When you are working full time and you want to host a party for more than a few people AND you want to cook most of the food by yourself at home, you have to deploy some smart techniques. Otherwise you’d be exhausted and tired by the time your guests arrive.
When I host, I love to keep variety in appetizers, munchies and drinks. People love to eat small sized food (meaning starters) so that they can easily move around with their food while socializing with the other guests. Irrespective of whether you have fewer appetizers and more entrees, people prefer eating more appetizers than the main course. They some how find a way to avoid eating too much of the main course. Also, its always fun to have small bites or tapas along with your drinks. Hence I have learnt it always pays off to have more appetizers than main course dishes. Lesser food gets wasted this way.
In my experience, when you have a mixed group of guests; some of who are meeting each other for the first time, you can engage them in an activity…. like make yourself chaat ;). Some of the best conversations happen during meal prep and your guests will instantly feel at home.
My husband and I recently invited some friends for dinner and cocktail party on a Saturday night. It was total 11 of us. With just Friday evening and Saturday morning in hand, I had to come up with efficient ways of offering multiple items that were also easy to make.
My appetizer list: Total 11 😀
Make yourself chaat: Total 3
– Masala Sing
– Yellow Chana Daal
– Bhujia Sing
Prepared chaat: Total 1
– boiled black chana chaat …. (the one we use to get at Juhu beach in Mumbai!… it was Yumm) 🙂
[Soak the black chana daal overnight and boil them in pressure cooker with some salt and pinch of baking soda]
Ready-to-make appetizers: Total 7
– Chiken Shu mai (Trader Joes)
– Raisin and Fig crisps with Brie and Goat cheese (Trader Joes)
– Chicken Teriyaki pineapple meatballs (Costco)
– Chicken Tandoori Samosas (Indian store)
– Cheese Jalapenos Peas Potatoes Samosa (Indian Store)
– Khaman Dhokla (Indian Store)
– Methi Muthiya (Indian store)
For main course: We had Chicken Angara, Mutton Chops, Gobi Aloo, Rice, Naan, Boondi Raita. Everything was made at home except for naan. Also, my sweet SIL got Gobi Aloo. Will share the recipe for these in consequent posts.
For Desserts: Homemade Mango kulfi with Homemade Angoori Gulab Jamun! Find recipes here:
On Friday evening, my husband and I rolled up cones using some magazine paper. I sealed the edge with glue. You could use transparent tape as well. If you can make cones with out using either, go for it… you probably save some. The paper cones remind me of Indian street side food! I use to love eating street side chaat and these bring back fond memories. I’d say the chaat tasted even better when it was served in paper cones 😀
We managed to roll up 20 or so..
This is the best part… I have a blackboard from Michael’s. I have it hung on my Kitchen wall. Every day’s menu goes here 🙂
So there it is,…chopped onions, tomatoes, sing, chana, bhujia sing, green chutney, sweet chutney, lime slices, chopped coriander, chaat masala. Accompanying dips for other appetizers.
Making chaat ay my chaat counter! 🙂
Mixed daal and sing chaat! Is your mouth watering yet? 🙂
The other appetizers: fig and raisin crisps with different cheeses, chicken pineapple teriyaki meatballs, chicken shu mai, methi muthiya, boiled black chana chaat, khaman dhokla. The samosas were gone even before I could click..
Main Course: Chicken Angara, Lamb Chops, Gobu Aloo, Boondi Raita, Rice, Naan, Angoori Gulab Jamun, Mango kulfi (Will share the recipe for these in a different post).