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Couple from India coming to tea and dinner. Need help with menu, please....

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A couple is coming to town to see my husband and his brother because they knew their grandfather. They are from India but are Presbytarian. I am assuming they will eat dairy, but don't want to offend someone from a culture I am not familiar with. Need input from those from this culture or familiar with it.   ;)

Ideas for tea:

*Tea and coffee, with cream, sugar & lemon - Maybe something cold to drink?

*Finger sandwiches: 1. cream cheese & jam  2. cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo  3. egg salad w/ mayo  4. chicken salad with celery/mayo

*Store bought scones? American cookies? Mini-cupcakes?

*Home-made Irish Soda Bread with butter?

Dinner Idea:

White basmati rice, brown basmati rice, lentils, baked chicken and gravy, lettuce salad, some sort of dessert. I also have black beans.

Does this sound okay? Anything not work? Any other ideas of what I can buy? My baking skills are limited and so is time. 
#1 - August 19, 2018, 01:49 PM
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Melody, do find out if they're vegetarian. Many Indians are vegetarian even if they're Christian. Of course, they need not partake of any meat if they don't wish, but many strict vegetarians are turned off even by the sight of meat. I grew up vegetarian because women don't go to the meat market but occasionally someone would bring a leg of lamb or something and you know--it was a LEG!--and I hated helping my mother prepare it.

Other than that, the menu looks lovely. I'd have some salty things like chips & salsa or nuts with tea to balance the sweets (why not save the cupcakes for dessert?). Oh, cold lemonade would be nice.

For dinner, it'd be good to have some hot pickles and yogurt on the side because some like it HOT!!!
You probably don't need both beans and lentils. But dal (lentil soup) and rice are staples.

Oh and if you really want to make them very happy, make mango lassi--2 parts mango juice and 1 part buttermilk. Stir and top it with a sprig of mint. It's so delicious and refreshing. You probably won't even need to make dessert. It's a perfect finish. That or mango or pistachio ice cream.

Now I'm hungry all over again. lol. Have fun with your Indian guests. V.
#2 - August 19, 2018, 06:48 PM
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Oh, wow, I didn't realize about being vegetarian, so thanks so much for the heads up, V.

They will be coming to tea first, so I won't do anything with meat and try to figure it all out. But I can still plan the dinner without meat if I include your suggestions. That sounds easy enough. Thanks again!
#3 - August 20, 2018, 05:34 AM
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I have a friend who often travels to India for work.  She says that when they serve tea in India it always comes with milk.  Also, teatime there comes with either samosas or pakoras as snacks.
#4 - August 20, 2018, 06:55 AM

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Thanks. I' will look that up.
#5 - August 20, 2018, 07:10 AM
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You certainly want to consider what they can/cannot eat, and most likely they are vegetarian.

As far as what to have with tea (besides milk), I think you don't have to offer the same sort of sides they'd have in India. They might like having something more American.  After all, if you went to India, wouldn't you enjoy having their traditional fare rather than American? Just a thought.
#6 - August 20, 2018, 08:22 AM

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Thanks, Ann. I was thinking the same thing as far as offering American fare. I just want to make sure it's stuff they can eat.  That makes me feel a lot better about buying and serving ready-made stuff for some of the dishes and sides.
#7 - August 20, 2018, 08:30 AM
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Ann makes a great point. And given that you have limited time, you want to keep things simple.
#8 - August 20, 2018, 09:05 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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I was wondering the same thing--if as long as it's vegetarian, wouldn't they enjoy *your* favorite dishes?
#9 - August 20, 2018, 12:09 PM
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Well, everything is backwards. We had dinner this evening and will have tea tomorrow. Thanks for all the suggestions. They loved the
'American' Greek Salad, fruit salad, and "American" baguette, but were also happy with the rice and lentils, because unbeknownst to me, they've been in the states for a month and are longing for food from home. Vijaya, they were also happy with the lemonade, so thanks for the heads up.

Here is a photo of the successful meal that they actually ate. V.J. and Gigi are on the left.
#10 - August 20, 2018, 08:00 PM
ROYALLY ENTITLED (inspirational/historical YA) and OOPS-A-DAISY (humorous MG) out now.  http://www.melodydelgado.com/

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:yay for a successful dinner!!! We love all kinds of salads in the summer too. And so kind of you to cater to their tastes.
Tea will be lovely this afternoon. Enjoy your company!!!
#11 - August 21, 2018, 05:23 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
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Sounds as if dinner worked out beautifully! Have a lovely tea.  ::-)
#12 - August 21, 2018, 07:54 AM

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