Matrimony. It’s a time that brings people crawling out of the woodwork to offer their “help” to you, from the people you invite to the clothes you wear and right down to the food you serve. Up in the North, Mughlai food has become the unquestioning standard, but we’re sure there are plenty of brides and grooms out there who’d like to serve a different twist to their guests. Don’t fret; chances are, all of your well-meaning “helpers” urging you to take the safe road will probably end up happily surprised.
What we’re trying to say is, if you really want your wedding to be remembered for years to come, go ahead and ditch that traditional Mughlai platter for a menu that spans the length and breadth of India, from Kashmir to Kerala. Take your guests on a journey to India unknown by including the following dishes to your wedding menu-
1. Dal Makhani
This spicy Punjabi dal recipe will make your guests forget the Mughlai dishes. A mix of spices which give it a delicious flavour, it will leave your guests asking for more when served with a square of butter. A true Punjabi dish with all the craziness of the state!
2. Amba Khatta
How about a tangy dish made of spices and mango? That is Amba Khatta for you. A popular dish in Odissa, Amba Khatta is made of mango with a sweet gravy. Let the mouths water with this unusual mix!
A very popular dish in South India, Pulihora is a traditional rice dish with a strong flavour of ginger. Served in temples as well as in South Indian weddings, Pulihora could be a great substitute to the traditional Biryani.
4. Bharli Vangi
A Marathi matrimony is incomplete without this dish. An extremely popular dish in Maharashtra, Bharli Vangi is a curry dish made of brinjals (eggplants) and can be paired with different breads. It surely is a nice change for the guests and can replace the usual paneer recipes any day. So, go. Grab your guests’ hearts with this dish in your menu card!
5. Fish Paturi
Here comes a dish made from the state of voracious eaters! Fish Paturi or Macher Paturi is prepared with the fish enclosed in banana leaves. The leaves lend their own flavour to the fish and the dish leaves such an effect guests that they savour it for years to come.
6. Fish Egg Cutlet
Bengali, through and through! Bring a lot of taste and spice to the menu with this one. It can be easily prepared and is a hit in most of the Bengali celebration parties. You will not regret adding it to your menu.
7. Kerala Chicken Stir Fry
Ah, chicken! The endlessly versatile and malleable ingredient that brings creative ideas to a grinding halt. But that’s why we’re here! If you don’t know where to turn with your chicken dish, add a touch of Kerala to your list and include this dish in your menu. Kerala Chicken Stir Fry is served dry and can be a sumptuous meal for main course or for starters. Your guests won’t be able to stop themselves at a single serving.
When we are covering the whole of India then we can’t surely can’t ignore our snow-capped friends up in Kashmir, can we? And so, we’re serving up the renowned Kashmiri delicacy, Gushtaba, which takes all of the skill your mother’s kitchen can spare. A mutton dish, Gushtaba is a spicy delicacy which is served in yogurt gravy. A sure winner!
9. Vegetable Tikka Masala
A spicy mix of different vegetables, it can be served with different breads. It provides a lip-smacking taste and gives a home-like feel to the menu.
Cakes are an important food item in Christian matrimony as the ceremony of cutting the cake takes place after the marriage vows have been said. Though not a common dessert item in Indian weddings, cakes can be a great change from those gulab jamuns and kheer that are usually served post dinner. Thank the British for this valuable addition! And besides, who doesn’t like cake?!?
Weddings in India are now open to experimentation and creative thought, and all of these go far beyond the décor and the chosen location. The truly adventurous are those who seek to surprise their palettes and honestly, with such a rich tapestry of culture and cuisines in just the one country, we need to start celebrating with food in more eclectic ways.
All the options listed are as Indian as any dish can be and provide a much-needed change from the traditional wedding menu card, dominated by the Mughlai cuisine for decades. Take a bold step forward! You won’t regret it 🙂