I consider myself an okay-good cook when it comes to Indian food. I love the aroma and the intense flavor of Indian dishes. It makes my house smell like a cozy restaurant. And a cozy restaurant is how I like it to be when I have a party at home. I want everyone to tuck in a warm space, sitting shoulder to shoulder, colorful hot meal in the center, laughs and talks between the chews, our stomach filled and still eager to have that delightful dessert and more.
Rainy season have just arrived, the air is cool, and the grasses start to sprout green. It’s time to call friends to hang out, cook up something delicious and share it around the table. Since we moved to our new home, I’ve been meaning to break a party in this small balcony we have. It’s perfect to accommodate a small group of close friends. We had a rustic sofa with wooden frame and a small coffee table there. Soon I’ll add some herbs and flowering plants in this precious little space as well.
I love simplicity, minimalism, enjoying a little of everything in every minutes of my life. I won’t slave myself all day to have a good party, because at the end of the day, I should be the one who enjoy the most of it… hehe. So here is how I roll…
Plan It Out
With a drizzling raindrops in the background, I sit with a cup of tea and plan out this little event. Location… my cute and compact balcony— checked! The menu is simple. It consists of everything we all love.
We’ll start with a few shots of Pani Puri and some Spicy Malai Chicken Balls.
Have fun with chips on stick. Sprinkle some garam masala over and serve hot. Smoky butter chicken, vegetable Kurma, mini Naans, eggplants and green pea, and Prawn Pulav are to be the main course. Of course Pineapple raita, mango chutney and some delightful masala salad greens are going to accompany them. I serve a Spiced Lime Soda and Pomegranate Soda as beverage. And how could we not have steamy hot masala Chai and some smooth Mango Shrikhand to wrap things up.
Check out my Indian recipe mentioned above here.
Time to Shop
Visit the local produce and market near you and select the fresh catches of the day. Using fresh ingredients is the key to a successful result in any cuisine.
But when it comes to flavor, I’m not gonna lie, I cheat a little. Kitchens of India has a wide range of products like Ready to Eat dishes and desserts, exotic chutney and conserve, aromatic masala mix. They are easy to use and give a wonderful gourmet result. The best thing about Kitchens of India products is there don’t use MSG and preservatives in them.
I’m in love with this chutney. Hmmm Hot Mango Chutney. Sweet, sour, pungent, a dollop of it on the side of your dish helps lift up everything.
Can you believe I’ve just made butter chicken in 15 minutes? Crazy right? Who does that! Well, yes, it’s very possible when I use this magic masala mix from Kitchens of India. I just add water, sliced chicken, and a whole content of this package. And look at this silky decadent texture of this butter chicken. No one would have guessed I whipped it up in my kitchen. There’s just no fuss, and it tastes so good everyone would lick their plates clean.
When I handle a party at home, I keep the cooking to basic. I use the products I trust. Order a few dishes from my favorite restaurant and cook a few wholesome dishes that doesn’t require me standing in the kitchen all day. I made dessert early and store them in the fridge, and the spiced soda is ready in the jug. At the end of the night, I will need a couple of minutes to brew up some masala chai. I’ll spend my time mingling with friends and family rather than cooking and worrying about food.
Light, airy and cozy is how it should be. I sure do hope there’s a little rain in the background. I love to keep it simple. There’re no flowers to get in between when you try to pass the food around, just a few scented candles and natural wind to make the party atmosphere feel so comforting.
And I rather have a bouquet of fruit salad on the stick on the table anyway…so edible and pretty. Some awesome indie music lingers in the air. Good company and great conversation.
When I first came to India, and my husband took me to his company event, I learned a little something about Indian Party. Game and entertainment is always the part of the plan. I love my party to be interactive. Anthaschari is a singing game we all love.
I also love a funny quiz which I write some humorous questions in the jar and ask the guess to pick them up one by one and answer them.
Let it go and enjoy
I think the most important thing you should consider the most when hosting a party is how everyone can be relaxed and have fun in your event. Kick off the good conversation and encourage the guest to interact with one another. Cook what everybody likes. Serve the generous portion and the good meal. Remember great party begins and ends with the spirit of the host. Don’t rush and strive for perfection. Be yourself and be attentive to your guest. Let it go and enjoy.
Check out all of my humble Indian Recipes here.
This post is my entry to Kitchens of India’s Contest on Indiblogger.