Indian festival season has started and with that comes parties and potluck dinners. It’s always a hassle to decide what to cook, how long it’s going to take to cook the entire meal and above all how much quantity should I cook?
The three- course Indian meal starts with an appetizer, moving on to the main course and finally the dessert. Rule of thumb – KEEP IT SIMPLE and plan your meals and your day beforehand. It saves time and lots of energy.
Well, this meal plan will surely take away all the worries and help you get started with your dinner party. But before I begin, let’s touch base on some important points.
Get yourself organized, pen down your ideas.
Make a plan before you shop. This way you will shop more efficiently.
Before you head out, check your pantry for already available ingredients. Final step prepare your list.
What’s the head count? How big is the group – calculate adults and kids.
Are there any dietary needs? Like elderly people coming to the party and may prefer no onion no garlic meals or veg meals.
Are you planning to cook everything yourself or plan to order some food from outside?
Keep the food color scheme in mind. For example, try not to cook Rajma with Paneer tikka masala – Red color scheme or Kadi pakoda with gobi – yellow color scheme. Plan a menu in such a way that it maintains the harmony of colors and is eye pleasing.
Always plan to have a raita on hand. It’s a cool accompaniment and will balance the spicy flavor of the Indian food.
Plan according to the weather – if it’s winter, dishes prepared in the morning will stay just fine till the evening. But if it’s summer, some of the items may go bad- my personal experience.
Always have a salad on the menu. Not only it adds nutrition to the diet, but the salad is also crunchy, colorful and light on the tummy.
Try to plan your menu in such a way that some of the dishes can be prepared in advance or a day ahead. Try to utilize your morning time the most.
Plan the appetizers in such a way that it requires minimal work at the last minute. For example – if your appetizer needs baking, keep that time in mind or if you have a salad on your menu than assemble everything beforehand and save the dressing for the last.
Last but not least – Always include a resting time – how will you entertain others if you are not well rested?
When planning for snacks or hors d’oeuvre – choose small snack-sized dishes. Hors d’oeuvres is a French word meaning “snacks served just before the main course. So they are not fillers, they provide hungry guests to munch on something while they socialize and wait for the main course.
For instance, if serving Khaman, cut it into small pieces, not like the market ones. This way your guest will enjoy all your creations and appreciate your culinary skills. 🙂
Snack 1 –
Snack 2 –
As the name suggest this is the main part of a dinner. Main Course which consists of lentils, beans, paneer, healthy vegetables, and anything in between.
3 R’s – Rice, Roti, Raita
And of course fresh Salad.