Weddings are the biggest social events of India and the list of food items served in this epic occasion are not only judged by its taste but are also immortalized by word-of-mouth. Among the various aspects of desi weddings, the most noteworthy talked about topics include the lure of the decorations, the look of the bride / groom and how were the starters, main dish and desserts of the lengthy food menu. It is quite a true fact that weddings are definitely attended with a plan to gorge gleefully on the numerous delicacies that would be arranged neatly in rows on long tables covered fully with perfectly white tablecloths. As to get an occasional break from the daily process of conjuring up some meals to satiate the regular rumbles of hunger is indeed a relief, so, the goal of getting to feast on some lavishly cooked up fares for free in a decorative and cheerful setting pleases us mentally and we generally march on/ drive to the wedding venue by making claims that we could come back by literally making our tongues and stomachs happy with the rich spicy, salty and sweet offerings of food. Apart from socializing with people that we haven’t meet in ages or have just been newly introduced, the longing of taking a bite on the sumptuous fares always stays till the time we don’t step in the food gallery and giving the reviews of the taste of the food with a known person secretly after eating is a must before we finally bid goodbye or step out from the wedding venue.
Here are a list of food items that is a part of every Indian wedding venue-
It is a common sight in desi weddings to see waiters moving around to ensure that glasses or cups of warm soup are served to every guest sitting in the reception hall. Inspite of being richly nutritious due to the presence of a good number of veggies or huge chunks of meat, the semi-liquid superfood that can be simultaneously chewed or gulped as per our wishes has the capacity to sooth the senses of even the most grumpy visitor. Therefore, soups are nowadays served in almost every wedding to please the visitor with a concoction that is tasty, healthy and pleasing too.
As the refreshing drink coffee has the capacity to rub off the tiredness of a person and bring him / her back to a new life literally by giving off a sudden burst of energy anytime one seeps it in, so, it will certainly remain the classic welcome beverage in all Indian weddings. With the enticing aroma from the rich brown coffee beans giving a visitor a sensation of pleasure to the mind in the very first whiff and the taste taking away every kind of thirst besides energizing the body, this caffeinated drink, therefore, will always retain the tag of ‘most desirable starter’ among wedding goers.
Every child who goes to attend an Indian wedding with his / her parents will gleefully hop to the golgappa counter as soon as the meet-and-greet sessions with the bride or groom is over. Besides being a source of delight for the young human beings, the crunchy puris filled with spicy flavoured water along with a good dose of mashed potatoes couldn’t even be resisted from being munched on by adults. Golgappas are no longer only the regular kind of street food items now but a kind of comfort snack.
Fish, chicken, paneer, aloo……. the list of tikkis that are served to visitors varies as per the choices of the hosts or caterers in every Indian wedding venue. However, the common thing that is noticed among these small crunchy fried snacks is the way of serving. Waiters would roam around the reception hall with a tray comprising of tikkis, a jar of toothpicks , a bunch of paper napkins and a tub of sauce. The visitors are given the opportunity to take tikkis in the way they like i.e. either with or without a paper napkin, with or without sauce and the greed for grabbing a handful of tikkis from the tray wouldn’t be mind or fussed at all.
The Staple Dishes
As chapattis and rice are two of the foremost staple dishes among the inhabitants of India, so no desi wedding , which comprises of visitors of every race and religion, would be held without the inclusion of these items in the food menu. Huge sized naans that are religiously brushed with generous doses of butter which would melt and blend smoothly with its crunchy dried texture would lure bread lovers in a wedding and they would often skip gobbling on rice once they get swooned away by its buttery taste. Meanwhile, two types of rice- steamed plain version and pulao are prepared to satiate the taste buds of the ones who always lust for this staple grain. While steamed rice is adored by the one who likes their food of life in its purest form, the ones who do not hesitate to experiment with their sense of taste would load platefuls of pulao to enjoy with the yummy side dishes that are on offer in huge quantities.
Apart from the lentils that are prepared in its spiciest form, there is the tawa to nourish the visitors of a wedding with a load of different veggies that are deep fried atop it. For the die-hard vegetarians, paneer is always present in its different avatars- shahi, palak etc. Moreover, wedding hosts would always ensure that vegetable koftas are prepared in the best way possible so that the vegetarian visitors would not feel sad on missing out something delicious that are of course, non-meaty. Although non-vegetarian items are served in a separate table in almost every desi wedding, the one item that is never missing from the list of meats is mutton. Besides fish, mutton is mostly served probably because its tender flesh can blend perfectly with various spices and thereby help a cook in conjuring up a superbly rich and tasty curry.
The first table that greets every visitor in the dining hall of an Indian wedding is the one that is generously decorated with condiments. From the range of pickles served neatly side by side to the bowls of salad of every hue and taste, the condiments that are prepared for wedding visitors are no less than a dish as it is laboriously prepared with much time so that it can greatly satisfy every human tongue. Moreover, the plates, spoons and napkins are gorgeously decorated and arranged in the table where the range of awesome condiments are placed.
It is a fact that mithais of every type and taste always makes its chief presence as a dessert mandatorily in all Indian weddings. When any type of occasion is celebrated with a bite of mithai as a symbol of literally soaking in the vibes of happiness, there is no doubt that a life changing milestone such as a nuptial ceremony would be marked with loads of desi sweets and even the wedding invitees are given the opportunity to gorge on the quantity as per their likes with a hope that they would bless the newly-weds with notes of best wishes for a bright loving future. While some hosts serve pure sweets to their guests without the addition of any other dessert in it, a good number of them provides mithais along with yoghurt or rice pudding , as a ultimate sweet cocktail.
The ghee based confectionary i.e. halwa is prepared with a number of main ingredients like lentils, gourds, carrots, semolina. As marriage of two persons is held only once in a lifetime, so the halwa that is found in the dining halls of Indian weddings are prepared in oodles of ghee and garnished with a large quantity of dry fruits so that the visitors can go back home with feelings and taste of extreme happiness. Moong dal and gajar ka halwa are the two common halwas that are served to guests in desi weddings.
Yoghurt- the milk product that is formed by bacterial fermentation of milk- is served widely as a dessert in Indian weddings. With its cooling property, yoghurt becomes the perfect dish to finish up the hot spicy wedding meal. Besides making a stomach full, it will also aid in the digestive process of everything that we had gobbled up right from the time we set foot in the wedding venue.