Friday, April 1, 2011

Hor d'oevres, Desserts, Brunch and Cricket

Following from the last blog on Holi, I wanted to write about discourse on the interpretation of the Satyanarayan Katha I attended. However, I am just going to mention one example here and leave out the remaining deep philosophy since I want to maintain the foodie nature of this blog.
One of the stories in the katha is about a woodcutter, and the symbolism is that we drag our lives and its responsibilities like a pile of wood, akin to the poor woodcutter, whereas human life is a divine gift that one needs to be thankful for and live graciously. Oh well, that didn't come across as well as it did from the Panditji, but believe me Rashmi, there is a deeper meaning to the katha that is best heard from someone learned and qualified to talk on the subject! :)
Now, coming back to food talk, yours truly and a few friends got together last Saturday for a "potluck" party with hor d'oeuvres and desserts being the theme. We had a few parties in the past where people got an appetizer and an entree, and invariably everyone would eat the appetizers and barely touch the main course dishes, resulting in  waste of food and effort. Indian hor d'oeuvres (if you can call them that) like papdi chaat, tikkis, tikkas, kababs and kati rolls, and gulaab jamuns, rabdi-ras malai etc. desserts can be deliciously satisfying and filling. Honestly if you have a table full of unlimited quantities of fresh chaats, chutneys, kati rolls and kababs, and buttery creamy desserts, who needs anything else? They are easy to cook, hassle free to serve (self servable mostly) and hit the right food pleasure spot in the the mind (or wherever). On a day to day basis one wouldn't go through the trouble of preparing these appetizers, so a potluck like this is the perfect way to satisfy the chaat craving, as well as bring out the exotic experimental chef in you. In a potluck setup it also saves participants the hassle of painfully preparing roti/bread/rice items. And kids love 'em too!

Here are some pictures of the spread we had.
This is the non-veg and desserts section. In this picture: Seekh kababs, kati rolls (in the foil), chicken tikka, fish kababs, cup cakes, fruit salad with custard and a bowl of Lindt chocolates. And of course the chaat paapdi which was delicious enough to be honored with a place in the non-veg section!

This on the right is a blowup of the beautifully presented fish kababs!

The Veg section consisted of alu tikkis, idli, samosa and cheese rolls (I think. I didn't explore the veg section in detail :-)). Also tagged in this picture, diligently home made gulab jamuns.

Yes, all of the food here in these pictures is home made, except the seekh kababs (mea culpa, I ordered them but they were yummm and there was no way I could make them myself)

The evening was complete with an unlimited supply of drinks and good music, and concluded with 2 hours of poker. The group has decided to continue theme based potluck parties. So it could be Indo-Chinese theme one time, and Italian theme another time. In the nearest foreseeable future however there is going to be a brunch party for the World Cup Cricket Final on Saturday at my place. All nervous for the match but looking forward to some great brunch ideas.

In other food related news, the PM Mr MM Singh and the Pakistani premiere dined together at the semi-finals. According to reliable sources, the menu for the dinner included gosht barrah, tandoori pink salmon, tawe ki macchli, murg lazeez, gosht palak saag, chaamp biryani, bhindi naintara, subz biryani, gajar ka shorba and dal makhani. The desserts included apple cinnamon crumble, kesar phirni and fruit salad.
Food for thought for the next party!!

Well, let's see how the finals go. The food will still be great though! May the best team win, and may India be that best team!!