Indian Food Dinner Party
I'm having a dinner party next weekend and plan to serve Indian Food. So far I know that for apps I'll serve potato/pea samosas, pistachios. I need 1 more EASY app to serve. Any recs?
For Main Dinner:
Need dessert ideas. Dont want to do traditional indian sweets. If I have time I'll make something, if not ready made ideas are welcome too.
I would serve either a prepared samosa appetizer (can't get easier than that. check the freezer section of your local Indian grocer) or make a spicy shrimp appetizer to start. Alternatively, Floyd Cardoz of Tabla in NYC has a recipe for popcorn tossed with chaat masala that is great with cocktails, if that is what you are going for. I can post a recipe if you like. For dessert: mango sorbet.
re: Produce Addict
Here is the recipe for the Indian spiced popcorn. You can buy Chaat masala at any Indian grocery store. The brand probably doesn't matter too much. Mix the following and toss with hot freshly popped corn. I usually don't add any oil, but I guess you could add a bit of oil or butter to help the spices adhere. I don't find it necessary.
1 part Chat Masala (contains salt, dry mango, cumin, black salt, coriander, pomegranite seeds, ginger, chillies, mint leaves, caraway, nutmeg, cloves)
2 parts Cumin
2 parts Paprika
1 pinch Cayenne
I think Naan would be a nice addition. You could do a couple varieties, such as garlic, or cheese...YUM!
Oops I actually forgot to add that. I'm serving Paratha. I'm going stay away from Shrimp just b/c it'll get pricey (I'll have about 20 guests), and for dessert want something more substantial than sorbet. Please send me more ideas!
Seems to me that the menu is very rich and starchy. You might want to consider adding veg, or at least a chopped veg chutney (say, chopped tomato, cuke and onion with lemon, green chile, green coriander and roasted cumin, like a salsa) or even a simple veg garnish, sliced onions, green coriander chopped pieces of green chile and lemon wedges, and something fruity for dessert.
Drop the potatoes in the cauliflower dish and add something green, like beans or cabbage.
There are some great dry-sauteed dishes of these with mustard seeds, cumin, green chile, cilantro and fresh coconut (+ sometimes in the southern veersions, curry leaves or fried dal.
A pomegrante and banana salad (salt, sugar, and lime juice dressing) -- very refreshing
Toasted spiced nuts with fresh dates for pre-dinner
Paratha or naan with a selection of chutneys from sweet to salty, mild to hot
A lightly spiced rice pudding with sesame and coconut candies for dessert
re: Anne H
It's very simple. Seeds from 1 pomegrante, a couple of bananas, and a dressing of the juice of 1 lime, a T. of brown sugar and just a little salt, all adjusted to taste. Dress and serve immediately. (If you make it too far ahead, the bananas can get a bit mushy.)
You might want to add a little shredded coconut or some green herb (mint might be nice) for extra flavor and color.
Why not fry up (or microwave) some poppadoms and serve with raita and various chutneys? And have bowls of Bombay Mix-type snacks during cocktails?
Even though you said you don't want traditional Indian desserts, you can't beat Gulab Jamun. You could simply buy a can of it and serve it heated over a nice quality vanilla ice cream.
I don't know if it is traditional Indian dessert, but both my Indian markets sell Saffron/Pistachio ice cream that is just delicious.
I second pappadams, you can't get easier or cheaper. Just microwave them and serve with chutneys (cilantro-mint, tamarind). If you want to fill out the menu inexpensively a legume dish would be good and can be made in advance.
For dessert you could go with a carrot halva. There was a thread recently.
Another nice dessert is Sweet Milk Pudding/Vermicelli Kheer. I bet you can find a recipe online.
One of my favorite Indian cookbooks was recommended to me here on CH - Ajanta, Regional Feasts of India. You can't go wrong with the recipes in that book - there is a great green bean and potato dish (which is the cover photo)- and they also have recipes for the desserts I mentioned (though I haven't tried them). Ajanta also sells a spice box - with 30 essential Indian spices for $30. This box has made me so happy - and kept me from having to hunt every Indian grocery to find them! http://www.ajantarestaurant.com/
Does anyone have a method for microwaving pappadums? I usually fry them, but an Indian friend of mine told me he always just sticks them in the microwave. It is easy and clean to do it this way, but in my experience I have found that not all of the pappadum puffs up.
I lightly brush them with oil before throwing them in the microwave about 1 minute 15 seconds, turning over halfway through. It works well, but not perfectly - I get 'uncooked' portions every time.
A panna cotta would be nice... refreshing, light and a non traditional way you could incorporate traditional flavours.
mango PC with cardamon syrup
saffron PC with crushed spicy cashew brittle
coconut panna cotta with diced fruits and mint
chai tea panna cotta with an almond tuile
I had that problem before too. I started using a lower power and brushed the pop with a bit of water instead of oil and never had trouble again.