Tips & Recipes To Host An International Themed Dinner
Throwing a simple dinner party requires a lot of hard work, but turning it into a memorable one demands more. Beyond weeks and months of meticulous planning by the host, a successful dinner party relies on three basic elements—remarkable food, free-flowing beverages, and the right company. International dinner parties are similar, where the host is given the chance to display a variety of delicacies from around the globe so the guests can savor diverse flavors. An international-themed party can be easily organized with the right recipes and adequate planning. Here are some perfectly crafted recipes to help you decide the menu.
RECIPES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE:
INDIA: Indian Butter Paneer/Paneer Makhani
Butter paneer is a popular North Indian dish that has, over time, won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. It is a delicious dish made with chunks of paneer cooked in tomato-based gravy along with various aromatic spices.
Here’s a general description of butter paneer:
- Paneer (Indian cottage cheese): It is the star ingredient and is used in cubes for this particular recipe.
- Tomatoes: Ripe and juicy tomatoes are pureed to create the base of the gravy.
- Cream: Heavy cream, along with cashew nut paste, is added to achieve the right amount of creamy richness.
- Butter: As obvious from the name, it is another key ingredient that is added for a buttery flavor.
- Spices: Various Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, and turmeric are used to season and add color to the dish.
This iconic vegan dish can be prepared using recipes perfected over decades in North Indian kitchens with slight variations to accommodate the taste buds. Apart from these variations, you can add sautéed onions, garlic, and ginger in this rich and creamy paneer butter masala recipe to recreate the true North Indian flavors in your kitchens. Once prepared, butter paneer should be garnished with fresh cilantro leaves before being served with different Indian breads and white Basmati rice to wow your guests.
CHINA: Chinese hotpot/ Hon Guo
Impress your friends with this unique interactive cooking and eating experience that dates back 1000 years to the time of the Jin Dynasty. In Chinese, it means firepot and is a popular dish that bonds people together, making it the perfect recipe for international dinners. It requires special ingredients and equipment that can be set in a traditional Chinese setting for a more authentic dining experience. Here is a step-by-step guide to making your hotpot the right way.
ITALY: Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta
As the name suggests, this dish was created by a restaurateur named Alfredo di Lelio to spike up his wife’s appetite post-childbirth. This simple recipe was created from a place of love and still exudes a warmth that has rightfully earned it a place in restaurants all over Italy and across the globe. Alfredo used simple ingredients like handmade fettuccine, full cream butter, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel to craft the simplest yet most appetizing recipes of all time.
SOUTH AMERICA: Flan
Desserts are the best way to conclude a meal, and the Flan is a wonderful choice considering its popularity across the world. This classic and exquisite dessert is a visual delight and a treat for the sweet tooth. This caramelized, silky egg-based dessert needs attention whilst preparing, but once perfected is the most rewarding and complimented dessert recipe.
CENTRAL AMERICA/MEXICO: Tres leches Cake
Tres leches cake is a dessert recipe from the kitchens of Latin America that is also enjoyed all over the world. This three-milk cake is another great dessert choice for international dinners. This simple sponge cake is perfect, considering its smooth texture paired with the classic sweetness of milk and caramel.
Beverages in international-themed dinners should also reflect cultural diversity and include hot/cold drinks commonly enjoyed in other countries.
Some Popular international drinks:
- Wine: A variety of wines are enjoyed with food in many cultures. Hence they should be tastefully selected to complement the different courses of food. For instance, red wine can be paired with meats, white wine with seafood, and sweet wine with desserts to create the right balance.
- Tea: Various teas are popular in different cultures and are an important part of their meals. Chinese/Japanese green tea, Moroccan mint tea, and Indian/south Asian chai are some exciting options.
- Coffee: Coffee is a beverage that can be enjoyed hot and cold and is the perfect beverage to serve with desserts. Italian espresso, latte, and Turkish coffee are some popular choices to include.
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Sorbets, fruit juices, and lemonades serve as refreshing nonalcoholic beverages that can be stylishly served in glass dispensers with freshly sliced fruits. Cucumbers and mint can also be added to mineral and sparkling water dispensers to infuse freshness.
Here are some important tips that will make your dinners the talk of the town.
- Make a guest list and send invites in the form of emails and via Whatsapp. Get their confirmations and plan accordingly.
- Plan out a diverse menu and purchase all the ingredients and supplies after checking for dietary restrictions and allergies from your guests. Cook dishes that you have made in the past and are confident about.
- Select your tableware n dishes keeping your menu in mind.
- Visualize the ambiance for your dinner party to compliment your menu. Pick out decorations to match the mood of your food.
- Get floral arrangements and throw in some candles in place of harsh lights.
- Get hired help in the form of party planners or assign chores to friends and family.
- Tablescape: Your table is the center stage where most of the dinner action will take place. So leave no detail unattended. The table linen, the glassware, the silverware, the plates, the napkins, napkin holders, and all other table decorations should be picture-perfect.
- Music: Get your playlist ready; fill the room with carefully selected compilations that complement the mood of the party.
- Etiquettes and Table Manners: There is no set of etiquettes in the modern world unless one is dining with the Royals. However, one can set personal rules like discouraging cell phone use to engage guests in lively and intellectual conversations.
- Be an excellent host: Yes, it’s your party, and the spotlight is on you, but a good host knows well enough to share it. Make your guests comfortable and acquainted with others. Engage them in conversations and entertain them on all levels. Keep the party engaged with stories and games
An International dinner aims at giving its guests a taste of the world, and to an extent, its success lies in curating the perfect recipes. Dinners are meant to have fun over favorite meals, and International dinners are a great way to have fun with your multicultural friends while savoring and sipping the flavors of the world.