This blog is written for Kitchens of India. Don’t forget to read the disclaimer at the end L.
My party would have only Indian food, both vegetarian and non vegetarian but alcohol will not be served. As much as I love to treat people, I love to tease them. The theme of the party would be Mock and Delight Yourself (MADY). The recommended dress code would be Indian and violators will be made to walk back home after the partyJ.
The party would be held open air in a sufficiently large expanse of land. The guest list would not exceed 100-125. The people who miss families most are the senior citizens in old age homes. They have successfully raised their families but for some unfortunate reason find themselves in an old age home. To once again give them a taste of family life, a few from an old age home would be invited. The entire area would be enclosed in Shamiyanas. Light music would be played at slightly louder than whispering volumes so that it merges with the festivity and does not become a nuisance value. Buffets are suited for an office lunch or for a restaurant but not for a family & friends dinner. Personal service is a must.
On entrance, after walking a few feet into the shamiyana, the guests would hit a dead end with cross roads on either side; one would look to be leading to the exit and other one into the party area. Obviously, the guests would choose the second path but after passing through a maze would find themselves going back to the parking lot. This would wake them up to the party’s theme “MADY”. On entering again through the correct path☻, they would be welcomed with a glass of sugarcane juice with a dash of pepper.
There is nothing better than beginning a dinner on a healthy note, never mind what you gobble later. To begin with, the guests would get liberal servings of Moong Salad and Kosamberi. Vegetarian starters would be in the form of Achari Paneer and Ladies Finger Fry while the non vegetarian palate would be served with Lemon Chicken, Keema Balls and Crab Fry. Bread would be in the form of Butter Naan and Kulcha. Curry has to be spicy otherwise for me it is a dessert. However, keeping in view varied tastes, vegetarian curry would be Dal Bukhara and Ennai Kathirrikai whereas the non vegetarian ones would be Butter Chicken, Chicken Chettinad and Chettinad Mutton Curry. A party based on Indian food without Biryani is like Kashmir without the snow capped mountains. To avoid any cause for such ridicule, there would be Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani and Mutton Dum Biryani. For the vegetarians, there would be Vegetable Biryani and Peas Pulav. Rasam has great digestive properties. If Europeans give a soup at the beginning to stimulate appetite, we give Rasam at the end to stimulate digestion. Here again, we have proved our forethought because digesting what you have eaten is of paramount importance. Thus, the penultimate serving would be White Rice and Rasam. Desserts would round off the party and they would be in the form of Jodhpur Moong Dal Halwa and Tender Coconut Water Payasam. Paan’s customary presence at the end would be ensured.
As far as entertainment is concerned, I would refrain from the usual antakshari, musical chairs, etc. There should be something which excites the families and also gives them a different perspective about each other. Have you ever wondered, mothers are so desperate to see their sons married? They will turn Earth upside down to get the best bride but once he is married and happy, they get jealous and the never ending Mother-in-Law [MiL] and Daughter-in-Law[DiL] battle begins. If only they learnt to live like mother and daughter, most nuclear families would never get created and many old age homes would go out of business. More often than not, a MiL and DiL never understand each other like and dislikes. To facilitate this, I have come up with KYSoB (Know Your Saans or Bahu) wherein they would separately be asked five questions about each other likes, dislikes, favourite food, color, holiday spot, etc and cross checked with the other to find the compatibility. Hopefully, they appreciate the common points and understand each other’s diverse interests. Couples have problems with each other because one does not realise how irritating he or she behaves in certain situations. To project this irritating attitude in a humorous way, there would be a contest wherein wife would mimic the husband and vice versa in typical situations. The judges would be the couples themselves. The winners would be given gift hampers of products from Kitchens of India by the specially invited senior citizens. After the party, the guest would be personally seen off by me and my family.
P.S: Dear relatives and friends, never ever expect such a treat from me, this is basically written for Kitchen’s of India contest. It took me a lot of magnanimity to imagine being so generous J J ☺.