Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spice up Christmas with Indian food

It's a tradition within my friend circle. I host the Christmas dinner every year. This year I hosted 2 dinners in 4 days; one for my new colleague-cum-friends, the other for this regular group of friends to keep up the tradition.
So I knew there'd be a lot of cooking to do. I thought I might as well make it fun for myself.

Dinner on Dec 22nd, 2012:
I had invited my colleagues to my house for the first time. The gathering was one of its kind because some of them were also accompanied my their (indian) parents, some by their children, some indian colleagues had american spouses and some american colleagues had indian spouses. (Also, after the party I realized all the couples, including us, had inter-religion marriages!!! which is not so common in India). That just made the evening ever more special!!
So,  here's the menu:

  • pani puri (buy puris, and Mirch Masala pani purwh i paste from Apna Bazaar)
  • Tostitos chips and salsa
  • Water melon
  • Pistachios
  • Veg Pulao (I'll post a very easy yet amazing recipe very soon)
  • Daal Makhani (Vah chef's recipe is very popular among my friends)
  • Ghatte ki sabzi (because I'm from Rajasthan and because an american colleague loves it)
  • bhindi fry (okra with sauteed onion and tomato)
  • fish curry (my husband made it, christmas without fish curry is no christmas for him)
  • roti (ordered tandoori roti from Mayuri Indian Cuisine restaurant...wasn't a very good idea as the rotis were cold and chewy by dinner time)
hot gulab jamun and cold vanilla ice-cream..a deadly combination! Must try!

Overall it was a fun party. Lots of food!! Amazing people!! Music and games!!

Dinner on December 24th, 2012:
Now my regular group of friends. With this group, everytime we get together, the menu is set : chicken curry or mutton curry for all the meat eaters, some paneer gravy for the only vegetarian in the group (me), and roti. Even the dessert is fixed forever - ice-cream cones.
I was craving for some change, but I still had to please the very picky eaters in the group. So here's the menu I came up with:

  • pani puri again (since it was a favorite on the 22nd dinner)
  • chips and salsa again (easy and everyody's favorite)
  • garlic bread (i tried this garlic bread from Winco for the first time, people just loved it!)
  • veg spring rolls (Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe, people love this too!
  • Chicken Tikka burger (sanjeev kapoor's recipe)  - i tweaked the recipe a bit by serving jalapeno ranch dressing, Mirch Masala coriander chutney, and pickled jalapenos to make the burger spicier and juicier!
  • Spicy roasted potatoes (recipe)
  • Hawaiian salad (mixed greens, chopped pineapple, chopped mangoes, roasted almonds, lemon juice, a pinch of paprika powder)
  • Didn't do much here, asked a friend to bring ice-cream cake from Coldstone bakery. 
Overall, I think my guests liked the change too. The food was easy to make, easy to serve, and easy to just pick and eat.
We did the White Elephant gift exchange too. Some gifts were oh-so-funny!!
  • a beautiful gift bag(of course empty)
  • past Halloween's masks, wigs
  • underwear (of course new and unused)
 And then played our favorite holiday game - Dumb charades!

and danced a lot, on desi music!!

All in all, it was fun 4 days to have all the friends over, eat, drink,  and party!!

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