Throwing a Dinner Party? Use These Tips and Recipes
Who says a party has to be jazzy and the food unhealthy!
Time to change the game.
This time when you throw a party, serve super pretty food that is healthy to the core. And see how much your guests enjoy the spread. Healthy and tasty can co-exist.
Use these easy tips to throw a healthy dinner party no one will forget in a hurry!
• Sip Some Health!
You serve cups of soup on a rainy evening, because they warm up the insides. But your guests are flummoxed when they have to balance glass and cup in two hands – to sip or to sup?
Serve your guests zero-calorie lemonade – with no artificial additives, they’ll thank you for it.
- Get a tall jug; drop in a handful of washed pudina leaves you have gently squeezed and rubbed a little in your hands.
- Add a good squeeze of lime (1 or 2 whole limes).
- Top up with chilled water. Serve on ice.
The mint makes the lemonade taste surprisingly sweet: no one will believe it’s sugar-free!
• Use Small Plates
Get the hang of making 2-3 stellar dips, find a really good vegetable vendor, and you can get away with no cooking and few calories for party snacks.
- Serve one yogurt-based dip with shredded cucumber and mint.
- Do a tomato salsa with chopped onions, lime juice, dhania patta and kaala namak or chaat masala.
- Do a third exotic: roasted garlic puree, hummus (chickpea puree with lime and garlic), masoor daal cooked with onions and blended into a paté, or just a very good extra-virgin olive oil.
A selection of bread, toasted roti wedges, cut raw vegetables, and you’re good to go.
Partially hollow a piece of cucumber or carrot for a vol-au-vent shell! Avoid the boiled eggs, and serve ‘boats’ of roasted pepper or small brinjals.
Throw a Chaat Party!
Roast some baby potatoes in their skins till crispy, scoop out the inside with a melon baller, and fill with your favourite panipuri or bhel mixture.
For extra flavour to your chicken tikkas, save the woody stems from the big bunch of pudina you bought to make into chutney. Skewer the tikkas on them directly, leaves and all, for a refreshingly zingy flavour and wow presentation. Also, no seekhs to soak or wash up!
• The Healthy Main Course
Those semi-baked pizza bases quickly go soggy and are just icky maida (refined flour).
Make your own wholegrain ‘thin crust’ with katori-sized missi rotis cooked on a dry tawa or griddle till brown spots (or stripes) appear.
Here’s a cool twist to kathi rolls, with no added fat:
- Use large rotis instead of paranthas.
- Make some omelettes in a non-stick pan.
- Make a ‘salad’ of cucumber and carrot matchsticks, shredded lettuce and chopped onion.
- Lay an omelette on each roti, fill with salad and roll up in kitchen foil.
- Chill before slicing into ‘wheels’ to serve with mango chutney or saunth.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)