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Our journey to distant lands where Christmas is celebrated continues… with the help of a website dedicated to Christmas. In our new Christmas article we will see other Christmas foods and sweets from different countries of the world and we will make our own fluffy vegan kourabiedes (Greek traditional cookies) that melt in your mouth! Of course, as in the first part of the article, we chose the countries with the strangest Christmas food. Many of these countries may not have Christians in their majority, but we report what the Christians living there eat. So off we go for another Christmas gastronomic trip…
In Russia they fast on Christmas Eve. They eat sochivo or kutia, a wheat or rice porridge served with honey, poppy seeds, dried fruits and raisins, chopped walnuts and even jellies. It is often eaten from a common utensil, an act that symbolizes unity. Also on the eve they eat borsch (beetroot soup), vegetable pies with cabbage, potato or mushrooms, porridge with fried onions or mushrooms, etc. At the end of the meal is often served vzvar, a sweet drink made from dried fruits and honey boiled in water. It is a drink that is drunk at births so it symbolizes the birth of Christ.
At the Christmas table you will find grilled pork and goose, pirog and pelmeni (dumplings with meat). For dessert they have fruit pies, pryaniki (honey cookies) and fresh and dried fruit.
Hungary’s main Christmas meal includes fish such as halászlé (fish soup), stuffed cabbage with rice, minced meat, onion, garlic and herbs, and for dessert beigli (sweet bread with poppy seeds). Hungarians also traditionally eat gingerbread at Christmas, which they decorate with very bright colors and Christmas figures.
In Chile the most important day of Christmas is the eve. Friends and relatives meet for a meal around 9-10 pm. The meal includes asado (barbecue) chicken, turkey and pork. Chilean Christmas cake is called Pan de Pascua and looks like a panettone (fruit cake). A popular Christmas drink is the Cola de Mono and is made with coffee, milk, alcohol, cinnamon and sugar.
In Indonesia, 10% of the population are Christians and celebrate Christmas. Cookies are not missing from any Christian home. There are nastar (butter cookies filled with pineapple jam), kastengel (cheese cookies) and putrid salju or snow white (butter cookies coated with icing sugar and cheese) that remind us of our kourabiedes.
In Jamaica they prepare Christmas meals from the eve. For breakfast on Christmas day they eat the national dish of the country called ackee and saltfish (ackee is their national fruit and the dish includes fish). They also eat breadfruit (a local fruit), fried plantain (banana-like fruit), boiled bananas and fresh juice and tea. Dinner is served late in the afternoon and may include turkey, chicken, goat curry or boiled beef tail, and of course rice and peas. For dessert in many houses they make a fruit cake with red wine and white rum. The fruit is preserved in wine and rum for many months before Christmas.
Since with all this we have built an appetite for good, let’s go make fluffy vegan kourabiedes with extra virgin olive oil!
Ingredients for vegan kourabiedes
|Extra virgin olive oil*||250 ml|
|Sunflower oil*||250 ml|
|Powdered sugar||200 gr|
|Lemon juice||2 tbs|
|Cake flour||700 gr|
|Baking powder||3 tsp|
|Powdered sugar for dusting|
In our recipe we use half extra virgin olive oil and half sunflower oil to get the taste of the extra virgin olive oil and to make the kourabiedes light. If you have a light olive oil you can put the whole amount of it or otherwise use only sunflower oil.
How to make vegan kourabiedes
The first thing to do is to roast the almonds and chop them in a blender. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl pour the extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil and add the icing sugar. Mix well and add the chopped almonds. Add the two spoons of lemon juice, the baking powder and mix.
Add the flour and start mixing it with a hand whisk. Once the dough starts to form, leave the whisk and continue kneading with your hands for a while. When you see that the dough is molded without sticking, stop the kneading. If the dough looks too soft you can add a little more flour.
Now is the time to make the kourabiedes. If you have children at home, bring them to help too! Otherwise adults will have the same fun. We make the kourabiedes in any shape we like – we made them round and stars in a special mould.
Once our pan is full, bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 18-20 minutes, until the house smells like Christmas! Our kourabiedes may not have butter, but they come out just as delicious, try them! Let the kourabiedes cool well and finally dust them with powdered sugar and place them on your plate. Ready!
We will once again wish you happy holidays with health and joy and happy preparations for your Christmas table!
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