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BBQ Party Ideas. Around the World Food and Décor (Part 1) Indian

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BBQ Party Ideas: As countries and people around the world begin to emerge from lockdown you may be looking forward to hosting your first Barbecue party of the summer. Whilst a backyard BBQ is always a social affair, wouldn’t it be even more interesting and awesome to be able to host a themed BBQ party ?!

We will be highlighting various country themes, over the next few weeks, which will include not only delicious recipes with the BBQ particularly in mind, but tips and ideas for simple but effective décor to tie the whole party together.

We begin today with an Indian theme. Follow our website posts which will cover country themes such as Greek BBQ, Hawaiian BBQ, Moroccan BBQ, South African BBQ, Asian BBQ, British Pub BBQ, and Argentinian BBQ.

 

INDIAN THEMED BARBECUE

With exciting spices and intricate flavors, it is no wonder that Indian food is enjoyed around the world.

There is so much more to Indian food than a spicy pot curry. As this is primarily a BBQ article we are highlighting those foods that can be cooked on an outside grill along with tips for enticing starters and sweets that can be added to the menu to create a true Indian gastronomic food experience.

 

Appetizers

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It is usual at Indian parties with several guests to serve a combination of different appetizers. This way as your guests arrive they can begin to munch whilst awaiting the arrival of all the guests.

It is a good idea to make up a small platter with the different foods displayed which can be placed on tables scattered around the Barbecue area.

It is fairly easy to buy a selection of good quality Indian snacks that can be prepared easily at home.

Here are a few ideas for different snacks that can be prepared before your guests arrive.

Samoosas

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These wonderful spicy filled triangles can be bought easily at supermarkets if you don’t want to make your own. They are available in a wide variety of fillings from beef and chicken mince to potato and cheese options. If you have a favorite that you buy from your favorite deli ask for them to be supplied frozen – then cook just before serving.

Samoosa should always be served ( and indeed most Indian appetizers ) with a delicious dipping sauce.

Why not try this simple Mint and Cilantro Chutney

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What You Will Need:

  • A bunch of mint leaves ( stems removed)
  • 1 ½ bunch fresh Cilantro ( only remove stems if very woody and thick)
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped green chillis
  • I teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds
  • 8 Almonds ( can substitute with 2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts)
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh garlic – optional
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Method:

After washing the leaves and chillis place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it reaches a smooth paste.If need be add slowly a ¼ cup of water.

This chutney dip will keep well in a refrigerator for at least two weeks.

This is also a great dip when adding a tablespoon of the chutney to half a cup of yogurt

Mint and Cilantro Dip

Perfect to serve with Samoosas
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • A bunch of mint leaves stems removed
  • 1 ½ bunch fresh Cilantro only remove stems if very woody and thick
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped green chillis
  • I teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds
  • 8 Almonds can substitute with 2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh garlic – optional
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Instructions

  • After washing the leaves and chillis place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it reaches a smooth paste. If need be add slowly a ¼ cup of water.

Notes

This chutney dip will keep well in a refrigerator for at least two weeks.
This is also a great dip when adding a tablespoon of the chutney to half a cup of yogurt

.

Serve the samosas on a platter with Indian potato cakes ( fried spicy mashed potato cakes ) and spicy roasted nuts.

The roasted nuts can be done on a flat griddle pan over the fire before you start to bbq your main course.

Roasted Nuts on the BBQ

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Photo Credit: Donal Skehan

What You Will Need:

  • 300g of mixed nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • A 2 inch-sized piece of fresh ginger, Finley grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala (spice blend)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt

 

Method:

Place the olive oil onto your grill pan. When the oil is hot add the ginger,garam masala cumin, and cayenne pepper. Fry off to release the flavors but be careful not to burn.

Add the mixed nuts to the pan and toss in the spiced oil mixing well.

Allow the nuts to roast in the pan on indirect heat tossing every few minutes.

Remove from the heat allow to cool and serve.

A great idea is to place the nuts in single jars for distribution to your guests.

Roasted Nuts with Indian Spice

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time11 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • 300 gm packet mixed nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • A 2 inch-sized piece of fresh ginger Finley grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  • Place the olive oil onto your grill pan. When the oil is hot add the ginger,garam masala cumin, and cayenne pepper. Fry off to release the flavors but be careful not to burn.
  • Add the mixed nuts to the pan and toss in the spiced oil mixing well.
  • Allow the nuts to roast in the pan on indirect heat tossing every few minutes.
  • Remove from the heat allow to cool and serve.

Notes

A great idea is to place the nuts in single jars for distribution to your guests.

Bombay Mix

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Don’t forget to set out bowls of Bombay mix. These savory spicy snacks made from chickpea flour can be bought on Amazon and many Indian stores.

Now that your guests are enjoying their Indian snacks lets move onto the Main Course BBQ.

Main Course

Tandoori Chicken Skewers

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Makes 6- 8 skewers

What You Will Need:

  • ½ lb of chicken cut into long strips or cubed.
  • 1 A teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons tandoori masala spice mix
  • 6- 8 wooden skewers ( soak the skewers in water for at least 30 mins before using)

Method:

In a bowl mix together the ingredients EXCEPT for the fresh cilantro.

Place the chicken strips in the bowl and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Skewer the chicken.

If using a gas grill then preheat the grill for high heat. If using a charcoal grill then set for direct heat.

Place the skewered chicken on the grill grate and for 6 minutes ( for cubed chicken allow ten minutes to cook through) until cooked through.

Remove from fire to a platter sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

This could easily become a main dish when paired with Cucumber Yogurt Salad and grilled Indian bread, which you can pick up in many grocery store freezer cases.

Tandoori Chicken Skewers

Makes 6- 8 skewers
Prep Time3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • ½ lb of chicken cut into long strips or cubed.
  • 1 A teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons tandoori masala spice mix
  • 6- 8 wooden skewers soak the skewers in water for at least 30 mins before using

Instructions

  • Method
  • In a bowl mix together the ingredients EXCEPT for the fresh cilantro.
  • Place the chicken strips in the bowl and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
  • Skewer the chicken.
  • If using a gas grill then preheat the grill for high heat. If using a charcoal grill then set for direct heat.
  • Place the skewered chicken on the grill grate and for 6 minutes ( for cubed chicken allow ten minutes to cook through) until cooked through.
  • Remove from fire to a platter sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Notes

This could easily become a main dish when paired with Cucumber Yogurt Salad and grilled Indian bread, which you can pick up in many grocery store freezer cases or use our recipe below for Naan on the BBQ.

Skewered Vegetable and Paneer ( Indian Cheese )

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What You Will Need: 

  • 1 lb Paneer cheese cut into cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons Plain yogurt
  • 5 Tablespoons Tikka spice paste
  • 6 Green Bell peppers deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 8 Wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Method:

Mix in a bowl the yogurt and tikka paste. Add the paneer and gently mix to make sure the paneer is fully coated.

Leave to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.

Thread the cubes of paneer alternating with the bell peppers onto the skewer.

Preheat your gas grill to the hottest setting. If setting up a charcoal grill then direct heat must be used.

Place the skewers onto a rack. Place the rack on the grill. Cook for 15 minutes turning once. Paneer should be browned and golden all over.

Recipe Notes: It is, of course, possible to utilize a variety of vegetables on the skewer with the paneer. Whole button mushrooms, thickly sliced rounds of marrow and onion pieces work well.

The kebabs should be served with naa( Indian Bread) and a delicious Raita ( yogurt cumber dip).

Vegetable and Paneer Kebabs

Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 1 lb Paneer cheese cut into cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons Plain yogurt
  • 5 Tablespoons Tikka spice paste
  • 6 Green Bell peppers deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 8 Wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Instructions

  • Method
  • Mix in a bowl the yogurt and tikka paste. Add the paneer and gently mix to make sure the paneer is fully coated.
  • Leave to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
  • Thread the cubes of paneer alternating with the bell peppers onto the skewer.
  • Preheat your gas grill to the hottest setting. If setting up a charcoal grill then direct heat must be used.
  • Place the skewers onto a rack. Place the rack on the grill. Cook for 15 minutes turning once. Paneer should be browned and golden all over.
  • Recipe Notes: It is, of course, possible to utilize a variety of vegetables on the skewer with the paneer. Whole button mushrooms, thickly sliced rounds of marrow and onion pieces work well.

Notes

The kebabs should be served with naa( Indian Bread) and a delicious Raita ( yogurt cumber dip).

Don’t forget the Bread. Here is a recipe for Naan bread which works very well on a charcoal BBQ.

Naan Bread on the BBQ

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Whist traditionally a Tandoori oven is used to prepare Naan bread it comes out just as delicious on an open BBQ fire.

What You Will Need: 

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 ¾ lb Bread Flour
  • 1 sachet ( 7 grams) dried active baking yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 x Tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 3 Teaspoons of salt
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves ( optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter

Method:

Place the dry yeast in a large bowl dissolving it with the warm water. Stand for ten minutes. It should turn frothy.

Mix in the sugar, milk, salt egg and enough of the flour to form a soft dough.

Place the dough into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for an hour. It should double in size.

Punch down the dough and if using knead in the garlic.

Pinch off small pieces about the size of a golf ball and place these on a tray. Cover with a cloth and allow this to double in size.

Preheat your Barbecue to high heat or set the charcoal barbecue to direct heat.

Roll out a ball of dough into a thin circle.

After oiling the grate place dough directly onto it.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then brush with some melted butter before turning.

Cook for a further 2-3 minutes. When puffy and lightly browned remove from heat and serve.

Naan Bread on the BBQ

Whilst traditionally a Tandoori oven is used to prepare Naan bread it comes out just as delicious on an open BBQ fire.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 14 naan

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 ¾ lb Bread Flour
  • 1 sachet 7 grams dried active baking yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 x Tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 3 Teaspoons of salt
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves optional
  • 4 Tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Method
  • Place the dry yeast in a large bowl dissolving it with the warm water. Stand for ten minutes. It should turn frothy.
  • Mix in the sugar, milk, salt egg and enough of the flour to form a soft dough.
  • Place the dough into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for an hour. It should double in size.
  • Punch down the dough and if using knead in the garlic.
  • Pinch off small pieces about the size of a golf ball and place these on a tray. Cover with a cloth and allow this to double in size.
  • Preheat your Barbecue to high heat or set the charcoal barbecue to direct heat.
  • Roll out a ball of dough into a thin circle.
  • After oiling the grate place dough directly onto it.
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then brush with some melted butter before turning.
  • Cook for a further 2-3 minutes. When puffy and lightly browned remove from heat and serve.

Raita – Cucumber and Yogurt Dip

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A tasty fresh dip usually served alongside Indian foods.

What You Will Need: 

  • ¾ cup milk plain yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped finely or grated cucumber -seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • If you require extra heat add in 1-2 teaspoons of mild chili peppers

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl mix well.

Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

 

Indian Sweet Treats

Kulfi – an Indian sweet frozen dessert

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Easy to make the day before and it improves overnight.

What You Will Need: 

  • 2 Cans ( 375ml) Evaporated Milk
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 10 Cardamom pods – bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large mangoes flesh chopped

Method:

Combine the milk, sugar, cardamom and cinnamon in a medium pan.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool before straining the liquid into a food processer. Discard the spices.

Blend the milk and mangoes until smooth.

Pour into a lamington type pan cover with foil and freeze for about 1 ½ hour until almost set.

Remove the kulfi from the pan and blend the mixture until smooth.

At this stage, it is possible to pour the kulfi mixture into lollipop makers or alternatively pour into a flat slab pan cover and freeze overnight.

Just before serving cut into triangles.

Serve with fresh fruit.

Note: Replace the mango with two teaspoons of rose water. Add a few pistachio nuts.

Kulfi

An Indian type ice cream dish Easy to make the day before and it improves overnight.
Prep Time1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time1 d
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Cans 375ml Evaporated Milk
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 10 Cardamom pods – bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large mangoes flesh chopped

Instructions

  • Method
  • Combine the milk sugar cardamom and cinnamon in a medium pan.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool before straining the liquid into a food processer. Discard the spices.
  • Blend the milk and mangoes until smooth.
  • Pour into a lamington type pan cover with foil and freeze for about 1 ½ hour until almost set.
  • Remove the kulfi from the pan and blend the mixture until smooth.
  • At this stage, it is possible to pour the kulfi mixture into lollipop makers or alternatively pour into a flat slab pan cover and freeze overnight.
  • Just before serving cut into triangles.
  • Serve with fresh fruit.

Notes

Note: Replace the mango with two teaspoons of rose water. Add a few pistachio nuts.

Grilled Pineapple on the BBQ

This is a simple way to finish a BBQ and always a winner.

Take the tick cut wedges of pineapple dust them with either a brown sugar/cinnamon rub or spice them up with a dusting of equal parts sea salt, chaat masala, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

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So you have decided on your Indian menu. Now to create the party atmosphere with Indian Décor.

BBQ Party Ideas -INDIAN PARTY DECOR

Before you start have a look at the backdrops available from Amazon that will set the mood. Bright Colors from Spices should start your inspiration.

https://www.amazon.com/slp/Indian-Party-Decorations/zboktwjxzhdr9dz

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Fairy lights:- Think fairy lights everywhere.

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Bright colored drapes:-Beg steal or borrow bright colored cloths and voile. They do not have to blend – the brighter and cheerful the better.

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Create outside social spots:-If you are having a large party consider moving some of your furniture outside creating several small lounges. Place bright-colored covers over indoor couches and chairs. Lay down any carpets you may have in each: room. If dampness is a concern place a black plastic sheet or tarp down before the carpets.

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Lamps, statues stuffed tigers and lions:-Beg borrow and steal any lamps or bronze items that friends may have. Place them around your rooms on tables. You can serve your appetizers from platters on these tables.

Buffet Table:-If you are having a handful of guests then try to decorate your buffet table using the ideas above. Use brass trays and platters to serve food on.

Flowers:- Plenty of bright colored flowers. It is possible to buy bright marigold wreaths as well as place some floating candles in a bowl with fresh flowers.

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Candles:– Buy a selection of bright colored tea light candles. Tea light candle holders are available to purchase online at Amazon which will give a wonderful effect at night.

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Bright sweets /beads on display: -A bowl of brightly colored sweets can be used as a décor tool. Ring the changes and buy a lot of brightly colored cheap beads at your toy shop. Place them in a glass bowl .. instant color.

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If you are a baker have a look at these great colorful biscuits. Place a few plates of these next to your sweets table and watch them fly.

 

Colourful Elephant themed Biscuits 60th Indian themed cake

 

Indian Classical Dance:– Hopefully everyone will dress up for the Indian Party. If your budget stretches contact your local dancing school and see if students will put on a special dance for your guests.

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With the warmer summer evenings ahead this could be the Perfect Party to Host. The Pitmaster in your family can happily Barbecue outside whilst you can dream up your enticing Indian Décor.

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Indian Culture is beautiful and Traditional Indian Foods are full of rich, spicy flavors. This is the Perfect Summer Party Idea during these Covid times. You can even wear masks but let’s just say “Veils”.

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About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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