Indian weddings are full of multiple events. The most celebrated events with meals are the Mendhi party, Sangeet, Garba, and Wedding day. Within the wedding day, often times the host family will provide breakfast/brunch, lunch, cocktails appetizers, and the dinner menu. Depending on the entire wedding plan, couples and their families will host even more meals and events, prior and/or post wedding day in addition to the main ones I just listed.
Now, how does one decide on the menu so there is no overlap and guests are eating the same thing for every event? Start by selecting the region you want to serve foods from for the wedding dinner. If you’re South Indian, provide items that are traditional to the South Indian wedding cuisine. Often times, there are specific items that should be served for cultural reasons or that are traditional foods to encourage health, wealth and good fortune. Add in the next major meal food selections. If you are hosting a Sangeet and this is the next major meal, you might want to serve North Indian food. If you happen to host a Mendhi party at home, you could do a fusion brunch for the menu. You can always do a North Indian meal for one of the other events too. Be bold and consider serving a completely different cuisine for other events. Korean, Mediterranean, Mexican, or fusion selections give you lots of options. A vegetable fried rice stuffed samosa would be a yummy fusion appetizer.
For other menus such as breakfast/brunch, lunch, and cocktail hour, fill in the items that are good finger foods, popular items that everyone will know, and consider providing Indian sweets and snacks as other filler items. Don’t be afraid to select non-Indian items such as fruit platters, veggie platters, or other popular items. Bruschetta, mini sliders, tomato soup shooter and grilled cheese, kebabs of any kind, and shrimp cocktail are always go-to options.
If you are providing breakfast for overnight guests staying at a hotel, don’t feel you have to provide all Indian food. Often times the hotel will have a great selection of breakfast items that everyone will eat, not to mention you probably have a food and beverage minimum you have to account for. If you are worried about serving a few Indian breakfast items: add sambar, upma, idli, dosa’s, or various chutneys just to name a few.
Remember to work with an experienced caterer who is reputable and offers a lot of variety for food selections.
One last takeaway: if you choose to serve Indian desserts and your caterer doesn’t provide them, have your caterer order the Indian desserts and sweets from an outside dessert supplier for you. Cheers to yummy Indian menus!