An Indian wedding is an embodiment of the rich culture and heritage of the country. A lavish and an extravagant Indian wedding is incomplete without delicious food. When choosing the menu, both sides of the family should be involved. In fact, the best way is to discuss the menu a few times beforehand because of the diversity of Indian cuisine.
Preparing Indian food is an art, and every dish is different yet mouthwatering. However it is important to be clear about the wedding menu. Once chosen, it shouldn’t be changed or altered. Choosing an exclusive menu of only a few dishes can be tedious, but there are certain things to take into consideration that will help you.
Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian
The first and the foremost thing is whether the menu should be vegetarian food, non-vegetarian, or a combination. Depending on this decision, look for a caterer who specializes in the kind of menu you want. However, even if you serve non-vegetarian food, keep in mind Indians don’t eat beef. The cow is considered a sacred animal in India.
The budget should be decided on immediately because it will make the planning easier. When the budget is set, you know exactly how much to spend on food.
Number of Guests
Make the list of all the guests. Also, make a margin of around 20-25 extra people more, since Indian weddings are huge affairs where more guests are always welcome. The amount of food will depend on the number of guests. And the number of plates served and the budget are directly proportionate to each other.
It is advisable to try out each of the caterers in order to see their competency. You should taste each and every dish you’re considering. Also, consider the states of your guests. For example, if it’s a Punjabi matrimony, you should serve some Punjabi food.
The season in which the wedding takes place plays an important role in deciding the menu. If it’s winter, you have to choose things like halwa and other hot dishes. If it’s summer, there should be a lot of fluids and food that is served cold. And if it is monsoon season, then take care to ensure the food is served dry. Also, certain dishes are seasonal, so this should be kept in mind while planning.
Include starters that are light and liked by all. You can vary between two or three kinds of starters, depending on your budget. Choose starters that are popular choice and well-received instead of rare and exotic dishes. This will help your guests feel comfortable in the beginning. If you want to serve exotic food, save it for the main dish. Popular choices for starters include samosas, petis, chaat, khadvi, and spring rolls.
For health conscious guests, offer some green, leafy vegetables and other healthy items in salad and condiment. Here, you don’t have to stick to the conventional style of cutting vegetables, and can even add Italian and Russian salad if you feel like it.
This is the real deal, and what your guests will remember most about your menu. It should include four or five types of vegetables, rice, breads and two or three kinds of daals or chicken. Don’t forget the naan and chapati to serve along side the main dish. Keep it in accordance with the culture and region of the bride and the groom. This should be the heaviest meal, leaving your guests feeling satisfied.
If you want to include liquor in your menu, make sure there’s a separate counter for it since some Indians are sensitive about its consumption. Serve mocktails, juices, soft drinks and other beverages. Your guests will appreciate choices in their drinks, but all you really need are basic beverages like water, juice and soda.
Desserts help relax the taste buds after the spicy main course. You can have some fun here, and include traditional, western, or both types of dessert. For most Indians, ice cream is a must.
At any wedding, the food must be fresh and presented well. Whatever appeals the eye is consumed more. Keep the menu simple yet lavish. If you experiment with exotic food, have a safe familiar option, since not everyone is fond of trying new things.