Calling before arriving at somebody’s house is a relatively new thing in our country. Till a few years back, most people just landed at the houses of their friends or relatives and stayed on for dinner. How did our mothers deal with it? Is it possible to ALWAYS be ready for unexpected guests? Can you take the “surprise” out of surprise guests?
The answer is YES. As long as you have a grocery store near your house and some basic supplies at home, entertaining guests is not really that difficult. Not convinced? Read on to find out how…
When Guests Arrive
As soon as your unexpected guests arrive, start planning the menu. While you are getting things in order, you can start the party with drinks and starters. Fizzy drinks are always an option if you are willing to have them. If you or your guests are health conscious, you could serve canned juice/fruit punch/squashes etc. For the classy guests, you can even serve wine or cocktails.
Nuts and fruit are simple and easy munchies that can be served with the drinks. If you are game, you could serve quick pakoras as well. Onion & Potato pakoras are really so easy and quick to make. The only downside is that they are unhealthy!
As your guests sip on their drinks, you need to get the dinner ready. Don’t worry, it won’t take that long! The trick is to prepare items that are easy and quick to make. Following tips will show you how to fix dinner for unexpected guests in no time.
Stretch Your Meal: If you have already prepared dinner for yourself and your family, you could easily stretch it to feed your guests as well. This can be achieved by simply adding another dish or two to the menu. For instance, if you have prepared “dal-rice” for yourself, you just need to make a vegetable dish, one raita and chapattis. More often than not, the food will be enough to feed everyone.
Bhurjis: Egg or Paneer bhurjis are the easiest and quickest dishes to make for serving with chapattis. Even if you don’t have either at home, you can easily order some from the grocery store, or pick it up yourself. Within 5-7 minutes, you can fix at least one dish that is nutritious, tasty and easy!
Pulses: Dal-rice is the staple diet of all Indians. So often women feel that it is too common to be served to guests. But this does not hold true in the case of unexpected guests. Dal is acceptable, quick and easy. Remember, the yellow dals (arhar, moong, maser and urad) are the quick ones. If you plan to prepare the whole lentils like black dal, you will need a lot of time to prepare.
Rice: If you have assorted vegetables at home, you can serve Pulao or Biryani to your guests. Otherwise a simple Jeera rice or Peas pulao will do. Neither takes a lot of time.
Vegetable Pot: Dry vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, peas, capsicum etc are again easy to make. All you need to do is clean and chop them before you begin cooking. Once the vegetable pot is on the stove, it does not need any attention from you.
Pasta: For people who want to serve something different, pasta is a great choice. It is very easy and quick to make, plus it is also very tasty. For nutrition, you can add a lot of colorful vegetables to it as well.
Salads: A colorful salad is a must for any dinner hosted by you.
Raitas: This dish made from fresh curds is very easy and quick plus it can be done in a variety of ways. From potatoes to cucumber to tomatoes, boondi to pineapple…the raita can be made with almost anything. Add fresh coriander or mint leaves for the coolest results.
These are just a few examples of dishes that can be fixed quickly and without much stress. It is a good idea to take the help of your spouse of children for fixing the dinner. Never forget, the guests will be more impressed with your hospitality than with the food you serve. So focus on making your guests feel wanted and comfortable.