Everyone loves a party – except when you are hosting it, and the pressure to get everything just right is intensified if that party is in fact a dinner party. There’s a lot to think about: who to invite; what to cook; what to drink; even what music to play. And that’s before you’ve even taken into account whether there are any veggies or fussy eaters on the guest list. Luckily, with a little bit of preparation and planning in advance, your dinner party will be a roaring success and it will stick in peoples’ minds (for all the right reasons).
Indian food lends itself perfectly to a dinner party with its informality, huge choice of vegetarian dishes and delicious flavours. It’s the perfect choice to keep everyone happy, well fed and wanting to find out your recipes. India as a nation places a huge amount of importance on the social aspect of food; it is something that brings together friends and family, plays a part in festivals and celebrations and recipes are passed down the generations (and are often closely guarded secrets). Here’s a step by step guide to ensure your next dinner party charms guests and leaves them wanting more:
Unless you know exactly how many people you are catering for it’s almost impossible to get quantities of food right. The trick is always to make more food than you think you need; leftovers are far better than meagre portions because there’s not enough to go round. Also, make sure you know if any guests have particular dietary requirements.
Pre-Dinner Drinks and Snacks
Have a good selection of spirits and mixers, beer and wine to offer your guests. Keeping on the Indian theme, go for lagers such as Kingfisher, Cobra and Tiger. There are also a number of wines that are now deemed suitable to drink alongside Indian food, so do a bit of research and chose a variety of wine that will complement your food. Depending on whether your dishes are spicy, aromatic or creamy will dictate the wine you choose. Canapes are another dinner party must – samosas, tandoori paneer tikka and pakora are all good options.
The Right Balance
Creating a well-balanced meal plan doesn’t mean having to cook a multitude of separate dishes. Go for a couple of appetisers, two or three one-pot curries (veggie and/or meat), rice, fresh Indian bread (chapattis or naan), raita and pickles is a good selection. Throw in a few papads and chutneys and you are well on your way to creating the wow factor with your meal.
The Grand Finale
No dinner party is complete without a delicious pudding to round off the meal. India has a wonderful array of desserts and sweets that will give any meal the perfect finale. You might want to offer guests one main pudding and then bring out the Indian sweets with the coffee.
If you aren’t confident in the kitchen then hiring the professionals might be a less stressful alternative. London’s fine dining Indian restaurants offer a catering service that is sure to wow your guests.