Delicacies At The Big Fat Indian Wedding!
Taking pride in every whiff of its flavour, dignified with spices to savour, adorned in colours of curries, here at WA, we unravel the incredibility of Indian food taken from the roots!
The aura of Indian weddings is personification of the gleeful and diverse facet of the varied populace here. Families endeavour to make it the most cherishable event by rendering it with the most impressive decoration, delicacies and entertainment. Here you will witness bountiful friends and family who are grooving endlessly to the rhythm of varied form of ecstatic glee. But most sought after zone amidst this mirth is found in food corners where you will find visitors sprawling towards assortments of cuisines served in a thematic way. Taking taste beyond a sole state, food counters in Indian weddings are crammed with various cuisines; however, the most dominant ones among them is our great Indian authentic cuisine. Guests are enticed with the cuisine as the traditional taste of spices and flavours are derived from their roots of native abode. Renowned Chef Himanshu Taneja of JW Marriott, Juhu shares, “Indian authentic dishes are enormously popular at weddings and events, with the large assortment of regional cuisines to choose from. Indians are accustomed to authentic dishes, which have an almost sentimental value and familiarity attached to them. Undeniably, authentic Indian cuisine also maintains a superior equilibrium of flavours and textures, which serves as wholesome whilst being a splendid visual retreat.”
Adding to this, Executive Sous Chef Abhijeet Thakre of Taj Hotel says, “Weddings are not complete without an elaborate Indian food set up. Guests, today, want to showcase their native cuisines at weddings and prefer traditional dishes, prepared in the traditional homely manner but served artistically, as a highlight for the event. Also, at the other events that are related to weddings, the preference for regional Indian cuisines is on the rise as more and more people travel across India and are willing to experiment with other regional cuisines than their own. Chat counters are an eternal favourite and no wedding in Delhi can happen without one.”
Eternally In RageWith newfangled themes and extravaganzas coming up in destination and lavish weddings, food counters are spectacularly presented amid trend setting embellishments. Gone are the days of suave backdrop, nowadays quirky or magnificent themes are in rage. Chefs adorn in costumes at par with the themes, buffet is in afloat for displaying lavishness, the live stations add vigour to the entire milieu, but what remains constant from the decades is the taste of authentic cuisine that still lingers on from the past. Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar says, “People call special ‘maharaja’ to prepare authentic food in terms of having that little break from standard fusion menu concept. Authentic wedding food is getting more and more diverse and regional with each passing day. This trend is exemplified with regional cooks getting their own spaces and slots in buffets.” In royal weddings the Indian flavours is served in luxury utensils in order to spell the whole majestic taste infused in magnificent settings. Renowned executive Chef Amit Dash of Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon adds to this, “Each guest wants their event to be only one of its kind and talk of the town. While designing the menu with our banqueting team, guests ensure that the team of chefs create dishes that are authentic and stress on the presentation. Another trend that is quite common is live stations. Guests demand live counters along with the existing menu. The number of live stations can go up to 5-6 depending on the budget of the guest. For example, we hosted a Kashmiri wedding for which the guest requested for a specialty chef from Kashmir to be flown down to Gurgaon.”
Indian cuisine boasts its heritage and diversity through colourful variety of food items from various regions served at weddings and events. Each religion is influenced with different cuisine and consumption habits. For instance, vegetarian food is common in India, dal is a staple food and rice has a place of honour in South India. Pickles and chutneys contribute to authenticity of cuisine decorated in vivid ways in weddings to satiate the Indian taste buds. Adding seasoning is very important and it is called as tadka. All mughlai dishes are clad with tadkas and blended with spices, oils and textures. Most celebrated dishes that are in rage and have topped the wedding menu are, “Ker sagri pulav, Dal bati, Bajra khichdi with kadhi, chicken/veg stew with appam, payassam, masala prawns with solkadhi shot. Mutton Roganjosh, Shammi Kebab, Chicken Chettinaad, Fish Amritsari, Paneer Methi Malai are few of the dishes which are most admired by all. Apart from these, some traditional vegetarian fare includes ghatte and ker sangri. A multitude of flavours is incorporated by addition of traditional spices in to these dishes while the core ingredient remains the same. According to Chef Abhijeet Thakre, Tandoori chicken or tikkas, Dal Makhani, Biryanis or flavoured rice, paneer dishes and all kinds of Indian desserts are must haves in the menu at weddings.
The Non Vegetarian Delicacies
The most popular in Punjab, barbeque zone in weddings is one of the most sought after zone that serve up Indian traditional fare. Dishes like, “Barbeques whole fish wrapped in banana leaf, Lamb Kabobs, Tandoori Chicken, Corn seekh kababs are sumptuous among the list.” Talking about the non-veg dishes in rage on menu celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar shares, “When it comes to non vegetarian, kebab platters are dominating like always.” Adding to this Chef Himanshu Taneja says, “There are delectables popular from every region, from North – tandoori chicken, South – malabar fish fry, East – Macher Jhol, West – Kombdi Rassa.”
The Vegetarian Delicacies
There are ample of varieties in vegetarian list, the most luring of them all are Dal makhani, paneer tikka masala, gulab jamun and rasmalai. Sambar which is an authentic dish of southern paradise has been moulded to suit the pallete of each state, creating their own variations. It can be eaten with rice or dosa. Rajasthan and Gujarat’s cuisine in weddings consist of dals like dal tadka and variants of achars. Whilst Punjab’s greatest contribution to the culinary world in vegetarian realm consists of dal makhni and tandoori breads.
Weddings are about love, hope and toasts! Most brides and grooms entertain guests with lots of champagne, and wine throughout the night. Indian food combined with wine is actually a joy to behold for the guests in disposition to celebrate. According to Chef Amit Dash, Executive Chef, Courtyard by Marriott- Gurgaon, “While finalising the menu, guests opt for the beverage menus after deciding on the food menu. Guests may opt for packages that consists a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Whilst wine has made its presence in Indian wedding menus, many guests still prefer mocktails and a selection of alcoholic beverages, especially fine whiskeys and vodka on their menus.” Adding to this, Chef Himanshu Taneja, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai, Juhu says, “Indian food has a myriad of flavours which complement various beverages that suit various palettes.”
At the same time, as many food trends dilute faster but the ‘Indian Authentic Food’ trend has stood the test of time and taste. The exceptionality of this cuisine lies in the robust diversity of different tastes of India that are beautifully captured in every recipe, complete with the unique touch of every region.