The Spontaneous Guests Menu

This menu is designed for occasions when you are having guests on short notice or when you do not have much time to cook or prep. It comes together in an hour or two, but will still give your guests the impression as if you have spent hours in the kitchen.

The items on this menu are classic north-Indian dishes. However, there are a few shortcuts and tricks to make the cooking hassle free and quick. You can never go wrong with biryani and korma (qorma). These are well received by both desi, as well as non-desi guests. Check with your guests in advance how their spice tolerance is, and adjust the amount of chili powder accordingly. I prefer using deggi or Kashmiri chili powder because it gives a vibrant color without being too spicy. Prep tips and serving suggestions at the bottom of the post.



Roti takes some amount of time and effort to be made at home. And since this menu is designed to be quick and easy, we will get this part sorted from the market. Arabic bread (Arabisches Brot) available at Turkish stores in Germany is a good replacement for roti. I usually moisten it with a few drops of water and warm them up either in a microwave (in 30 second intervals until warmed up). Then I cut them up into quarters for easier serving. Keep it between a thick kitchen cloth to keep it warm and fresh.





Since this menu is meant to be made on a last minute call, it doesn’t require any big preps. However, there are a few things that you could prep in advance if you are planning ahead of time:

  • Chicken korma: marinate the chicken and prepare the yogurt-onion paste ahead of time.
  • Boondi raita: You can prepare the raita in advance and temper (tarda) it before serving.
  • 10 minute laddoos: Roast the sooji ahead of time. It will save you considerable amount of time. The laddoos could be prepare up to a day ahead of time and left on room temperature. If you are going to refrigerate them, you can prepare them 3-4 days in advance.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken korma is typically eaten with roti. Chicken biryani goes well with a side of raita and kachumbar salad. Chicken qorma, chicken biryani and roti will be served warm. Raita and salad could be served chilled or on room temperature.

10 minute laddoos also taste best when on room temperature or slightly warm. If you have prepared these in advance and refrigerated them, take them out of the fridge about an hour before serving. Alternatively you can microwave them for a few seconds. Do not microwave for too long, otherwise they might break.

Orange shorle tastes best when chilled. You can add the ice cubes just before serving so it’s chilled for serving.

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