In Indian culture, food plays an integral role in bringing families, friends and communities together through a shared experience of flavours. These dishes are not only enjoyed by those in India but also by the wider community around the world, from Afganistan to right here in the United Kingdom. An Indian dinner party or festival celebrates the exotic flavours of Indian culture through traditional dishes. So continue reading to discover the best Indian dishes for a dinner party.
Best Indian dishes for a dinner party: appetiser, mains and dessert
As summer has started its time to get together and impress friends and family with some amazingly delicious Indian dishes. Indian cuisine has a variety of flavours for everyone to enjoy, making it the perfect choice for a sensational dinner party. So we’ve created the perfect set menu for your dinner party, including vegetarian and vegan alternatives to make sure that your guests can experience the powerful taste of India.
Haryali Chicken Tikka
This dish originates from the North of India and is traditionally cooked on a brazier called angeethi using skewers. The word “Tikka” means bits or pieces, and that is exactly what this dish is, bits and pieces of deliciously marinated chicken. To get the full experience of a traditional Indian appetiser, you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 chicken breasts (cut into pieces)
- 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 2 teaspoon dry mango powder
- 1/2 cup yoghurt (curd)
- 1 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 2 green chilli
- 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 3 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- salt as required
- 1 1/2 cup mint leaves
- refined oil as required
Firstly, you will need to prepare the paste which will marinate the chicken. Place the coriander and mint leaves, along with the green chillies, into a grinder and grind for a few seconds until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
Then, in a large bowl, add the paste along with the yoghurt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder, garam masala powder, salt and pepper. Once all the ingredients are combined, mix in the chicken pieces.
After mixing for a few minutes, make sure that all the chicken pieces have been evenly coated. Set the bowl aside and allow for the chicken to be marinated for a minimum of thirty minutes.
Once the chicken has been left to marinate, heat the griller and drizzle on a bit of oil. Place the chicken on the grill and allow the pieces to cook until all sides have turned brown. To give your appetiser the perfect finish, serve with mango chutney and sliced onions.
For vegetarian and vegan guests, why not replace the chicken for chunks of potatoes or their favourite veg and swap the yoghurt with a dairy-free vegan option. For more information and instructions on how to prepare dishes like this one, visit Times of India Times of India for more ideas.
This particular dish is celebrated in Kakori’s restaurant in Milton Keynes restaurant in Milton Keynes . So if you would like to give it a go before you make a mess in the kitchen, enjoy the taste of India, delivered right to your doorstep.
Kothimbir Vadi (vegetarian/vegan)
The delicious taste of coriander is the key ingredient in this crispy, savoury fritter. The name of this dish originates from the Marathi language, where ‘Kothimbir’ means coriander leaves. Traditionally deep-fried and served with a variety of cool dips, this dish is a perfect way to start the night. With a light flavour of cilantro and garlic, this starter will impress your guests as you combine the taste of Kothimbir Vadi Kothimbir Vadi with the technique of Gujarat. To try this dish, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 bunch Cilantro or coriander leaves approx 85-90 grams or 3 oz or 2 cups loosely packed
- 2 Green chillies
- ½ inch Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup Besan (Gram flour)
- ¼ cup Rice flour
- Salt to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons Water
- 6 tablespoons oil for shallow frying
Firstly, you will need to make a paste using the green chillies, garlic and ginger by blending the ingredients together. Once the paste is ready, chop the cilantro leaves and place them in a large bowl along with the rice flour, besan, baking soda and salt. Rub these ingredients together using your fingers until they are thoroughly combined.
Then, add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder to the wet mix. Slowly add a little water to the bowl and knead the mixture until it creates a dough. If the mixture is sticky, then wash your hands, add some oil to your palms and continue kneading the dough.
When the dough can hold itself, your mixture is ready to be steamed. First, you will need to prepare the steamer by adding two glasses of water into the steamer and let the water simmer. Once the water has come to a simmer, divide the dough in half and roll into roughly a six-inch log.
Once the dough has bee prepared, place the logs into the steamer on a tray and steam for approximately seventeen to eighteen minutes. To check that your dough is cooking well, insert a knife into the centre of the log and the knife should come out clean.
When the dough is thoroughly cooked, remove it from the steamer and let them cool down. When the dough is cool enough to touch, cut the pieces into half-inch thick slices.
It is now time to deep fry or shallow fry your Kothimbir Vadi until they are light golden brown and deliciously crispy on both sides. Dry the Kothimbir Vadi on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
Serve your tasty starter warm with a dip of your choice; we suggest trying it with a creamy mint dip or mango chutney.
A well known Indian dish that satisfies the taste bud can be found in the combination of mild spice and rich herbal flavours provided by the lamb dhansak. Originating from the Paris Zoroastrain community, this delicious dish perfectly combines Persian and Gujarati cuisine to maximise your experience. To give this dish a try, you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 kg/2lb 4oz diced lamb shoulder or leg, or a mixture of both
- 2 onions, chopped
- 25g/1oz fresh root ginger, peeled
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 red chillies, seeds removed, chopped
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 1½ tbsp ground cumin
- 1½ tbsp ground coriander
- ½ tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
- 200ml/7fl oz beef stock
- 75g/2½oz red lentils
- 3 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper
Firstly, you will need to preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 3 (130C fan). While you wait, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and add the diced lamb in two batches and cook until brown. Once browned, remove the lamb from the frying pan and set aside.
To cook the onion, add the remaining oil to the pan and cook for four to five minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. While your onions soften, place the garlic, ginger and chilli into a blender and blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
Then, using a rolling pin, open the cardamom pods to remove the seeds and use a pestle and mortar to grind them into a fine powder. Add the powder to the frying pan with the remaining spices, garlic and ginger mixture.
For the final step, add the lamb and the remaining ingredients to the pan. Bring the ingredients to the boil and then cover the mixture and place in the oven the simmer for around one and a half to two hours, or until the lamb is tender.
Accompany your delicious dish with some rice and allow for you and your guests to thoroughly enjoy. For more recipe tips, visit the BBC website and follow their step-by-step guide to make sure your lamb dhansak comes out perfect.
Masala Dal (vegetarian/vegan option)
India has the worlds largest community of vegetarians, and many of those that are not vegetarian often adopt a meat-free diet during religious festivals. The spices, herbs and many other flavours that is packed within Indian food speaks for itself. Why not try the variety of dishes that Indian cuisine has to offer for vegetarians with this delicious Masala dal. This dish is made with the following ingredients:
- 200g yellow and red lentils (or all red)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 fresh or dried curry leaves
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1 tsp Patak’s Garam Masala Paste
- 200g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Juice of ½ lemon
This recipe is easy to make, so start with pouring 600ml of boiling water into a saucepan. Add the lentils and turmeric and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes partially covered, until the lentils have absorbed most of the water and softened (add more water if necessary).
Place another saucepan onto the hob and heat the oil over medium heat. Put the mustard and cumin seeds into the pan and cook until they begin to crackle. Once this happens, add chilli, garlic, ginger and curry leaves into the pan. After frying for one minute, begin to add the tomatoes and garam masala paste, cooking the mixture for a few more minutes.
Finally, add the lentils and season with salt, bringing the mixture to boil and mixing in the coriander and lemon juice. Again, serve this spectacular dish with rice of your choice.
For a wider variety of dish ideas and what to pair these dishes with, visit Ashley’s blog ‘My Heart Beets’ ‘My Heart Beets’ for a detailed description of why Indian cuisine makes for the perfect dinner party.
Gulab Jamun Dessert Parfait
Before you send your guests home, why not try India’s traditional dessert Gulab Jamun Gulab Jamun . This vibrant and tasty dessert is often served during India’s Diwali festival of lights to accompany the bright and colourful decorations that light up India’s communities. This easily made dessert, which can be made the day before and placed in the fridge, can impress your guests. To try this traditional dish, you will need the following ingredients:
- 12 Small Gulab Jamun
- 2 Cups Plain Yogurt
- 1/2 Cup Cream – whipped
- 1 Tsp Saffron
- 3 Tbsp Milk
- 3 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Honey
- 1/4 Cup Pistachio – chopped
Firstly, pour the cream and yoghurt into a bowl and whisk well until combined. Then, place this combination into a saucepan, along with milk, water and saffron, and bring to the boil. Once boiled, take the pan of the heat and set aside to cool. After the mixture has cooled, stir in the honey until it has blended well.
Then, cut half of the Gulab Jamuns into thin slices and cut the other half into quarters. Begin to layer the Gulab Jamuns over two tablespoons of previously prepared yoghurt mixture into a dessert size bowl. Once the Gulab Jamuns has been layered, place another tablespoon of the yoghurt mixture over the top and spread the saffron-honeyed milk over the top. Repeat this process until the mixture reaches the top of your bowl.
Finally, decorate your dish by placing some chopped pistachios on top and leave your dessert to settle in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This dish can be left in the fridge until the next day, ready to surprise your guests with a colourful traditional Indian sweet treat.
For a vegan alternative, replace the cream with full-fat canned coconut milk, the milk with coconut milk and the yoghurt with dairy-free option.
Guarantee the perfect dinner party
Indian cuisine is one of the best meals you can dish up for your guests. Packed with flavour and full of traditional sentiment, these are the perfect treats to create a sensational night your guests will never forget.
Many Indian dishes are packed with flavour to satisfy your taste buds, and these are just a few examples. To try out some dishes to find your favourite flavour, visit Kakori’s Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes for the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Indian meal.
If you want to guarantee your guests experience the delicious flavours that India has to offer, why not get an Indian takeaway in Milton Keynes Indian takeaway in Milton Keynes with a selection of delicious dishes from Kakori.