seconds on either side. Then remove with a slotted spoon and save for later.

Toss the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms and sugar in the golden oil. As the sugar caramelises, mix in the onion. Lowering the heat to a medium low, sauté the onion for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the wok. If it does, add a tablespoon of hot water and scrape it off.

The onion will start taking colour. Now add the grated ginger and cook the whole lot for another five minutes.

Next, mix in the remaining turmeric and chilli powder and sauté for another five minutes until the mixture resembles red breadcrumbs and the oil separates from it. Don’t rush this bit: it is very important as it determines the taste and colour of the ultimate dish.

Hyderabadi aubergines

5 Most Popular Dishes for New Year’s Eve Indian Feast
Photo: Evening Standard

A richly spiced dish that never disappoints. My version uses a jar of peanut butter. You can happily leave the nigella and fenugreek seeds out if you don’t have them. The result will be just as delicious.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Slice each aubergine lengthways in a cross keeping the top intact. Toss them in a tablespoon of oil and a sprinkling of salt and roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.

While they are roasting, peel and chop finely the onion. Bring the oil to heat over a medium flame in a wok or pan big enough to hold the aubergines. When hot, add the whole spices. As they start sizzling, stir in the onion and ginger/garlic paste and fry for ten minutes until they turn golden.

Now add the powdered spices with the chopped green chillies and fry for another five minutes, adding a tablespoon of water to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pot. In a couple of minutes, when the pungent aroma of the spices eases off, stir in the peanut butter. Stir it all well, then loosen the spice paste with a cup of warm water and cook uncovered on a medium low heat until oil starts oozing out of it. You can add another cup of warm water to create more curry in this dish.

Finally, mix in the tamarind paste and slowly drop in the aubergines. Taste the whole lot and add more salt only if you need to. Serve hot as a side dish with warm rotis or freshly toasted pitta bread.

Banana, Pistachio and cardamom Kulfi

5 Most Popular Dishes for New Year’s Eve Indian Feast
Photo: Evening Standard

It's basically Indian ice cream. Cooling and healing, it’s the perfect grand finale to get the party started.

Method

First shell and deseed the cardamoms. Reserving five pistachios, blend the rest of them with the cardamom seeds, condensed milk and double cream on a low setting. You could even pulse the lot. You want the mixture to thicken without stiffening the cream entirely.

If you don’t have a blender, mash the bananas and smash the seeds and pistachios up well in a pestle and mortar. Then mix all the ingredients together with a whisk.

Pour this equally into plastic cups or lolly moulds and freeze for at least 3-4 hours until set.

Crush or grind the reserved pistachios and sprinkle over before serving

India is a large country by its population. It has the second number in the world for the population. India has 130 million peoples in its country. Many people decorate their houses, roads, streets, buildings, churches, and many other things where people have a gathering.

Above is a list of 5 Indian dishes for New Year Eve. If you have any recommendations, feel free to add them in the comment section, and if you love it, don't forget to like, share with your friends and follow KnowInsiders for more interesting news.

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