Discover three delicious Christmas recipes by food blogger Tara Maini

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Planning for a Christmas feast? Food blogger Tara Maini shares delightful seasonal recipes to elevate your holiday dinner.

Having strong family roots in the world of gastronomy, Tara Maini is the author and creator of, a site that showcases her original recipes, photographs, and food styling. She has always been passionate about food. Raised in a family of foodies, love for cooking is in her genes. Tara’s  grandmother was the best cook in town, her mother is a caterer and cookbook author, her uncle runs a food packing company and her cousin is a chef. “It felt natural to squeeze myself into the club and add another chef to the family!” Tara says. “I knew that the best way to find my place in the world of food was to try on a few different hats.”

Tara grew up in Canada and Kenya, being exposed to different cuisines and food cultures. With a Bachelor of Commerce and Major in Hotel and Food Administration, she’s learned all aspects of business, working in leadership positions right after school. Later, she’s learned all about the fundamental techniques, terminology and the foundation of French cuisine in the chef school. Sharing her passion for cooking, Tara’s now expressing her take on the food she grew up on with a modern twist, running her own website, Choperella. “All of the spices in Indian cuisine play a large role in my recipes and my flavour palate while my techniques range from home-style fun to three-star precision,” Tara says.

So, just in time for the holidays, Tara shares with BURO three of her favorite Christmas recipes.

Smashed Sweet Potato Salad

Potatoes are always a great side dish for the holidays, but this Crispy Smashed Sweet Potato Salad is so vibrant and fresh.  The chimichurri is great it doubles up as a fantastic dipping sauce for any roast meats as well!


4-5 small to medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame seeds


25g parsley leaves  very finely chopped
25g finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp dried oregano (or fresh)
1 red chilli, finely chopped (or ¼-½ tsp chilli flakes)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp honey
½ tsp Maldon salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
60ml olive oil 

Tahini Yoghurt

225g Greek yoghurt
1-2 tbsp tahini
Salt and pepper

Chopped spring onions to garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 200°. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning halfway through, until tender, about 45 minutes. 
  2. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 225ºC. Let sweet potatoes cool slightly, then cut into large irregular pieces and smash gently with the bottom of a bowl or plate.* 
  3. Spread out on the same baking sheet and drizzle with remaining oil and a light sprinkle of sumac, sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Roast until browned and crisp around the edges, 20–25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the parsley, onion, garlic, oregano, chilli, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey salt and pepper.  While stirring slowly drizzle in the olive oil
  5. The chimichurri should be well coated in oil, add more if needed. Taste, and season with more salt, pepper, honey or vinegar if needed. 
  6. Mix the yoghurt, tahini, salt and pepper.  Spread the tahini yoghurt on a platter; top with the smashed sweet potatoes. Spoon chimichurri around the potatoes and garnish with chopped spring onions

Cranberry Roast Chicken

Serves 4
4 skin-on chicken legs
4g chopped  fresh thyme
4g finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
20g butter
500g Potatoes halved
400g Carrots, halved and chopped
300ml chicken stock
125g fresh cranberries
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
25g brown sugar
30ml Cider vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Rub the chicken with 1 tbsp oil, chopped thyme, rosemary, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken legs skin side down and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet to a plate.  Over medium-high heat, add butter and melt.
  5. Add potatoes and carrots cut side down and let them sear until just golden, about 5 minutes. Toss to coat in the chicken fat and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock and lemon juice, and let reduce to about half.
  7. Nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan.
  8. Toss in the cranberries, brown sugar, and cider vinegar in a bowl and mix.  Pour over chicken and potatoes scattering the cranberries evenly. Add sprigs of thyme and rosemary on top.
  9. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. Chicken should be cooked to 75ºC (165ºF) or until the juices run clear.
  10. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Roll Focaccia

This sweet cinnamon roll-inspired focaccia will make your home smell wonderful over the holidays!  Prep the dough the night before so you can bake it fresh for a delicious breakfast treat! 


350g bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 tbsp neutral oil
165ml warm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 scant tsp active yeast


40g melted unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Icing :

1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp heavy cream

  1. In a stand mixer, using a hook attachment, on medium speed mix together the flour, water, oil, salt, yeast, and sugar until combined. Switch to high and knead until the dough comes away from the bowl.
  2. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Let rise for 1-2 hours, being sure to fold edges into the center every hour using a hand-dipped in water.  **At this point, you can cover it and leave it in the fridge overnight to finish in the morning**
  3. Grease and line an 8×8 baking tin with parchment paper. Drizzle with neutral oil. ** if the dough was proofing overnight in the fridge, remove it bring it to room temperature, and continue**
  4. When the dough has doubled in size, transfer to the lined and greased baking dish. Gently spread to the edges, but don’t worry as it rests more it will spread out and fill the pan.
  5. Cover with cling film and let double in size again. Preheat the oven to 200ºC
  6. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together all of the topping ingredients until smooth. If it solidifies, just reheat it in the microwave in 10-second intervals until liquid again.
  7. Pour 3/4 of the cinnamon topping over the risen dough. Poke your fingers into the dough firmly to create indents. Drizzle any remaining topping over and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and cream until smooth. While the focaccia is still warm from the oven, spread the icing over top.
  10. Enjoy warm!