Mostly I love to write about my mom, food and culture as the anecdote for every post. But for a change I am eager to occasionally include a few thoughts on dinning , hosting and food related thoughts.
OK... I know many are thinking...What is the relationship between a plantain flower vadai and dining etiquette? Nothing , but it can be served as good starter dish in a dinner. That's it :)
Some basic definitions:
Formal dining : A properly planned dinner arranged in a theme , hosted by someone. Food cooked and served by trained professionals. Guests attend it with proper invitation and suggestions (adults only / kids only / dress code etc.,).
Informal dining (Any culture):A dinner hosted for family and friends. The hostess prepares and serves food with a little voluntary help from guests. The host can ask for specific food allergies while inviting the guest.
Table etiquette (Formal and Informal dining):
First lets see the well known basic Do 's' and Don't 's'.
1.Do stay in your seat till the dinner is over. Use the restroom before sitting down.
Sit according to the waiter's directions (if any).
2.Sit straight on the chair , with both feet on the floor. Don't clutch your legs around the table leg or stretch your legs wide. Keep arms on lap while waiting.
3.Don't lean backwards by tilting and playing with the chair. Don't play with spoon or vessels.
4.Wait for the food to be served.
5.Try a little bit of everything on your plate unless you have a severe allergy. You can avoid a serving by a 'No , thanks' and not a long story on why you hate it. You can choose and have the food in a buffet. But don't discuss your aversion on a served dish. This will definitely hurt the hostess if she has prepared it.
6.Take small but required portion at a time . Don't over crowd your plate.
7.Talk with people on either side of you. Don't shout across the table.
8. Do not eat too fast or too slow while everyone is waiting to get up.
9.Ask for things to be passed with a please, thanks etc. Meanwhile do not reach in front of someone.
10.Do not pick up the dropped silverware, food or napkins.
(to be contd....)
Look forward for more tips in the upcoming posts.
Hope you all like it.
Vaazhai poo vadai / plantain flower vadai :
Recipe source: My Gandhi chithi , she did this for us and taught my mom this recipe, when she visited us.
Vaazhai poo vadai is one of the most favorite tea time snack for many of us. It has a pleasant earthy flavor induced by the plantain flower . The toughest part is to clean the flowers before using. You can click here to see how to clean the banana flowers .
Channa dhal /kadalai paruppu /Bengal gram - 1 cup
Chopped banana flower - 2 cups
salt - to taste
ginger - 1 inch
onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup
curry leaves- 1 sprig
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
cooking oil-250 ml. (for deep frying)
Clean the banana flower and chop it coarsely.
Soak the dhal for 1 hour in water.
Take out a handful of soaked dhal and keep aside.(This gives a wonderful crispy texture to the vadai.)
Grind the dhal with salt , ginger and fennel seed without water.
Add the left over dhal,coarse dhal mixture,chopped onions,chopped banana flower and curry leaves and mix well .
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Take a small ball of the mixture (in the size of a lemon), slightly flatten in the palm of your hand then place in the hot oil .
Deep fry on both sides to a golden brown color to mild red color.
Remove the vadai , drain oil by placing over a tissue paper.
Makes 15 big size 'vaalai poo' vadai.
Serve hot with Coconut chutney or Tomato ketchup.