The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start planning your menu! Whether you’re hosting a small dinner with a few friends or a large family gathering, it’s always exciting to decide which dishes you want to surprise your guests with. Binish Qureshi, an entrepreneur, real estate developer, and investor based in the London suburb of Virginia Water, believes that the holiday season produces some of the best food each year. Today, Binish Qureshi is excited to share some of her favourite holiday dishes that are sure to pique the interest of your guests.
A traditional dish originating in India and popular throughout South Asia, Mughlai cuisine has a rich history and is powered by aromatic and full flavours. Binish Qureshi notes that dishes can range from relatively mild to spicy, and include spices, dried fruits, and nuts. Qureshi recommends Mughlai Biryani as a one-dish meal; lamb is cooked with several spices, an almond/garlic/ginger paste, onions, and yogurt. This gravy is then layered with colorful cooked rice and baked in a casserole.
Honey Almond Baked Brie
The holidays are a time when friends and family come together. In most cases, your nearest and dearest will arrive well before dinner time. That is why it’s important to have some tasty and festive appetizers at the ready. And what could be better than honey almond baked brie? Baked brie in and of itself is a crowd favourite but top it with a generous drizzle of Manuka honey and some shaved almonds, and you’ve achieved holiday heaven. Binish Qureshi recommends serving the brie with bread and crackers to provide options for guests.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Considered to be one of her family’s favourite dishes, no list of Binish’s would be complete without Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s a delicious tender chicken breast served with thick and smokey sauce. Although there are many variations of this fantastic recipe, Qureshi says almost all of them include a yogurt-based marinade, and will have a tomato-based gravy served on a bed of rice with hot naan bread.
Who doesn’t love turkey at Christmas? A Christmas staple, Binish Qureshi always makes a turkey for her family during the holidays. But this year, she recommends mixing it up with a turkey roulade. Instead of spending hours slaving away in the kitchen with a turkey in the oven, a turkey roulade will take less than two hours to prepare and cook. Plus, this festive dinner meal only uses turkey breast, which most markets will sell separately. If you are still not convinced, Binish Qureshi claims that turkey roulades are more aesthetically pleasing because of the pretty swirl in the centre and allow you to pack in more flavour because of the different fillings you can stuff them with. Qureshi is partial to an apple and raisin-based stuffing, but dried cherries and Italian sausage is another delicious option. Finally, there is a more even ratio of turkey to stuffing in a turkey roulade, meaning you’ll get the balance of both flavours in every bite.
Nothing says the holidays like pecan pie. Rich and buttery, this sweet pie is a staple in the western world and Binish Qureshi believes it can be a tasty addition to most holiday menus. The pie crust is as basic as can be, made using a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. As for the decadent filling, all you need to achieve the mouthwatering centre is corn syrup, butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and of course — pecans. Whole pecans are carefully layered on top before baking, which ultimately results in a dessert that will catch the eye of any sweet tooth.