If you don’t know Indian food very well, a quick scan through an Indian food catering menu may leave your head spinning. But as Business Insider notes, Indian cuisine is one of the growing trends in the U.S. So when ordering for your next office event, where do you start? Understanding the different flavor profiles and spices will help you get a sense of which dishes are right for a group and how to choose the right mix. Luckily, this is your go-to guide to ordering from an Indian food catering menu for your next meeting or party.
The first step in getting to know the Indian food catering menu is to understand the vocabulary. Many Indian foods are named by for the cooking process associated with them, you’ll find commonalities across every Indian menu. And in most Indian dishes you’ll find some combination of coriander, ginger, turmeric, red chili powder, cardamom, and cinnamon. Here are key phrases to help you navigate Indian food menu:
When you pick your dishes, it’s also important to pair it with the right sides and drinks. Many Indian caterers and restaurants will provide a variety of chutneys, pickles, yogurts, or cucumber slices to accompany your meal. It’d be wise to order a few of these cooling side dishes to pair nicely with the heavy main courses commonly found in Indian cuisine.
Just don’t leave out the naan. It’s a favorite on any Indian food catering menu. Naan is a soft, leavened flatbread baked in a tandoor oven and brushed with butter or oil. Most dishes pair well with naan as a vessel that soaks up the delicious gravies. Some restaurants may also serve chapati with the main dish, a crispy flatbread similar to naan.
If you’re looking to cut the heat, also try ordering a yogurt-based drink blended with sugar or fruit to help cool your palate. Lassi and chaas are traditional Indian options that help calm your taste buds.
Indian food is great for vegetarians and catering to other dietary restrictions. But it also feeds a crowd. These dishes are meant to be served family-style. They are not usually plated as individual portions. Instead, they are served in platters and shared among groups, which is great for a buffet lunch and learn or other office events.
As India Marks notes, when ordering, forgo the idea of one main dish per person. Instead, consult your caterer’s recommended portion guides. Many restaurants offer half-plates that serve two to three people. Or you can order full plates that generally serve four to six people. Add in a selection of side dishes to supplement your entrees for a full meal.
With its wide array of spices and family-style convenience, Indian cuisine is just one simple way your office can shake-up your next catering order. Commit these basic Indian food catering menu guidelines to heart, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful — and flavorful — office meeting.
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