Monday, August 28, 2017

Garden Party 5: The finale - dessert buffet

This is my last post about the garden party. My garden party ended with a sweet note:  The Dessert Buffet. Your guests may not remember what they eat for dinner, but they will always remember the dessert at the party. I took advantage of the garden space and served appetizers, drinks, dinner and dessert at a different location, so that guests could enjoy the different parts of garden.



Of course, my garden parties are never the same without my signature dessert: fruit tarts. The recipe can be found in my first book, Entertaining from an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.


Since there is so much color on the table and around, I kept the centerpiece to the minimum by using my favorite maiden heir fern in a beautiful container. On this table I could even have done without the centerpiece.






For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Garden party 4: Farm to table dinner

This is a continuation of the posts regarding the garden party after the harvest, centerpieces, and garden tour. I love to entertain during summer using produce from the garden.  Other than chicken, all the ingredients for the dinner came from the garden. Main focus of the dinner is garden fresh vegetables, but for a few carnivorous friends, I had to include chicken biryani.


Three different kinds of rice, chicken biryani, lemon rice and beetroot rice. I love the festive colors from the garden. Lemons and beets are opulent in the garden right now.




Six different chutneys and  pickles were served. Chutneys and pickles are quintessential to Andhra Indian cuisine. The long squash in the background of the following picture is Italian heirloom squash from the garden.


Vegetarian curries


The next post will be the finale to the meal: dessert buffet

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Garden party 3: Garden tour

This is the continuation of garden party series of posts after the harvest and the centerpieces. On the day of the party, we started of the party with tomato tasting and garden tour.
I forgot to photograph, the actual tomato tasting(it is hard to be the host and a photographer). 

Small basket full of cherry tomatoes are as party favors to all attending guests.


Part of tomato tasting from on of the guests cell phone






After touring the main garden, everyone headed towards their favorite destination, the kitchen garden. If you are a regular reader to my blog, you know that my kitchen garden is on top of the hill.


 As we headed towards kitchen garden we harvested some ripened figs on the way to snack on. They are as sweet as candy


Left side of the kitchen garden



As you see in frunt of the kitchen there is a picket fence. Without wasting any space, I grow tindora and squash on the picket fence. 



Red spinach


Eggplant


Turmeric plant. Turmeric root grows under ground just like ginger



bitter melon


Ridge gourd vine



Beans on the other side of the fence

Beetroot

Indian cucumber(dosa kaya)


Of course, never ending supply of tomatoes

 Moringa tree

Ripened chillies to make pickle





My guests were very impressed to see all different kinds of vegetables growing in the garden.

After the garden tour, we headed towards farm to table dinner. Next post will feature the dinner.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Garden party 2: The centerpieces

This is a continuation of my series of posts about the garden party after the harvest. Since the garden has lots of color, I decided to keep the centerpieces understated. I decided to go with small potted plants to make arrangements instead of traditional flowers. I brought African violets, maiden heir fern, and other greenery to complete the arrangements. The containers for these arrangements are nothing but simple dark wooden planters. Since these are living plants, these arrangements can last lot longer than flowers. If I am planning to entertain a different group of people in couple of  weeks, my arrangements are ready for the party. Best way to stretch your dollar. 





Some times single plant can make a bold statement if you present it well. Maiden hair fern in an ornate container can look beautiful in  a proper setting. I used this planter on the dessert table. You will see in future posts. 


The following arrangement is for the kitchen table, to carry the same theme.
.

A single African violet in a beautiful container


Rex begonia is one of my favorite.



For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garden party 1: The harvest

This past weekend was my annual garden party. I thought I should do a series of posts about the party from the planning to the end. I am having a wonderful growing season in the kitchen garden this year.  My family enjoys all the vegetables from the garden throughout the growing season. Since the kitchen garden is at its peak, I wanted to plan my annual garden party. I wanted all my friends to enjoy the garden and its bounty. This is the time I entertain with farm to table dinners. My annual garden party begins with planning the menu using the bounty from the garden. 

The first task of the party begins with harvesting all the vegetables.


This vegetable is called tindoora. They do look like miniature watermelons. I fried them with spicy powder.


The following vegetable is called bitter melon. Like the name suggests, it is bitter. But it is a delicacy for many Indians. This vegetable is popular in many Asian countries. It also a very healthy vegetable to eat for people with diabetes. Even the leaves are edible in stir fry.


This is called ridge gourd. It tastes more like zucchini with a little harder skin. I made curry with chana dal. Very tasty!


I harvested many baskets of tomatoes



I harvested gongura, a sour leaf vegetable which is very popular where I come from. I made chutney with it. Calyces from this plant are used to make herbal teas. 



I harvested many baskets of jewel-toned cherry tomatoes.


This is called opo squash, also known as loki in India. I made koftas with tomato gravy.


 I also harvested butternut squash and made curry with it. I forgot to take a picture (not a good blogger).
After harvesting all the vegetables and planning the menu, it was time to plan the centerpieces. The next post is all about centerpieces. 


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

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