"a crisp mix of peas, potatoes and spices."
Indian wedding dishes are a major part of Desi wedding ceremonies.
Apart from their lavish decorations and wild celebrations, Indian weddings are known for their delicious food.
In India, wedding day food is prepared or organised by the bride’s parents.
Traditionally, the wedding food was cooked by cooks but people’s preferences are now changing and a number of them are opting for catering companies.
Nevertheless, the food usually turns out delicious and it is one of the main reasons why so many guests enjoy them.
Starters, mains and desserts all make up the wedding meal and there are a plethora of choices.
While some dishes are a common menu item at Indian weddings, others are more popularly eaten than others.
We look at some of the most enjoyable Indian wedding dishes as well as the reasons why.
Aloo tikki is a famous Delhi street food dish but it is also very popular at Indian weddings.
The aromatic snack is the perfect choice when displaying authentic Indian food at a wedding. It may have different aromas but it is simple to make which is one of the reasons why guests love it.
They are typically made using potatoes, peas and several spices to create a tasty snack. They are usually shaped into circles and fried.
When they are fried, there is an array of textures as the potato is crisp on the outside while the inside remains soft and fluffy.
Its popularity at weddings is also down to the fact that it can also be prepared at home with ease as Shyam Sawant says:
“Something that you often eat on Indian streets can be prepared at the comfort of your home, a crisp mix of peas, potatoes and spices.”
Paneer tikka is a flavourful dish and is loved by people of all ages.
It is a vegetarian finger-food that is a popular Indian wedding dish because guests can pick it up and enjoy it while socialising with other guests.
Paneer tikka is delicious cubes of paneer marinated in yoghurt along with garlic, ginger, carom seeds and gram flour.
It is then typically cooked in a Tandoor. The result is soft paneer that has a subtle smokiness.
Guests usually enjoy this tikka dish with their drink of choice.
Chicken tikka or some form of grilled spicy chicken is considered to be a staple at Indian weddings. Caterers are well-known to make a version of this dish at weddings.
The dish is usually made with pieces of chicken that have been marinated in yoghurt and spices. It is then cooked in a Tandoor.
At weddings where there is liquor served because the dish can be spicy, a lot of wedding guests love tikka it with a ‘peg’ (shot) or two.
One wedding guest said: “Chicken tikka or tandoori chicken is very popular at Indian weddings especially as a starter.”
Therefore, it’s pretty clear than chicken tikka is a prominent menu item at Indian weddings.
Desi Lamb Curry
Made popular as Indian weddings as part of the main course. Lamb curry is extremely popular at Punjabi weddings, even at pre-wedding parties.
The lamb is slow-cooked and enriched with spices.
This extremely favourable dish makes it a great accompaniment for alcoholic drinks served at Indian weddings.
One Indian guest, when quizzed about lamb curry, said: “If the masala of the lamb curry is made perfectly. It is, without doubt, one of the tastiest dishes served at weddings.”
Sweets are a must within Indian weddings and a much-loved dessert is gulab jamun.
It consists of milk-based balls which have been fried until golden and dipped in syrup. This gives its signature sweetness and glaze.
When you bite into it, you are met with a soft texture and sweet flavour.
Gulab jamun is the perfect end to the plethora of dishes you have just eaten as it provides a distinct contrast in flavours.
Guests enjoy the lightness that this dessert brings and each mouthful leaves them wanting more.
Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes so it is no surprise that wedding guests enjoy it.
This luscious meal is made with a creamy tomato sauce. With a blend of flavours and a buttery sauce, this dish goes well with naan bread and roti.
You can also pair it with raita to provide freshness. It is a contrast in flavours but it only widens the spectrum, making it even more enjoyable.
One wedding guest called a particular butter chicken “the best in Oxford”.
Even wedding guests who are not the biggest fans of Indian food enjoy butter chicken because there is only a slight hint of spiciness alongside the tomato-based curry.
Biryani truly is one of the most luxurious dishes within Indian cuisine so it is no surprise that it is usually prepared on special occasions.
No matter what type it is, it is bound to go down well with wedding guests.
This dish is prepared by marinating chicken or meat in a range of spices like cumin powder, coriander powder, chillies and garam masala.
It is cooked with onions and then layered among cooked rice. As it cooks in the oven, the flavours integrate, resulting in levels of flavour.
Guests relish biryani due to the inviting smell it gives off as well as the tradition that it brings.
It is so popular, weddings have even been called off after a specific type of biryani was not cooked.
This rich, creamy daal dish is on most Indian wedding menus and guests are thankful for that.
Daal makhani originated in the north Indian state of Punjab and is renowned for having a creamy consistency. This is because it is cooked with butter.
Usually, it is served as a main meal but since it is so versatile, it can be enjoyed as a side dish.
While it is a popular menu option at Indian weddings, it is one of the top items at a Punjabi wedding.
Its prominence at weddings has even seen daal makhani being nicknamed ‘wedding daal’.
Rohit Nanda says:
“My favourite daal that I actually used to call ‘wedding daal’ – as it’s so often served at Punjabi weddings.”
This is one of the few dishes that can inspire even hardcore non-vegetarians to try.
One dessert that wedding guests love is jalebi. This popular street food has a strong presence at wedding ceremonies.
In many cases, caterers cook it in front of guests which only adds to its popularity.
It is made with maida flour, cornflour, baking soda and ghee. The mixture is set aside for around eight hours before it is placed into a cloth with a small hole.
The mixture is then squeezed out into a wok of hot oil. Each one is usually shaped into spirals by moving the cloth as the mixture drops into the oil.
It is then soaked in sugar syrup. The result is a delicious orange jalebi which has a slight crunch to it but each mouthful is filled with a sweet flavour.
This is a wedding menu item that is equally popular with adults as it is with children.
Gol gappa is a quintessential wedding menu item, especially if it is buffet-style.
Also known as pani puri, this wonderful snack consists of a round, hollow puri filled with a mixture of flavoured water, tamarind chutney, chilli, chaat masala, potato and onions.
Both adults and children enjoy this light dish.
The best part is that there are different variations depending on the region in India and the personal preference of wedding organisers.
Tushar Gargava explained:
“I always get this itch, kind of craving, if I can use the word, about how the pani puri tastes there.”
“So, if you ask me if I’ve been to a certain part of the country, somewhere in my story I’ll can also tell you about their pani puri. I’m mad about pani puri.”
If this dish is a part of an Indian wedding, it is almost guaranteed that guests will flock to them.
One food that is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at Indian weddings is samosas.
Whether they are meat-filled or vegetarian, samosas are popular among all age groups.
Spiced mincemeat or vegetables are placed onto thin pastry sheets and folded into a triangular shape. It is then deep-fried until golden.
The exterior is crisp while the filling is warm and filled with flavour.
These pastry-wrapped fried snacks are a great starter at weddings.
On his love for samosas, Aditya Rambhad said:
“I become hungry whenever I hear samosa. It is my most favourite food. I can eat it every day!”
It may be a simple snack, but guests can just take as many as they want and enjoy them.
At Punjabi weddings, vegetable samosas are often served to the ‘baraat’ (groom’s side) in the mornings as part of a mini-breakfast before the ceremony commences in a temple or hall.
While other dishes like Rogan Josh are a prominent meal option, these dishes are some of the most enjoyed at weddings.
Many of the dishes are traditional but some people add an innovative twist in order to entice their guests.
While it seems to be a growing trend, nothing can deny the fact that wedding guests absolutely love the selection of dishes that are presented.