Holiday Feature

Kate Heyhoe

 by Kate Heyhoe


Easy, Exotic Indian Buffet

...and Holiday Gift Suggestion


Warm up your holiday party with an Indian-inspired buffet—a tame one that's rich in flavor but not too fiery. There's an art to creating a workable buffet. For people to eat comfortably while standing or seated with their plate on their laps, the host must devise a menu that can be eaten without a knife. And buffet finger foods don't work for me: I can't clean my fingers and still hold the plate comfortably.


For me, the best buffet is one that requires only a fork, no other utensils, and is perfectly seasoned, without the need for added salt and pepper. This column's menu meets my requirements of the perfect buffet: these "fork only" foods are bite-size, easy to eat, exotically seasoned but not overwhelming, complement each other in look, texture and taste, and are all makeable in advance. They also keep well on the table without losing quality, warmed by a chafing dish or heated trivet.

The curry fills the house with the sultry aromas of the Spice Islands—ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper. Accompany it with the festive hues of golden saffron rice and a minty, shredded pale green salad. If desired, mini-pita breads or pita-bread chips can round out the meal, and some choice nibbles like curry-toasted pecans and cucumber spears with lime juice and chile powder can keep your guests munching until the buffet is served.


Easy, Exotic Indian Buffet for Eight

For dessert, pickup some Coconut Macaroons from your favorite bakery and let your guests refresh their palates with Ginger Kisses.  

Fred McMillin, who writes our On Wine column, picks a few wines for the India buffet...whites and reds that are not too severe. Click on a wine name to learn more.

  • White—Guenoc Chardonnay
  • White—Fetzer Gewürztaminer
  • White—Brédif Vouvray
  • Red—Duboeuf Nouveau
  • Red—Fortant Merlot
  • Red—Cakebread Pinot Noir

Kate's Holiday Gift Suggestion:

Wusthof-Trident Mezzaluna  

December Kate's Global Kitchen

December 5:

Wine & Cheese-Spread Party
Fred McMillin's Wine Picks

Creamy Gouda-Horseradish Spread
My Blue Heaven Spread

Gift Ideas:
Screwpull Lever Model LX and Stand
KitchenAid Little Ultra Power Food Processor

December 12:

Easy, Exotic Indian Buffet

Bengal Lancers Beef Curry Cubes
Saffron Basmati Rice
Cranberry-Golden Raisin Chutney
Minty Raita-Style Cole Slaw

Gift Suggestion:
Wusthof-Trident Mezzaluna

December 19:

Christmas Weekend Salmon Gravlax
...and Last Minute Gift Suggestions

Gravlax Recipe

December 26:

Festive but Faux Caviars
Exquisite Eggplant Caviar
Lone Star Caviar
Mediterranean Black Olive Caviar

Holiday Recipe Headquarters

Copyright © 1998, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page created 1998 and modified November 2006.

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