(This is my entry to the Indiblogger-ITC Kitchens of India contest. The contest is about one's own dream weekend party with gourmet food from Kitchens of India)
Weekends. They are a boon. Time for us to escape the drudgery and indulge in luxury, isn’t it? But for some, especially women in the Indian context, what unfolds is more to do with grocery, cutlery, crockery and cookery! Phew!!!!
I like food. I sometimes enjoy cooking too. Note the word ‘sometimes’. When I have something more interesting to do, something that would give me more gratification and make me immensely content, then I’d rather do that than invade the kitchen. One such ‘something’ is donning my storyteller hat. Go and blurt out stories to children. I visit one particular place in Bangalore where the children welcome me with open arms. While I have to accept that I’m not going there as often as I wish to, my connection with those children is rock-solid.
By now, you would have guessed where my party would be and who the guests would be. Yes, it will be at the orphanage cum school and my guests would be the children! These children are either orphaned or come from the weakest sections of society, so a gourmet party would be a life-time experience for them. My son and I will play hosts and will plan out the menu. If my little one approves it, those little ones will approve it too, right?
Here comes the first factor – Ambience. Chirping of the birds returning to their nests, cool late evening breeze and loads of laughter. When you have happy, lovely little children around, what more can one ask for? I’d probably put up a makeshift pandal, just as a contingency measure. Weather in Bangalore is totally unpredictable.
The second thing to take care of is entertainment. What do you think? Would there be any other source of entertainment than my stories??? The idea may not interest you that much, (may be even make you queasy!) but for those little children, I’m their Story Aunty! So that evening will see free flowing stories including impromptu performances by children, story contests and more!
As you can see, there are big plans, which means, me cooking for the party is out of question. Here is where I see Kitchens of India coming to my rescue. I can make/order rice and rotis and just get the accompaniments from Kitchens of India! Talk about convenience! Not just that, it would also help me focus on the stuff that I’d need to get done for the D-day.
Finally, here comes my menu. I have carefully selected the items based on the nutritional value, taste factor and of course, my son’s inputs!
- Veg Biriyani (Made with Veg Biriyani Mix)
- Nutritious Dal Bukhara
- Mild Mughlai Paneer (peppered with a story from the Mughlai era, of course!)
- Spicy Mirchi Ka Salan (for the little grown-up ones)
- Cucumber Raita (To counter the Spicy Mirchi and to balance the Biriyani)
When children are around, can sweets be far behind? So I’ll grab a few packets of every dessert available with KOI, especially the nutritiously yummy Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa . I can imagine the ecstasy in their faces as they lap up the delicious dessert!
So, that would be my dream weekend gourmet party - an evening of stories with lovely little children and great gourmet food.
I am sure, at that moment, I’d be the most contented person on this planet.
(Do visit Shishukunj Vidyalaya in Ramesh Nagar, Bangalore. The children’s English skills will leave you awed. Even the tiny tots in primary school speak excellent English. Kudos to the teachers and the management for envisioning and executing it all!)