Ideas for a Curry Party

by Daniel Francis
Curry is found in cuisines across Asia.

Curry is found in cuisines across Asia.

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Curry, a combination of spices, is a staple in Indian cooking. Use of curry spread throughout Asia, and is common in Pakistani, Afghan, Sri Lankan, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Curry is unlike any flavor found in Western cultures. Made of fresh and dried herbs and spices, curry can be found as a paste or powder and added to all kinds of dishes.

Ambience

Silks in bold, vibrant colors like purple, pink, magenta and yellow are common across India. Choose a bright pink silk tablecloth, and add gold accents on the table like gold napkin holders or utensils. Pick up a statue of Ganesha, the elephant god from the Hindu religion, and place on the table or somewhere in your party room. Place tea candles all around the room. Nothing sets a party's theme like selected music playing in the background. You have thousands of years of traditional Indian music to choose from, or choose contemporary "Bollywood" Indian pop.

Curry From All Cultures

Choose curry dishes from varying cultures. Mix a hot Thai curry dish like coconut milk-infused Panang curry beef with a milder Bengali vegetable curry. Another option is to start with a Vietnamese curry soup, then serve as a main dish the popular Indian chicken curry. You can make both of these with varying degrees of hotness depending on how much chili paste or powder you add to the curry. Cool off the dinner with Thai iced tea, with its ample doses of coconut milk. Your local specialty beverage store should carry Indian or Thai beers to serve your thirsty guests.

Theme Games and Costumes

Play a game of Pachisi, which originated in ancient India. A simple checkers-like game it is known in the United States as Parcheesi. Ask your guests to dress in appropriate Indian costumes and give a prize for the best sari or men's kurta. Henna painting on the hands and feet is a tradition among Hindus in India. Hire a henna painter as a part of your curry-theme party, or get temporary tattoos and have guests do it themselves. Your guests will look authentically Indian when they leave.

Make the Curry Challenge

Serve curry dishes in three different degrees of "hotness." Challenge your guests to see who can tolerate the hottest curry for more than just one nibble. Be kind and have plenty of ice water, cold beverages like beer and fruit slices on hand to ease the sting. If you don't want to make your own dishes your local Thai or Indian restaurant may, on request, make curry menu items spicier or hotter than what they offer on the menu.

References

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