I have no idea what caused me to host an Indian food themed cocktail party, especially since I knew nothing about the cuisine before booking the date.
After about six weeks of testing, learning, and tinkering, my walls permanently smelled like turmeric (ok, the smell disappeared after two weeks but c’mon).
I started the evening with a few platters of sandwiches. The spicy cream cheese tomato was my favourite followed by the cilantro chutney with cucumber (I used greek yogurt instead of cream cheese). The ginger cabbage and ginger pineapple sandwiches were a new flavour combination for most but not nearly as popular. (However, no sandwiches lasted long).
Making samosas for the first time was interesting. They were tasty but without a deep fryer, I had trouble getting a perfect crispy crust. They were served with a tamarind sauce for dipping and were gobbled up fast so I guess they were good. I used a perogie cutter because I’m too lazy to shape them into triangles.
Chicken tandoori meatballs (just ground chicken, onions, and tandoori sauce) are classic in Indian cuisine but meatballs are boring so I made sliders instead. I grilled the mini burgers and toasted the buns over charcoal and topped them with cabbage, pickled red onion, and tomato. I made a dozen and they were eaten the moment I turned my back (I should have grabbed one for me first! grrr)
Chicken tandoori sushi seemed like a good idea at the time but even when dipped in the tamarind used for the samosas, they were dry. Chicken breast rubbed with spices and grilled over charcoal was tasty but doesn’t hold up against the rice. Bland and boring. Serves me right for not testing this one in advance.
Veggie pulao. Sweetened rice was a new thing for me. I didn’t think it would work but since I added a lot of cilantro and vegetables to balance the taste it turned out well. Very popular, cheap, and easy to prepare (I made it in the morning and just reheated the rice before serving).
Curry truffles (I ommited the mango from the published recipe) were an unsuspected favourite, mostly by me because they look fancy and taste so rich, yet are very easy to prepare. One is coated with shredded coconut toasted in the oven for a few minutes, the other is coated with mango powder.
The cardamom pistachio ice cream was a simple cream and sugar vanilla base (no eggs) so it was light and fluffy. Very tasty. Everyone should spice up their ice cream.
I also served cucumber mint limeade and a passion fruit, mango, and coconut juice. Both worked well with the bar and the guests often spiked them with various spirits throughout the evening.