In the great Indian culture, where guests are treated as Gods, impressing guests can become a huge deal, especially if they are visiting for the first time. But impressing them can become stressful because of the detailed preparations, time taking cooking, and arranging the spread in the most aesthetic way possible. We often try not to make any mistakes to avoid offending the guests or making them feel unwelcome. After all, seeing the guests become happy makes us happy too. In that process, it is essential to cook food that mesmerizes them and akes them shower you with praises! Some of such sure-shot recipes to blow your guests’ minds are listed right in this article. Keep reading!
Biryani is a must if you want to impress your guests immediately. There’s not a soul in India that wouldn’t relish this mesmerizing royal dish. Made with rice, vegetables, and meat, Biryani comes in many variations as the preparations and ingredients change with each region in India. The most famous kind is the Hyderabadi Biriyani. It is often served with Raita, Mirchi ka Salan, Papad, and some Indian Mango Pickle.
Shahi Paneer, translated as Royal Indian Cottage Cheese, is a rich, creamy curry from the Mughlai Cuisine. Historically tomatoes were not added to this recipe as this vegetable was not available back in the Mughal era. However, modern adaptations of this recipe include some tomatoes. Prepared with ingredients like cashews, almonds, cardamom, onions, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt, along with a good portion of yoghurt, Shahi Paneer truly is a royal dish.
Dal Makhani is a lentil-based dish served with rice as the main course. It originates in Punjab and is popular in North India. Lentils are pressure cooked and prepared with tomato puree, whole spices, chopped onions, ginger, garlic, chopped green chilis. In restaurants, a smoky effect is added by heating some charcoal until all sides are hot, then placing this charcoal in a bowl and pouring half a teaspoon of oil on it. This bowl is then kept atop Dal Makhani and covered until the charcoal smoke is infused in the dish.
Chole Bhature forms an essential part of North Indian Cuisine. They are prepared with soaked and cooked chickpeas with tomatoes, onions, and Indian spices. It is served with Bhature, which is Indian bread prepared with white flour and semolina. Chole bhature can range from spicy to tangy depending on which recipe you follow, as different regions have their versions.
Butter Chicken, natively called Chicken Makhani, is so famous that it has gained recognition by even international foodies! Grilled chicken is added to a creamy gravy of butter, tomatoes, yoghurt, and Indian spices. This dish is to be served with Naan or roti. Remember to garnish the dish with a spoonful of fresh cream for an extra creamy texture!
Pakode or deep-fried fritters is a famous evening snack of India, which is usually served with a hot cup of milk tea. Onions are sliced and mixed in a thick batter of besan and some spices and dropped in oil until they become golden brown or crispy. One can eat these pakoras with any Indian chutney or ketchup. However, eating them plain is also a joy in itself!
Dahi vada is a delicious snack item bursting with various flavours of sourness, sweetness with a dash of tanginess. Vada or lentil-based deep-fried dumplings are kept in yoghurt and seasoned with chaat masala, chilli powder, cumin powder, black salt, pomegranate seeds, sweet tamarind chutney or sauce, and coriander chutney. The texture of Vadas crispy outside and soft inside, along with the flavours of Dahi, is sure to leave your guests wanting more!
Sambar is a traditional lentil-based stew/soup with lots of vegetables and spices. Pigeon pea grams are cooked, mashed, and added along with tamarind pulp juice. Slightly sit fried vegetables are added and seasoned with authentic south Indian spices. Finally, tempering is added. Sambar can be a breakfast side dish or a main course lunch/dinner dish. It is served with Dosa, Idli, Vada, Upma, and some steaming plain rice.
Alu Gobi is the main course dish with two main potatoes (called Alu) and cauliflower (called Gobi). These vegetables are stir-fried and seasoned with ginger, garlic, coriander, and other Indian spices. It is a vegan dish. Alu Gobi is usually served with Indian flatbreads, like Naan, roti, chapatti, or Puri. It can also be eaten with some steamy hot rice.
Kebabs are typically grilled meat dishes eaten as a snack or as appetizers before dinner parties. However, vegetarian versions of kebabs exist as well. Meat is minced, and spices are added before they are shallow fried with either oil or ghee on a slow flame until the kebab is cooked inside, and a crispy golden brown texture appears on the outside.
Paneer Tikka is a popular tandoori style appetizer relished by many. Paneer cubes, also called Indian cottage cheese, are marinated in yoghurt and Indian spices. The porous paneer cubes soak up the flavours. It is then placed on skewers and kept inside an oven until well cooked and crispy. It can be prepared on a stove instead of a range.
Samosas are a great snack to offer when you have guests visiting in the evening. With some hot samosas and a hot cup of Indian Chai, the guests are bound to be elated. Vegetarian Samosas are stuffed with boiled potatoes, green peas, onions, and lentils. They are either fried or baked and are usually served with sweet date chutney and spicy green chutney. However, some people even like to eat them with tomato ketchup.
13Gajar ka Halwa
Gajar ka Halwa is rich tasting sweet delicacy eaten as a dessert at the end of a meal or as a snack. First, grated carrots are stirred in a pot with milk, water, sugar, cardamom, and ghee until it thickens to the right consistency. It is finally served with some garnishing of an assortment of crushed dry fruits.
Pav bhaji is an authentic dish originating from the state of Maharashtra. Visit the street of Maharashtra, and you’ll see pav bhaji being served to hundreds of people. It is prepared with boiled vegetables like potatoes, cauliflowers, carrots, beetroot, green peas mashed and sauteed with tomato pure and finely chopped onions and capsicum. It is then seasoned with Indian masalas like pav bhaji masala, garam masala, and Kasuri methi and garnished with lots of coriander. Butter is essential to get the authentic taste of the bhaji. So, don’t forget to add lots of butter to the bhaji and pav.
Vegetable Kurma is a flavorful vegetable side dish served primarily in south India and accompanied with roti, Puri, or rice. Veg kurma is prepared during special occasions or festivals. Commonly added vegetables are potatoes, French beans, tomatoes, green peas, carrots and blended with an aromatic mix of coconut, gram, fennel seeds, and cashews.
16 Naan / Roti / Puri
Naan, Roti, and Puri are three of the most famous Indian flatbreads accompanied by vegetable or lentil side dishes. Naan is prepared in an oven. Its texture is thick, fluffy, chewy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. There are several varieties of Naan: garlic naan, butter naan, chilli naan, and then there is plain Naan. Roti is wheat-based flatbread roasted on a pan until both sides are evenly cooked and slightly brown. Puri is also a wheat-based flatbread, but instead of being roasted on a pan, it is deep-fried in oil.
Pulihora or Tamarind Rice is a famous South Indian dish prepared during special occasions like festivals or pujas. It is often cooked as ‘Prasadam’ and offered to Gods and Goddesses during celebrations at Temples. Steamy rice is mixed with Tamarind pulp, jaggery, turmeric, fried green chilis, curry leaves, fried peanuts and seasoned with traditional south Indian tempering. It is a highly delicious special dish that tastes better when completely cooled down.
18 Gulab Jamun
Gulab Jamun is incredibly famous in India. These are small balls of milk solids dipped in sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom and rose essence, hence the name gulab jamun. Preparing gulab jamun has become relatively easy as many brands offer ‘gula Jamun mix’ that significantly reduces the effort and time required to prepare these sweet delights.
19 Baingan Bharta
Baingan Bharta is a vegetable side dish included in the main course. First, eggplant (called baingan in Hindi) are smoked by keeping them on the fire. Once all sides are perfectly cooked, its skin is removed carefully, and the flesh of the eggplant is mashed. Then, in a girdle, it is cooked with onions, tomatoes, and green peas and seasoned with Indian spices and coriander. It is usually eaten with Jowar roti.
Lassis are drinks made by mixing yoghurt and water with spices like cumin powder, pepper, cardamom, and salt. It is sometimes also served with fruits like mango. Lassis are the perfect way to end an Indian meal as they are incredibly filling. Serve some chilled Lassi to your guests after a hearty spread.