Monday, June 3, 2013

My Royal Durbar Party with Kitchens of India

I've been really lucky with friends all through my life. Always had the best friends a person could wish for. Loyal and supportive, they have always been there for me.   It’s high time I showed them how much they mean to me.  I think I will throw them a party!  An evening for everyone to let down their hair and have fun;  an evening of music and laughter.
Yes, it has to be an evening, in the open air with the stars twinkling in the night sky.  Evenings always lend an aura of romance and magic. Since most of my friends will be busy during the week, I shall keep it on a Saturday evening.
I’m thinking poolside.  Water bodies have that relaxing and calming effect on you.  It has to be the ITC Mughal Sheraton Agra. For as soon as I saw their pool, I fell in love.  I have a feeling all my friends will like it too! 

A royal durbar theme comes to mind!  Carpets  and rugs on the floor with some silk cushions thrown in.
 A couple of hookahs would add a nice touch.   They would add to the feel.
  A Mehendi artist must also be roped in.  Just for fun!
 And of course a group of musicians who are comfortable with Ghazals as well as the latest hit songs so people can sing and dance too.
  Have to get a deck of cards as well!
We should also have a game of Bingo/Thumbola!
I like seeing twinkling lights in the night.  It always makes things appear magical.   So must remember to decorate the pillars with lights. 
Now for the dress code, I think with the ambiance ethnics will be just fine. Imagine all the girls swishing and whirling around in colorful ghaghra’s?
Now for the most important part- the food.  I want to stick with my royal durbar theme and I want to go for something consistent.  I don’t want to take any chances here.  At the same time, I do not want to cook myself.  I cannot compromise on the quality.  It has to be the best. 
And then it struck me-Kitchens of India by ITC  They have "Ready to Dine" curries and desserts, masala mixes, chutneys and conserves!!  Best part is they have an online shop and will mail it to you!!  When it’s from ITC, you can be sure about quality , so no worries there. It's actually delicacies made in Indian Royal households of yore.  Food fit for kings now recreated by the celebrated chefs of ITC.
Am randomly going though their site and am confused.  So many mouth watering things...Strawberry Mint Conserve, Apple Cinnamon Conserve....yum!! 
I can imagine them melting in my mouth.  Would be yummy with pancakes and even puris. Think I shall order a few bottles of those.  You can even eat it plain.  Yum.    I know...I know..I’m working backwards.  But what can I do?  I have a sweet tooth and I love Indian sweets and these bottles just caught my eye.  So will finish choosing desserts, now that I am onto sweets.
I have zeroed in on two yummy dishes.  Just reading the names, makes my mouth water.  So here they are:
Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa - This is a Rajasthani desert made from moong dal simmered in milk and garnished with almonds and saffron. .Doesn't it look decadent?
Hazoori Petha Halwa is a sinful North Indian delight made from grated petha,cooked in ghee,milk and khoya garnished with raisins.  Mmm.

You can eat them straight from the pack or heat them they say.  I think with the sultry weather we have been having, I will serve them at room temperature.

Mirch ka Salan is something I have never had.  Am pretty sure most of my friends haven’t either.  It could be a dish of  novelty.

 For the veggies, I shall go with Paneer Malai and Mughlai Paneer.

The main course will be Vegetable Biriyani and Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani

I shall just buy the mix from Kitchens of India and voila I"m all set to go!! 
Now I want to give all my friends a small token gift.  I’m drawn towards the conserves…Apple and Cinnamon or Strawberry and Mint.  I’m confused.  They both look appealing with those pink labels and all. I think I”ll just order both.  Tie a ribbon around the necks and keep them on the table.  Guests  can pick one up on their way out.
I think I will enjoy organizing the party because I won’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and that too when it’s a party, the more free time you get, the more time you can spend on doing other fun stuff like dressing up and all. And unlike my cooking if anyone asks me to make the same thing again, I can be sure it tastes the same.( Yes!  I will be ordering online again.)   Aaah. Thank you Kitchens of India.  Where were you before?
At this point, I can’t help but be grateful to be born in this era.  Imagine  our moms and gran-moms all had to slog in the kitchen.  Love you Kitchens of India.!!   Just love you!!

PS:  This post was written for a contest hosted by Indiblogger
and sponsored by Kitchens of India.
All the images are taken from the net.  Thank you unknown photographers!!