Eating Your Way through a Three Day Desi Wedding
The Indian Weddings have been aptly described as an "Extravagant Affair", as everything in these weddings is elaborate- right from the magnificent decor and an enormous guest list, to the grand ceremonial outfits and the scrumptious buffet spread!
In India, serving food to guests has always been given a great level of importance. Our warm, loving Indians never step back from serving a grand menu of food as an integral part of the wedding! This food is made using traditional Indian Recipies blended with homemade spices, thus completing the affair with the strong, palatable aroma of the Indian Cuisine!
Being a land of cultural diversity, the style of preparing of various dishes- including the basic ingredients, herbs, and spices vary from one region to another. Immersed in history and tradition, each region in India boasts of exclusive dishes- making the cuisine as rich and diverse as the culture! No celebration is considered complete without great food, hence, the Big Fat Indian Wedding cannot be left behind when it comes to mouth watering delights! Let us take a close look at the diversity in the "Desi" Wedding food, based on the region and culture!
NORTH INDIAN WEDDING FEAST:
In the North Indian Culture, weddings are given special importance and are celebrated with great pomp and pride. The food menu is as luxurious as it can be. The guests are treated with a lot of respect and are given a warm-hearted welcome.
Right after the guests have arrived, they are served with appetizers and finger foods which include kebabs, samosas, rolls, patties etc. Also, beverages like soft drinks, fruit juices, tea, coffee, mocktails, lassi etc are also served. Moreover, in some Punjabi weddings, guests are also served with cocktails or alcoholic beverages. This goes on until the Pheras are completed, which is the concluding part of the main wedding ceremony. Thereafter, the buffet spread is laid, wherein more appetizers and the main course are served. Desserts and fruit platter are also served.
The main course in the North Indian Weddings is generally inspired by the Mughlai Cuisine- which includes a lot of cottage cheese, tandoori meat, creamy curries and naans dripping with butter! The most common items included are Dal Makhani, Tawa Pulao, Butter Chicken, Shahi Paneer etc. Other North Indian varieties may also be included in the food.
SOUTH INDIAN WEDDING FEAST:
In the South Indian Culture, the wedding ceremony is usually conducted early in the morning.
The guests are lovingly welcomed and are served with appetizers and finger-foods. Beverages like Nimboo Paani (Lime Water), coffee, tea and fresh fruit juices are also served on the side.
At the completion of the wedding ceremony- after the bride and the groom are declared Man and Wife, the main course is served. All guests sit down together on the floor to eat. The food is served on Banana leaves, and no silverware is involved. Generally, the food includes items prepared using lentils, rice, spices, chilies, coconut etc. Once the main course is done, dessert is served.
After having the meal, the guests meet and bless the newly-weds and take their leave.
WEDDING FEAST IN WESTERN INDIA:
Weddings in West India greatly vary from state to state:
Maharashtra: In the Maharashtrian weddings, freshly washed banana leaves are used to serve the food. The guests sit together in a dining hall - either on floor mats (Chatais) or on wooden seats. Generally, onion and garlic are avoided in the preparation of the meal for the wedding and the food is vegetarian. Buttermilk may also be served with the main course and then, desserts like jalebi, basundi etc. are served. Generally, paan is eaten as a mouth freshener.
Gujarat: In the Gujarati wedding, the main course is served at the beginning. This includes appetizers like dhokla, khandvi etc. and authentic Gujarati dishes like Kadhi, Dal, rice, Undhiyu, Rotla, Patra, shrikhand among much more. This is followed by dessert which includes Jalebi, Sheera, Doodh-Pak, Doodhi no Halvo etc.
Rajasthan: Rajasthani weddings have a royal cuisine which includes spicy food cooked in pure ghee. Kairi ka Panna, Matthis, Dal Baati, Mattar Kachori, Papad ki Sabzi etc are some favorites at the Rajasthani weddings. The desserts include Ghevar, Gaund Laddoos, sooji ka Seera etc.
WEDDING FEAST IN EASTERN INDIA:
The main focus in Bengali weddings is on the appetizers, finger foods and drinks. The food comprises of both, vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian Dishes include Begun, Bhaja, and Poto Posto while Muri Ghonto is a non-vegetarian favorite, among many others.
As most of the Eastern States have fish as their staple, Bengali Dishes like Macher Kaalia are popular at weddings. The main course is followed by dessert which includes sweets like Mishti Doi and the mouth-watering Roshogulla.
On the contrary, Bihari weddings have a lot of sweet items- in both- snacks and desserts. The main course includes vegetarian as well as meat dishes, wherein rice dishes are given special importance. Generally, alcohol is not served in Bihari weddings.
WEDDING FEAST IN NORTH-EAST INDIA:
The weddings in North East India include a lot of non-vegetarian varieties. Since fish is a staple throughout the eastern parts of India, at least one Fish item is always included in the menu. This is especially true in the case of weddings in the states like Assam and Tripura.
Some vegetarian main course dishes are also served to the guests, along with some finger foods on the side. Rice is also another staple, which is widely served at these weddings. Bamboo shoots are invariably included in the wedding meals, as are noodle soup varieties.
Desserts and soft drinks are also included on the menu.
Regardless of where you hail from, just like the Indian Cuisine is incomplete without the aroma of spices, dessert is also an integral part of the Indian weddings. Halva prepared with Moong Dal is an all time favorite, although other varieties like carrot halva and almond halva are well-liked options too. Barfi is another common dessert seen in weddings throughout India, which is served in a huge variety of flavors. Other assorted dessert items that are universally present at Indian Weddings include Ras-malai, Jalebi with Rabri, Kheer, Laddoos and obviously, Gulab Jamun.
In the recent years, due to an influence of the Western Culture, Indian Weddings also include multi-tiered cakes, which are cut together by the Newly-weds to celebrate the union of two souls.
December 16, 2016