If turkey and the trimmings isn’t your thing you don’t have to miss out on a festive feast as the Leeds indie scene is about to spice up the sprouts.
While most eateries are doing Christmas party menus, there are plenty that are mixing it up with some alternative dishes for those that love the party season but not as you’d expect.
The cult culinary genius that is Bundobust has cooked up the ‘Sprout Bhaji’, which has proved more popular than presents in previous years.
It does what it says on the tin – it literally is a bhaji made of sprouts – and has become as much of a Christmas tradition as the little green veg.
Founder Mayur Patel recalls that Christmas has always been celebrated at home with the feast being a mix-up of everything from roast potatoes to his mum’s Biryani.
He said: “Sprout Bhajis, were a favourite ever since Bundo opened. It’s now our fifth year and they have become a bit of a Christmas tradition for some.
“I think its popularity is down to the fact it’s a ‘love it or hate it’ vegetable. Everyone has memories of them being boiled to a point they fall apart and taste like some dodgy cauliflower.
“Our Okra fries have a similar story, although the crisp texture and tangy and salty coating have made them one of our most popular dishes.
“With the sprouts, we wanted to do something fun and find chopping them finely and mixing through onions, fennel seeds and chilli just make them work so well.”
There is a festive curry for those that like it hot and two brand new cocktails – The Grinch & Stollen Christmas – and Northern Bloc’s Chestnut and Orange Peel ice cream will also be making an appearance on the menu.
Meanwhile, The Brunswick on North Street is making it tapas for Christmas and its menu regular, the simple Spanish Tostada, is getting a festive makeover this year.
With carrot purée, sausage and fennel stuffing, crispy bacon, apple sauce and sage, it will be available alongside December brunches and roasts. City Buzz understands that an epic New Year’s Eve party is also in the making.
Arts on Call Lane is under new ownership and has refreshed its menu in time for the party season. While meat lovers can look forward to all the usual to tuck into, the restaurant is catering specifically for the veggie and vegan Christmas diners – think curry roasted carrots with mint glazed tofu, and almond milk panna cotta for dessert.
Over at Prashad, the traditional British sprout has made its way onto a Christmas thali because the “versatile vegetable” takes to flavours well.
Alongside the sprout samosa, the thali (round sharing platter) has stuffing bhajis, turnip dhal and a chocolate suckdi with mince ice cream and cranberry ras for dessert.
The thali approach is much more like the Western approach to Christmas and is celebrated differently depending on which part of India you are from.
Owner Bobby Patel explains: “Depending on where you are is very different. Christmas in Mumbai is very Western, with a big push on the celebration embracing the family get-together and all the wonderful warm culture. Christmas in the villages is a little less embraced – Diwali is the big Hindu celebration.”