MY BEST FRIEND’S ENGAGEMENT PARTY ( she wants it tasteful but fun) *
VENUE : Country house
AMBIENCE : Outdoor Kitchens of India. Lawn lights. Anita loves the romance of candles if rain permits ( As long as she doesn’t suggest a Rain dance in her silks. Quite capable ! Table outdoors – inhouse and veranda.
Music : Hariharan, Jagit Singh, the Bride (Anita) loves The Slayer , but Mom in law likes Yani. Kiran suggests a Piano for Anita’s eccentric aunt from somewhere. What I foresee is spontaneous fun and great finger lickn’ food, even if the caravan folds up …
DRESS : Any Silk + Imagination.
MENU : KOI‘s best, re worked ; check below. ( Veg/ Non-veg tables)
* Next month is my best friend Anita’s wedding, she is homesick for India. Her fiance is from God’s own country chettinad –Kerala , she from Nawab zone. Mixed marriages are made … where ? In heaven on earth. All I Know is, Food brings all kinds of people together.
Anita & Kiran say they found the Recipe to contentment thru’ moments of sadness or celebration. Oh I’m learning so much here. One thinks they would shudder at a detailed menu, but they really wish to humor everyone’s taste.
“ Ray, ” she said to me last night on Skype. ” We also want a fun event like your wedding, but we have such a culture mix : two aunts are from Maharashtra, one uncle from Rajasthan… his mother loves Paneer, Kiran loves Chettinaad, I adore Hyderabadi, his dad eats only Methi and Mirch Mughlai, mom’s like me, basic, but his sis – is a regular Gourmet ! I have to out- do her, without looking like I tried too hard, see ? What do I do ?And my people need Biriyani !”
(My own wedding ? We had 85 people at Mercara mountain, clouds going right thru’ the floor of the Little chapel where we got married . Lunch came in from East end at Valley View Hotel, overlooking acres of monsoon clouds and May Flower mist : ofcourse I do not remember the food !)
‘It’s just a tiny engagement party, ” she says. ” Maybe 20 people . His folk have a house at Mercara hill. We need something nice, without the fuss of a Restaurant. “
” Ah, then you want my secret ?
” .. .. ready -to-eat … ? ”
” Any Conservative relatives ?
” It is a mixed marriage Ray !” her laughter is nervous.
” Hmm .. plan some great gifts,”
” So. What can we offer … did I tell you he’s a killer Chef ? Continental, Mediterranean, Chinese,Mexican, Euro… you name it. Uses too much mayonnaise though. And Ghee : like a Nawab and a Southie . I’m in trouble, na ?”
” Not with the Chef of Hearts with you!
Anita grins. We plan the day.
MENU : My own names, check this
Dal-bukhara /rice-dosa/navratan-korma ( getting spoilt for choice at this Aashirwaad link)
Methi Chicks ( dry or sauced with coriander onion smooths ).
You pan Kitchens’ worth with basic accessories : Raitha, Salads, Rices, cold veg/ non veg salads Russian salad, chilled mint & cucumber, mango slice – in – peppered fish cubes , strawberry crush & ginger/ goose berry wines, cocktails, Punch. Indian breads, This cuisine blends culture,creatively team with India’s best kitchens.For PARTY PALATES UN- USED TO INDIAN TRADITIONAL CUISINE : accessories : Mint spiked sherbet, Lemon crush et la Pine apple salads, cold chicken marinades with Kitchens of India roasted or marinated in Curd, condiments your choice :
Steamed Lettuce, cold Mughali –nawab ! Marinated kebabs. Iced Tea, cold coffee/ icecream et fruit. Sauteed Shrimp in KOI – inspired recipe of choice. One stirs in family secrets and culinary hand me downs. Piece de resistance can be your own unique cultural signature, or ask The Chef ! Different tastes stirring in new things. I’ve worked best with Kitchens of India, because it is uncomplicated for someone like me, who loves the fuss without too much work. They do it for you 🙂
Anita does plan to buy ‘ silk and make it a sari’… am sure they will both look gorgeous. Unsure about the friends they are importing though. I hear they like India food, and KOI is great Gourmetake- home, any place in the world !
Kiran and Anita promise to help with the cooking but I strongly doubt that. Hey I got my own Chef mate and home crew. It’s not all about food is it ? It’s about Recipes for Joie de vivre, and these memories we make while we make promises / marry/ birth new moments for Life…
Thank you Kitchen of India, for a great experience writing this; reminded me of my grandma Tara Bhai, who influenced my early years in the kitchen we had. Yes, ours is an utterly mixed menu of family and friends from Chandigarh to Chennai, Cochin and MUmbai to Kutch! Orissa, Chittoor and Canada…
My Gran would have loved Kitchens’ easy rich aroma – smacking of her coconut gravies and masalas only the Gourmet really know. Red, raw sundried chillies, grind stone, and husk in the oven. ..
I’m hungry now… my fav ? CHECK THESE OUT MANGO / APPLE ..Cinnamon Preserve
( going to just scoop into this when NO one’s watching! Gran always said : Finger lickn’ meant Gharana or Dum – you just done it right ! :))