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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Three weekends and Three Great Menus

I have spent the last three weekends in a cooking frenzy. We were entertaining friends and had them over for lunch or dinner over the three weekends. And I wanted to make it a special occasion each time. So, I put in a lot of thought in creating the menu for each meal. In total I made three exotic meals. Each meal had mainly Indian dishes though most of the desserts were quintessentially American.  I didn’t make any appetizers because the main course consisted of several dishes. Each meal had two vegetable preparations, dal or yogurt based curry to be eaten with rice, a rice preparation, salad and Indian bread.  Homemade yogurt was an additional side.

As a result of these wonderful weekends, I now have a lot of food photos and will be posting all the recipes in the upcoming weeks. (I am yet to move the older photos, back to my laptop from the back up hard disk. So the addition of these new photos comes at the most opportune time. I can procrastinate that task for a few more weeks).


It took a few days for me to come up with each menu, after a lot of careful thinking and some discussion with family and friends about what combinations of food would work the best. So, the final menus were as follows.


Menu#1

Main Course
  • Shahi Paneer - A preparation of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a rich cashew nut and saffron based sauce)
  • Aloo  Gobhi – A curried preparation of potatoes and cauliflower florets, with ginger and cumin flavorings
  • Vegetable Dum Biryani – An exotic rice preparation which has alternate vegetable and rice layers, with exotic flavors and dressed with fried onion, cashew nuts and saffron.
  • Boondi Raita –A yogurt based dip which has boondi (a fried snack made from chickpea flour)
  • Lachchedar Paratha – Layered bread made from wheat flour
  • Home made yogurt
  • Sliced salad – A mix of cucumber, onions, green onion, tomato, and radish slices. Served with lemons and green chillies
Dessert
Peach, nectarine, plum and raspberry cobbler with vanilla icecream and fresh fruit

Menu#2

Main Course
  • Matar Gravy – Peas prepared in a rich and exotic gravy of onions and coconut.
  • Baingan Bharta – Roasted eggplant in Indian spices
  • Dal Fry – Lentil soup with tempered seasoning of garlic and chillies
  • Jeera rice – Cumin flavored rice
  • Puris – Fried Indian bread made with wheat flour
  • Aam Ras – Mango pulp
  • Salty Lassi/Taak/Mattha – Salted, spicy yogurt drink
  • Homemade yogurt
  • Sliced salad – A mix of cucumber, onions, green onion, tomato, and radish slices. Served with lemons and green chillies
Dessert
  • Gulab Jamun – Deep fried, milk based (mava) balls  soaked in sugar syrup
Menu#3
  • Chole – A spicy chickpea/garbanzo beans preparation
  • Kadhai Paneer - A preparation of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a tomato based spicy gravy with green bell pepper and onions
  • Pakode Wali Kadhi – A yogurt based preparation made with besan/chickpea flour, with onion fritters added to it
  • Jeera rice - Cumin flavored rice
  • Naan
  • Homemade yogurt
  • Sliced salad – A mix of cucumber, onions, green onion, tomato, and radish slices. Served with lemons and green chillies
Dessert
  • Mango Cheesecake
  • Mixed Berry Ice cream

So if you are in a fix and need a menu to impress your guests with an exotic Indian meal, just choose one of these menus above, and I can guarantee that your guests will thoroughly enjoy the meal.

I will be posting the recipes for each menu in the following blogposts. I will try and go in sequence, however, if you want me to post any one of these recipes earlier than the other, please let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Recipes-for-all-Occasions/146379555394858).

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