Spruce up your party menu

Published: 01st December 2012 10:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2012 10:20 AM   |  A+A-

Winter is officially here, and with  December arrives the season of festivities and parties. Setting up a party with an elegant and interesting menu might sound unmanageable, but all you need to impress your guests is to follow some easy steps.

Dump old boring menu

Never go for a routine menu. Surprise your guests with some innovative and unexpected dishes. For example there are numerous ways to improvise your welcome drink. Instead of serving normal orange juice make a special drink. Mix orange juice with sprite or club soda, add a  little condensed milk and chopped apples and garnish it with fresh mint leaves. Your special welcome drink is ready. Experience with fruits and flavours so that you will come out with your own signature drink. Likewise don’t serve payasam or ice cream for dessert as it’s another area you can come up with innovative items.

Try it out

Dumping the routine menu doesn’t mean that you prepare an all-new dish on the D-day. Go for trials and never make a recipe for the first time for a party. Pick a dish you like and enjoy making and then build upon it. If you are an expert in making biriyani you can have it as the main dish, but with a difference. Instead of chicken or mutton you can have a liver biriyani or a prawn-and-spinach biriyani. You can also go for a different garnishing by adding prunes and saffron. 

If you are more confident about your pasta you can look for more exotic recipes and try them. But always make sure that you can handle it easily as you will not be in a position to struggle with cooking on the day. You can always make ahead some dishes that require a last minute baking only. 

The visual effect

Whether it’s buffet or a sit down meal the food should be appealing to the senses. Your special desi fish curry must be yummy, but what if it looks drab and uninviting? So proper garnishing matching the colour tone of the dish is required and try to accommodate a variety of colours on your table. Pick something that enhances the colour and texture of your dish and bring out a play of contrasting colours. Always use bright and vibrant garnishing for food with a muted look. Never go for an overkill and make sure that you use only edible items for garnishing. But the most important thing is that the garnish should compliment the taste of food. If the garnish doesn’t go well with the flavour of your food, opt for something else. Garnish should never be at the cost of taste so make sure that it doesn’t destroy your food. Use vegetables, fruits, herbs, sauce, icing and cocoa to drizzle or stripe or to simply sprinkle on top of the dish.  

Be guest friendly

Go for food that fits the season. For example, barbeque will be a nice idea during winter. Go for heat-inducing dishes that suit the climate so that there are no health issues. If possible make all your meat preparations boneless. While making curries, go for a thicker a gravy so that it can be eaten with a fork. Keep in mind that your guests include vegetarians and non-vegetarians so be ready with items for both the categories. There will be sections who  can’t have pork or beef, so go for safe choices like mutton, chicken and fish.

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