Tag Archives: Christmas

Jujubes – Goan’s Turkish Delight Recipe

16 Dec

Goan jujubes is a spin-off of the Turkish delight and is one of the popular sweets specially during Christmas. In my early childhood I remember that in Goa we would exchange assorted sweet trays with family, friends and close neighbors on Christmas day. The whole day family, friends and neighbors would visit and exchange Christmas sweets.  My mum made most of the sweets at home but I always remember her buying the jujubes from the store. So I am a little proud of myself to have made them at home for the first time. The recipe is fairly simple and makes for a very kid friendly Christmas sweet.


A typical Goan Christmas sweets tray could look like the image below. All sweets were made by hand and at home.

It has the following sweets neureos, kulkus, carambolas, bebinca, dodol, doce, marzipan made with cashews, plum cake, bolinhas, jujubes and a few more. You can click on each item and it will take you to that recipe


Serving Size : 3 cups of cut cubes about 1″


3 packs of unflavored knox gelatine (50gms)

2 cups of sugar

2 pinches of salt

1.5 cup water

1/2 tsp of lemon/lime extract

1/2 cup of granulated sugar for coating

3 assorted food color – 10-12 drops each


Have 3 separate 2 cup each tupperware containers ( square or rectangular shaped)

Line each with plastic wrap as it is easier to turn over and take the jujubes out with no mess.

To a pan add the water, gelatine, salt, sugar, lemon essence stir till no lumps and heat the mixture till it comes to a boil.

Pour a cup each in 3 separate bowls to add your preferred color.

Now pour the colored mixture in each individual tupperware.

Let stand at room temperature till fully set maybe overnight.

Next day take them out of the container and grease a knife and cut them in 1″ cubes.

Coat them well with granulated sugar and enjoy.


You can also watch my video for this recipe.


KulKuls and Carambolas -Goan Christmas Sweets

4 Dec

It was exciting to make these sweet crunchy Christmas sweets with my sons. They enjoy trying different foods and want to learn to cook.  They love watching Food Networks.  It made me happy to pass my traditions and reminded me of my childhood doing the same with my family a week before Christmas. All the excitement, fun of going caroling home to home around our parish, making home cribs, decorating the Christmas trees, participating in singing competitions and going for Christmas Dances. Christmas was a day spent in exchanging Christmas sweets with family, friends and close neighbors.


This recipe of Kulkuls and Carambolas( Kormolas) is a 2-in-1. Kulkuls are shaped just like the Italian gnocchi, which are shaped on the back of a fork. Carambolas are made by rolling the dough thinly and then cutting them into 2″ inch squares and pinching the opposite ends together to form into a conch shell. The dough is made with just 6 basic ingredients and has no eggs. Flour, coconut milk, butter/ghee, sugar, cream of wheat( rava, for crunch), pinch of salt and then deep-fried golden brown.

kulkuls-carambolas-korbolas-christmas-sweets-with-coconut-milk-egglessVariations in this recipe.

1) Egg is added to the dough.

2) After being deep-fried sugar is sprinkled or it is dipped in sugar syrup.

3) Cardamom powder is added to the dough.




Serving Size: 8-10


3 cups all-purpose flour

1.5 cups approx of coconut milk

5 tbsp of medium cream of wheat / rava

6 tbsp of fine sugar

3 tbsp of melted butter or ghee

pinch of salt


Mix the flour and cream of wheat  then add the melted butter and mix it well into the flour.

Next add the sugar and salt, mix well it into the dry flour mixture.

Finally knead the flour with coconut milk to form a moist dough. Cover with a moist kitchen towel and let set for about 10-15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.

To make carambolas roll the dough thin and then with a pizza cutter cut to make approx 2″ squares.

Pinch the opposite ends to together as shown in the above image.

Place on parchment paper and cover with a moist kitchen towel till all the dough is used.

To make kulkuls make small dough balls the size of a dime and roll on the back of the fork.

Continue the above step till all the dough is used.

Heat oil in a deep-frying pan and deep fry the shaped dough till golden brown.

Drain on paper towel. Let cool totally and then store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.


Enjoy for Christmas celebration’s or with a nice cup of hot tea or coffee.

Dodol – Christmas Sweet made with Coconut Jaggery

19 Dec

We have a couple of days before Christmas and if you are still looking for healthy Christmas Sweets Ideas then maybe you should consider the popular Goan Dodol. It’s not only popular in Goa but also in South East Asia. You can also make it gluten-free by replacing wheat flour with millet / ragi flour and since it does not have any eggs or milk it can be vegan.

dodol-kalu-dodol-christmas-sweet-sri-lankan-goa-goanIn my short trip to Goa, I managed to visit the St Francis Xavier Exposition and celebrate the Immaculate Conception Feast. My unexpected short visit could not have been better timed, as the Exposition is once’s every 10 years and according to my mum St Francis 15th generation family members delegate came to Goa for the Expo.


Exposition of St Francis Xavier in Old Goa, Goa

The must have Sweets at all Church Feast Fairs in Goa called as Festachem Khajem (Konkani)

goan-feast-fair-sweets-kadio-bodio-festachem-khajem-khajeThe dark rich pudding with an intense flavor of coconut and jaggery sure puts you in a Christmas mood right away. Goan dodol is not baked but cooked on slow fire till it has a jello consistency. Goan’s make the dodol in 2 ways either they use wheat flour or millet flour, rice flour is usually used in a small quantity for texture. Kalu Dodol in Sri Lanka is made with rice flour. My humble opinion is that using rice flour makes the Dodol firmer but the Goan dodol is softer and a little sticky, which I prefer.


Goan Coconut Jaggery

This 5 ingredient sweet is very simple to make but requires a tad bit of patience.

 Serving Size: 6-8  (9″ round about 1″ thick )


8 tbsp of wheat / millet flour

4 tbsp of rice flour

3 cans of coconut milk

14 oz of grated coconut / regular jaggery (approx 3 1/2 coconut jaggery squares. Add more if you like it sweeter)

1/2 cup of rough chopped cashews

2 tbsp of butter (optional)

pinch of salt


Use a non stick pot and a wooden flat spoon if possible.

Mix the flours, 2 cans of coconut milk and salt in a pot and place on medium heat. Stir slowly till the mixtures thickens approx 15 minutes.


Next add jaggery, cashews and the remaining can of coconut milk. Stir slowly on low medium heat for approx 1.15 hrs till the mixtures leave the side of the pan and does not stick to the wooden ladle. If the dodol does not let oil then add butter towards the end.

Pour into a 9″ round and smooth it with the wooden spoon to form a nice round. Cool and enjoy.

dodol-ingredients-goan-christmas-sweets-recipe-rice-flour-cashewsLeave it in a cool dry place or the refrigerator for a week or two.

Check out more Goan Sweets like Bebinca, Doce de Grao and Neureos.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas!


Bebinca – Christmas Sweet

13 Dec bebinca-sweet-dessert-christmas-goanimports

Its 2 weeks to Christmas and you can feel the excitement and expectations of the holidays. I wanted to share this recipe specially since everyone is looking for christmas sweet ideas and if you are looking for one, then Bebinca will definitely not disappoint.

Bebinca is a very popular Christmas sweet that you find in every households along with some more staple sweets made during the holidays in Goa. It’s a labor of love and patience but the end result of this beautifully multi-layer dessert made with coconut milk, eggs, flour, sugar, butter and nutmeg, is worth every bit of the effort. A similar named sweet made in the Philippines is called Bibingka and is made with rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, sugar and milk and is baked in a banana leaf.

Based on my recipe measurement you will need a round bake ware 9×4 pan. Please do not use the bottom pop out pan as I tried to put the batter in it thinking it would be easier to take out  the Bebinca once’s done but the batter started to drip out of the pan as it is thinner than a cake batter.

Ingredients for Dark Brown color for half the batter (optional)


Caramel made to be added to half the batter for Bebinca for the layered look |Goan Imports

3 tbsp of sugar

4 1/2  tbsp of water.

* In a small sauce pan add the sugar and 1/2 tbsp of water. Let the sugar burn till it turns nice and dark brown.

* Take off heat add the remaining water into it carefully, stir till you get a nice dark liquid about 4 tbsp of it as shown above and keep aside.

Ingredients for Bebinca batter


Ingredients for Bebinca Christmas Dessert | Goan Imports

3 cans of coconut milk

2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ( please do not use self-raising flour)

18 egg yolks

2 pinches of salt

1 stick of cold salted butter ( you will use about 2/3rd the amount)

1 1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder

3 tbsp of slivered almonds for garnishing (optional)

* Set oven to 375F degree. First sieve(sift) flour through a strainer to take off any lumps in it or dirt. Keep aside.

* In a nice large mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk, sugar and 2 pinches of salt and whisk it till the sugar is dissolved.

* Separate the yolks from the eggs and then gently add each yolk in to the mixture while gently whisking it.

* Once done add nutmeg powder and the flour slowly into the batter and whisk (I would recommend to do the whisking by hand unless otherwise).

*Divide the batter in two equal portions and add the 4 tbsp of caramelized sugar to one portion.

*Next apply a generous amount of cold butter to the bottom of the pan and pour in 1 cup of the dark batter in the pan. You will get 8 layers of this sweet from the batter.

* Bake the first layer for 20 minutes  or till a toothpick comes out clean (varies on your oven) so please check. It has a tendency to puff up but do not worry as long as the top layer does not start to burn you have to keep a watchful eye. Take it out of the oven and switch your broiler to high or if you don’t have a temperature setting don’t worry you will have to keep an eye while baking.


Fist baked layer of Bebinca Christmas Sweet | Goan Imports

* Now rub again a generous amount of the cold butter all over the top of the first layer. Pour in 1 cup of the lighter batter and broil for 8 minutes till the 2nd layer is baked. Please keep a watchful eye as the layers are thin it can burn easily. But trust me all the work will be paid off once you take your first bite.

* Repeat the above steps 5 more times by alternating between the darker batter and lighter one. For the last layer which is the 8th layer you may have to combine the batter together for the last layer.

*Once the last layer is baked rub a little butter on the top layer. Let cool for 5-6 hours or overnight. Flip it over in a nice platter. You can decorate it with slivered almonds like I did. That is how my mum made it.


Bebinca Goan Christmas Sweet | Goan Imports

It can be kept in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. when you are ready to serve a slice you can serve it cold or slightly warmed up in the microwave for a couple of seconds. Bebinca will be one of your most favorite Christmas sweets of all time.


Bebinca Christmas Sweets |Goan Imports

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