L = Lavish Spread

Food constitutes an important (and for many guests the only worthwhile) aspect of wedding celebrations – especially Bengali weddings. Often the success of a wedding is judged by the quality and variety of items served. I have often heard friends and relatives urge parents to get their children married off for no other reason than their desire to indulge in some good old fancy ‘wedding’ food!

The way to an Indian heart is definitely through food. But to be fair, we do love to feed others too. Till now, even a casual visitor to any home is rarely sent away without something to eat. And both are considered a slight – not to serve food as well as refusal to eat.

Earlier, food for all the days of the wedding festivities was prepared at home by the ladies of the house.  Sweets were made by hired professionals (vien) installed at the house. Guests usually sat cross legged on the floor (later upgraded to tables) in long rows with plantain leaves in front of them. A stream of volunteers, usually young boys of relatives and neighbors, helped serve the numerous lip-smacking delicacies of the day. But nowadays, the catering services industry has more or less taken over the whole initiative and the traditional style has given way to the western buffet, at least in most of the metros and big cities.

However, once the wedding ceremony is over, the close family members of the bride and groom still sit down for their first traditional meal together.

Apart from the main course, which may offer any number of mouthwatering dishes (I once counted 30 main course items at a wedding), there are an array of starters and snacks to tease and appease the attending guests. These may be served by mobile waiters at the venue or be available at stalls very much like that in a market. The dessert section with its multiple offerings is the final icing on the cake (and needless to say most fattening and irresistible).

 

Most Hindu weddings shun non-vegetarian food during the auspicious occasions such as weddings. However, on the other hand, as mentioned earlier, a Bengali wedding is considered incomplete (and quite unacceptable!) without an array of the choicest non-vegetarian delicacies, particularly fish.

At the dinner, hosted by my in-laws for my wedding reception, had no vegetarian dish (apart from the dessert, of course) – nope not even the rice. There was quite a bit of a flutter when my in-laws came to know that among the guests were a couple (close family friends from my side) who were pure vegetarians!

By the way, today is the Bengali New Year – as you can see, all we can think of is food 😉

Image source

Bon appetit! Err not too much for me – I am on a diet 😀 But I do hope there is feast for my eyes in the comment section 😉

Wish you all a very Shubho Nobo Borsho (auspicious New Year), Kerala Hindu New Year (Happy Vishu) and Assamese New Year (Happy Bihu).

 

Quote of the day: “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

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Dahlia

Email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com or tweet me @mysilverstreaks

15 thoughts on “L = Lavish Spread”

  1. For those who can afford it, a lavish spread (or any spread) is fine. However, the variety of food served at our weddings (and the lavishness of the wedding itself) is, in many case, brewed on borrowings. If the scale of the wedding is beyond what can be afforded then it serves little purpose other than keeping up with the Joneses. Only Indian weddings are associated with ‘the Big Fat’. Our wedding are Big Fat weddings and can also make one big and fat in just a few days of revelry. Registered weddings with Araya Samaja/Kerala Rituals (takes only 30 minutes) followed by a small reception should the norm. And here’s some food for thought: in Singapore, the value of the gift/cash that you give must roughly correspond with the value of food that you eat at the wedding. If you’ve forgotten to carry the cash, there is a credit card machine at the venue where you can pay by card – the amount is transferred to the account of the bride/groom or whoever is paying or the wedding. There are gift shops/florist at the venue (with a choice of pre-selected goods) which the guest does not need to carry and hand over. These are directly shipped to the bride/groom after the wedding.!

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    1. That’s a great custom! Am sure it will soon take off here as well 🙂 Recently we were invited to a wedding which was a strictly no gift, no bouquet wedding – even cash was not accepted. Unfortunately very true what you said, most weddings and its trappings are primarily to keep up with the Joneses. I am personally very much against it and in fact we had urged our parents to let us go for a simple registry marriage but that we were quite vehemently vetoed 😦

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  2. I’m quite hungry now! We have a traditional feast called sadhya in Kerala and is also made today, on our New Year, Vishu. The plantain leaves etc. .. you’re making me want to go to a wedding!

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  3. The more the number of delicacies, the more I get confused…but once in a while it’s fun(seems like an eternity since I attended a traditional style Kerala wedding)

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