Band Baaja Baraat

I went to a wedding recently that did not serve khao suey.

Wedding catering in Mumbai tends (unless you’ve lucked out with Parsi connections) to be vegetarian. Worse still, the current trend is live counters serving all kinds of “international” flavours (they all taste as authentic as my maid’s ‘Guccie’ watch). Two perfectly respectable Maharashtrians or Gujaratis or Punjabis trying to live happily ever after insist on plying you with paneer in scehzwan sauce or pasta in amul cheese sauce or - with dreadful inevitability - khao suey.

However, as I said before, I recently went to a wedding that managed to survive a complete absence of khao suey. More remarkably, it served with few exceptions traditional marathi food – still vegetarian but quite nice, and distinctly local. A small menu with dishes like valachi usal and palakachi patal bhaji were accompanied by some inspired amras. Even the pickles tray was interesting  - Ambyache lonche, mango and gur pickle, an unusual dal chutney and a very nice peanut chutney with toothsome coconut shavings.

Most communities tend to be quite traditional about their wedding feasts (certainly the average Bengali aunty will break out in shocked tones of agitated gossip if sorshe mach or kosha mangsho is not visible). However, Mumbai weddings tend to veer quite strongly to the confused, inflicting every vegetable between Punjab and Lebanon on all and sundry. It was nice to see someone sticking closer to tradition.

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