For some people, throwing a dinner party is one of the chief pleasures in life, but planning the perfect menu to wow your guests can be a tough one to call. Perhaps that’s why many keen home cooks choose an overall theme to inform their dishes. If you’re looking for a theme that knows how to bring the party to life, why not pick a vibrant Indian inspired menu and a colourful Bollywood theme?
India is a country famed for its festivities. With such a diverse ethnic mix living side-by-side on the sub-continent, it is unsurprising that every month there is a celebration going on in one of the states. From the explosion of colour that is Holi to the glittering lights of Diwali, India knows how to throw a party. And food is a vital part of the celebrations.
This exuberant festival atmosphere is encapsulated by Bollywood culture. Bright costumes, dancing and even more glitz and glamour than Hollywood, a Bollywood theme will add a touch of the exotic to your dinner party. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the menu to match…
A little bit of finger food to whet the appetite always goes down a treat. Just provide plenty of napkins and maybe some bowls of lemon water to rinse any messy hands. In India, it is customary to eat meals with the fingers, and as a result, there is a wide selection of savoury snacks on the Indian menu that conveniently makes for excellent finger food. Crispy pani puri and crunchy bhel puri make excellent replacements for crisps and nuts whilst chunky samosas and bhajis provide a little more bite whilst still leaving room for your guests to crave something more.
A Bollywood Buffet
In many of the Indian states, a typical meal comprises of a treat-laden thali. However, this can prove rather time consuming to dish up for a large party. Instead, why not serve your Bollywood feast up buffet style. Many delicious Indian dishes are true one-pot wonders – you could even cook up some dishes the day before to save time. A creamy dal or saag paneer dish should keep the vegetarians happy whilst those that enjoy their meat might enjoy some tasty Tandoori chicken and a spicy vindaloo curry. Don’t forget to stock up on papadums, rice and a selection of delicious dips or chutneys on the side.
Once the food is sorted, don’t forget to concoct some Indian inspired drinks. Why not try your hand at making some Indian inspired cocktails – muddled cucumber, green chilli and cilantro makes for a delicious gin and juice drink whilst adding a little tamarind paste to your margarita can bring a touch of eastern charm to this Mexican drink. If you have some alcohol-free friends then you can’t go wrong with a cooling mango lassi or perhaps a hot masala chai to spice things up.
Of course, sometimes planning a dinner party can end up being far too much effort. In which case round up the troops and head off to one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants. You won’t regret it.