I absolutely love to entertain. I love to have people over and cook for them. I find that very relaxing. When I cook or bake something I always think about my friends and family. What they would like to eat, how they would enjoy something I have made. The thrill is to know that people who you care about have really enjoyed what you have made.
I love to set my table too. I mostly buy my tablecloths from India. Intricate embroideries on delicate fabrics, muted colors, or Rajasthani block prints on table linens. Traditional artwork done on contemporary designs. All I need then are some fresh flowers, and we are set. I also love shopping at Williams Sonoma. I feel happy while in that store.
Having said that, it’s all about the friends and company and not about the food or table setting. There are times when we just call for take out or pizza. When I am organizing a party though, I like to make a few things ahead of time. So on the day of the party I am relaxed. We recently had our good friends Mukta and Ashish over for dinner. Mukta who is expecting wanted just a simple, home cooked meal. So this is what I made.
- Okra in a green gravy ( “Seyal Bhindi”) cooked with cilantro, green chilly and tomatoes
- Lentil (” toor aamti”) lentil cooked and tempered with cumin, curry leaves and asafetida
- Indian cottage cheese with green peas (” paneer with peas”) cooked in a tomato based sauce
- Cucumber salad (” kakdi koshimbir”) finely chopped cucumber with lime juice and crushed peanuts
- Chappati (Indian bread) store bought and plain white basmati rice
- Since my friend is expecting, served a tall cold glass of mango lassi (no alcohol) and store bought samosas (fried them at home)
- Dessert: Ina’s Peach and Blueberry crumble served with vanilla ice- cream (Click here for the recipe)