Lunch with the Inlaws

Binks and I designate every other weekend as parents weekend and we usually go to the parents’ houses for lunch and dinner.  This past weekend, after finding out that we are having a baby boy, I thought we should do a gender reveal party just for the parents.  However, due to our severe excitement to blurt it out and scheduling issues, we just told everyone and had a lunch with Binks’ parents for his birthday.

‘Tis a rare occasion that I cook for my in-laws.  ‘Tis a rarer occasion that I cook Indian food for my in-laws.  I love my MIL, but cooking Indian food for her is a stress that I have imposed on myself.  The lady can cook.  And, I am a hot mess and I get nervous.  So, in order to pull off a seemingly-easy-full-course Indian meal was something I had to gear up for.


–  Appetizers:  Fresh cut veggies and lemon wedges. To me, this is the perfect beginning of a heavy Indian meal.  And it goes great as a salad on the side of the meal itself.

–  Main Course:  Naan, Fried Rice, Chicken Tikka, Palak Saag, Potato Sabji, and Raita.

I must apologize.  The only picture I got of the naan was this.

This is the dough at the initial stages.  I totally intend on making this again soon so recipe to follow I promise!

The chicken tikka recipe I used (my absolute favorite) can be found here.  This time, I doubled the sauce because you can’t have enough for soaking with your naan or pouring over the rice.

The saag again is another favorite of mine.  I have to say I love the preparation and ease of saag.  First, you start out with a sink full of greens.  Literally – a sink FULL.

And it all cooks down to this:

The potato sabji is favorite of mine.  It’s truly comfort food for me.  Recipe to come soon!

Finally, to me, no meal is complete without raita.

Dessert:  The best yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting!

Meal Preparation

An Indian meal, in my opinion, takes a long time to prepare.  Unless, you’re my aunt who somehow does everything in an hour.  So, to prepare my meal (as a novice) and have time to clean up (so it looks somewhat effortless), this was a two-day process.

Day Before:
–  Grocery shopping
–  Marinade chicken
–  Make saag and refrigerate in the same pot you made it in.
–  Make raita
–  Clean up entire kitchen.
–  Set out the plates/serving ware you want to use.  This will give you a great head start for the next day.
–  Set out butter before bed to have it softened by the next morning.

Day Of:
–  Make dough for naan.
–  Make cupcakes.
–  While dough is rising, prepare chicken tikka.
–  While chicken tikka is simmering, boil potatoes for potato sabji.
–  After naan dough has its first rise, roll into balls and allow for second rise.
–  Heat saag on low in the same pot.
–  Make buttercream.
–  Frost cupcakes.
–  Plate and set out food, dishes, cups, drinks & utensils.
–  Clean like crazy.
–  Make fried rice
–  Once rice is cooking covered, plate your other dishes.
–  Make naan.

I make naan last so it’s most hot and fresh when people arrive and if people were to arrive when I’m making naan, it’s not as bad or as busy as if people were to arrive when I’m plating or cleaning.  You know?

The best thing to show you would have been my detailed calendar for the day, complete with time frames.  I’ll save that craziness strategy for another post.

How do you plan for guests?  Do you start days early?  What do you take into account when planning a menu?


Filed under Favorites, Indian, Lunch, Uncategorized

14 responses to “Lunch with the Inlaws

  1. all of this looks amazing! Jason loves Indian food, and we just bought a cookbook so we can make some of his favorites.

    I love to plan dinners and gatherings at our house – making lists, preparation and cooking time lines, all that fun stuff! I LOVE it!

  2. I’m a list-maker and die-hard schedule follower – so you have my admiration! Love it!

    As if it needs to be said, I love Indian food. Love. Want to bathe in it. (wait, maybe not, but you know). 😉
    I fell in love with Indian food while living in London 10 years ago, and never looked back! I’d love to see your Naan recipe.
    Tomorrow night I’m making my specialty… Chana Masala and Roti. (I put fresh spinach in my Chana – so perhaps something along the lines of Palak/Saag-something would be more aptly named. Whatever it technically is – it’s delicious!). 🙂

  3. Looks delicious. I went on an indian food kick a few years ago. I tried and tried to make things taste as good as in a restaurant to no avail. Maybe I will try out a few of these recipes.

  4. Congrats on the boy! Everything looks delish, I’m wishing I had some naan right about now.

  5. I don’t plan at all for my parents. My mom usually brings more than half the food anyways! (I don’t stop her either, of course) 🙂

  6. yay for baby boy!! i would not be able to hold it in either. Glad you got to share this time of excitment with good food and good family!

  7. ooooh lady, i’m impressed. i wish i was there for lunch!

  8. I looove Indian food! Everything looks really impressive. My friend (who is Indian) is learning how to cook from her mom and I am happy to be a taste tester!

  9. Wow, your meal looks amazing!!! I would love to try making it all 🙂 When I host, I definitely plan wayyy in advance. I food shop a few days before and start prepping the food on the day before the gathering. Looks like you did a wonderful job!

  10. Rach @ This Italian Family

    Wow! I’m impressed! It all looks so delicious and I can’t wait to see the recipes. I definitely start super early when planning for people to come over. But I normally stick with easy tried and true favorites (normally something Italian that can be prepped either that morning or in an hour). Kudos to you for tackling something this huge!

  11. oh man you have me craving Indian food now!! 🙂 So delicious 🙂

  12. Amy

    yum looks amazing! congrats on having a baby boy…how exciting!!

    i usually try to plan a few days ahead. if theres something i can start making then i will just to ease some pressure. your meal looks great!

  13. kat

    YUM! Everything looks delicious!!

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