Being social creatures by nature, we always felt a need to establish more social relationships as we evolved. Food has been an important part of human life since the beginning of humanity. The only skill which was known back then was how to use and control a flame and prepare a simple meal. In large gatherings, particularly weddings, it was considered that the capacity to consume more food was a powerful indicator of affluence. Those who were wealthier ate better. Back then, there were no such devices as modern commercial ovens with temperature sensors and heat control settings. Sarita Bazaz, one of the first women entrepreneurs in the catering business, explores the evolution of wedding dinners throughout history and how societal and environmental factors have influenced them.
Self-cooking by family members or halwai’s — rather than professional caterers would typically provide the food for weddings three decades ago. Most of the time, the kind of food served depended more on the region and time of year, so it was less about what foods were traditional and more about what was available.
Gradually, this tradition faded, and the idea of hiring a skilled cook emerged. Three courses for a wedding meal were introduced, including appetizers, a main course, and dessert. Wedding food in India, from north to south, would be a feast of flavor and aroma, with items like yogurt, turmeric, and saffron, in addition to enormous amounts of ghee and liberal use of spices. In the north, such as Kashmir, the main course was frequently roti, dum aloo sabzi, dal, and sevaiyaan. Jaipur would follow with its specialties of dal baati, bhakri, and churma, while the south would celebrate rice in all of its forms before closing with paisum. Non-vegetarians in every location will be served a special lunch made with chicken, lamb, fish, or mutton.
In today’s world, a savory menu is no longer sufficient. Food curation for weddings has become the most popular and fascinating culinary trend for making a style statement. As appetizers, a variety of sweet, sour, tangy, soft, and crunchy dishes are matched with unique and traditional beverages such as fruit punch, mocktails, shakes, and soups.
At live stations, the traditional main course buffet has been replaced with multiple ethnic cuisines from around the world, including South Indian, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Italian, Mexican, Lebanese, and Chinese dishes! Food made to perfection in front of you has an unrivaled, fresh flavor.
Food design menus have been used as experience themes in recent years, with various cultural exchanges to produce a bizarre and unforgettable experience. Weddings have seen a surge in waste due to their endless variety and inevitable flavor variances. Rather than being viewed negatively, this issue has been favorably welcomed as an idea for planning wedding meals with the environmental concern of zero waste.
Weddings are a lavish affair in India. On the one hand, where the pandemic has reduced crowds and made weddings more intimate, the food spread, and arrangement styles continue to be the main attributes.