Menus for Asian weddings have progressed immensely
South Asian food plays a very important role in Asian weddings in the UK. Depending on the type of wedding, be it Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi, different dishes are made and served for the occasion.
On the wedding day itself, the cuisine for the day should make guests feel they are special and their taste-buds dancing to the sumptuous food served. As the cuisine is always a talking point of Asian weddings.
The format of traditional Asian weddings is such that the family of the bride are usually responsible for cuisine for the special day and its quality and cost. Although, this is not always the case nowadays.
Also, not all Asian families agree with the partying side of a wedding. In this case, usually is due to religious grounds, food is served in a more simple fashion. Serving is done where the ceremony took place and can be of a strictly vegetarian nature and with absolutely no alcohol either.
The early days of Asian weddings in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s were a more homely affair where food was usually prepared by the family and close relatives for the occasion.
For Punjabi weddings, for example, large utensils such as huge cooking pans (patilay), steel trays for serving the meals (serving thalis), cups and cutlery were hired from local temples or shops for the event.
Meat, if served, was usually be cooked by men in the family whilst the remainder of the dishes by the women.
At that time, women did not attend the partying aspect of the wedding, a key part of a Punjabi wedding today.
So, usually after the religious ceremony in the morning, the women went back to the house and teamed together to cook the chappatis, rice and heated up the dishes, which were then transported in cars and vans to the venue of the party.
The venue was usually a pub or club where the function room was specially hired for the afternoon. It played host to the menfolk usually drinking beer and spirits and dancing to a live act of Punjabi singers.
The singers were usually a duet group of a man and women or a small group of men playing live instruments such as harmonium, dholak, tabla, tumbi, accordion and some basic electronic keyboards.
The food and drink were served usually by the bride’s side of the family to the groom’s family and relatives. Hence, basic event management was the flavour of the times!
All this has dramatically changed, as South Asians have integrated into the fabric of British life and have been successful in business and professional careers.
Progression in Asian weddings in terms of lavishness and content have transformed the cuisine aspect of a wedding.
Changes started with outside caterers from local sweet centre shops beginning to supply food for weddings.
Usually charging by the “thali” (steel tray with a set menu) per head. Along with the trend of full families attending wedding functions, including women and children, at hired venues such as halls and hotels. Hence, changing the outlook of weddings and especially, the cuisine.
The party aspect of Asian weddings became the “reception” event, and food and drink became a very important part of the reception, along with entertainment such a live bands and DJ”s.
Today, this has further changed, where the cuisine is supplied by more specialist caterers and wedding event management companies.
The trend has progressed with the desire of families arranging a wedding wanting to impress guests more with diverse menus and more extravagant settings with specially laid tables and food served by waitresses and waiters.
Displays of large choice buffets are very popular with guests giving them a plethora of different foods to try and eat to their heart’s content.
Menus for Asian weddings have progressed immensely.
Different menus for different occasions, much more choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, mixed items on menus from both the East and West and providing stalls of chocolate fountains, bhel puri, gol guppa, tacos, ice cream and fruit punch, are all part of the change.
An example of one caterer providing food for Asian weddings is the Spice Corner based in Birmingham, in the UK. An innovative catering company that delivers foods to events at a high standard.
Their passion is to satisfy clients with the finest foods and provide a full and varied choice for customers to choose specifics for their event.
They supply English, Indian, Chinese, Caribbean and Gujrati menus. The Indian one, for example, includes the following dishes.
Hara Bhara Kebab, Aloo Tikki, Kachori, Chilli Paneer, Amritsari Fish Pakora, Paneer Pakora, and Chicken Tikka.
Tarka Daal, Green Sabhji, Kharai Chicken, Lamb Rogan Josh, Pilau Rice, Naan and Roti.
Ras Malai, Gulab Jaman and Fruit Salad.
This is only one example of the kinds of menu popular for Asian wedding food. As Asian weddings get bigger and fatter so are the menus and food served at them.
As you can see the diversity of Asian wedding cuisine is set to continue with more and more innovation and unique supply to support the changes in demand.