The Menu for this party is decidedly low-key. Instead of treating guests to a full blown Indian feast, I've opted for an ethnic spin on traditional movie & party foods.
Garden Salad (optional)
Indian Spiced Popcorn
A bit of a spin on the build your own English Muffin pizzas, these naan pizzas are larger and sure to be a hit. Naan is a delicious, fluffy Indian flatbread that is often labeled pocketless pita in regular grocery stores. The following list of ingredients will allow your guests to be as daring as they choose with options for an Indian inspired pizza or a California BBQ chicken pizza.
1-2 packages of Naan
6 chicken breast fillets skinned and sliced
1 large red onion sliced
1 green pepper seeded and sliced
1-2 packages of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped cilantro for garnish
1 tbs rojan josh paste
1 tbs low fat yogurt
1/2 jar of rogan josh cooking sauce
*Patak's is a good brand to use for the Indian sauces and is carried in Wegman's. Try subsitituting Tikka Masala for a milder flavor.
1/2 c of Ken's Steak House Italian Dressing & Marinade
1tsp Grill Seasoning
your favorite BBQ sauce
The night before: Marinate half of your chicken strips in a mixture of the rogan josh paste and yogurt, and the other half in the Italian dressing
The morning of: Remove chicken from marinade. Sprinkle the Italian marinated chicken with grill seasoning. Cook in batches over medium heat in a non-stick pan sprayed lightly with oil. Cook for 6-8 minutes until chicken is cooked through and is charred. While chicken is cooling, slice veggies and place all the toppings in separate baggies or plastic containers.
Party Time: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up your toppins bar by placing each topping and sauce in it's own bowl or use a lazy Susan, place naan on a plate or platter. Allow guests to assemble the pizzas as they wish using either the rogan josh or barbeque sauce as the base. Bake for 10-15 minutes until pizzas are golden and cheese is bubbling.
Don't forget a pizza wheel so guests can easily slice their pizzas into manageable portions.
Indian Spiced Popcorn
A movie night calls for popcorn and this one is no exception. For a twist on your average buttered pop corn try these recipes for Bombay Popcorn or Sweet Garam Masala Kettle Corn from popcorn.org
8 cups popped popcorn, warm
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons curry powder or hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut, golden raisins or sliced almonds, optional
- Place popcorn in a large bowl.
- Microwave butter 20 seconds or until melted; stir in curry powder until well blended.
- Drizzle seasoned butter over popcorn and stir to distribute.
- Sprinkle with salt, sugar and optional ingredients; stir gently until blended.
Sweet Garam Masala Kettle Corn
½ cup popcorn kernels
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garam masala, Indian spice blend
1 teaspoon salt
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot (with a lid), place popcorn, sugar, oil, garam masala and salt. Cover and place over medium heat until corn begins to pop.
- Once corn begins to pop, shake pot constantly over heat. When popping slows, remove pot from heat and transfer popcorn to a bowl to serve.
Yield: 10 cupsIf you don't want to pop the popcorn on the stove, or buy the extra ingredients try ordering the Orange Chai & Masala Popcorn Kits from What's Eating Yin's Etsy Shop , each kit is only $2.50 and comes with everything you'll need to pop enough corn for 1-3 people right in your microwave.
Lassi is a popular South Asian drink which is essentially a smoothie. They are sweet and refreshing, and the yogurt provides a nice compliment to some of the more spicy dishes on the menu. This recipes calls for canned mango, but fresh mango can be subsitituted if you are able to find a sweet ripe mango at your local store or farmers market. Lassis can be garnished with ground cardamom or crushed pistachios.
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
3/4 cup milk (any type)
3/4 cup canned mango pulp
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar, adjust to taste
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Fill four serving glasses with a few ice cubes. Pour lassi into serving glasses and serve immediately.
If you do decide to serve a salad try serving it with yogurt based dressings like those made by Bolthouse Farms. I've also come across an interesting recipe for Cilantro-Ginger Vinaigrette.
Local Tip: If you live in South Jersey, you should try the Chai Ice Cream from Pat's Pizzeria on Route 73 in Marlton. It is delicious and would make a great dessert for an Indian themed party.