For those looking for a change from typical food catering menus, such as sandwiches, pizza, and Mexican, you may be interested in trying Indian food catering. However, looking at the menus can be overwhelming, as there are many foreign-sounding names and terms.
This guide is designed to help you understand the cuisine and its different spices and flavors so you can branch out and enjoy Indian food catering.
Typical Phrases on Indian Menus
Indian food is a popular cuisine all over the world because of its variety and unique flavors. Most of the dishes use a combination of spices, and typical ones are red chili, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, and cardamom.
Indian food menus are much easier to navigate when you understand what the words mean. Some common phrases you will find throughout menus include:
- Tandoori: This refers to the type of cooking method. These dishes are often marinated and then baked with aromatics in a clay oven.
- Biryani: This refers to a dish of meat, veggies, and spices that is slow-cooked with a layer of onions over the top. It is served with a type of gravy and rice.
- Dum: This style cooks the dish with pressure. The completed dish has a thin gravy and is served with yogurt, rice, and bread.
- Tikka: This means chunks of meat. Tikka is often incorporated with a base of gravy, and it is found in many masala dishes.
- Masala: This refers to spice, which is usually medium to hot. Most masala dishes have a gravy that you can soak up with rice or bread.
- Vindaloo: If you order this dish, expect some heat, as they are the spiciest dishes on most Indian menus. They contain gravy and are served over your choice of meat, vegetables, and rice.
- Curry: This means gravy, and it is made with a variety of herbs and spices. They vary in heat and color.
- Saag: These dishes are served with leafy greens, gravy, and your choice of meat. Common aromas are cumin, cloves, and cinnamon.
- Paneer: This refers to our homemade cheese. Dishes with soft cubes of this cheese are very popular, especially with vegetarians.
Common Sides and Drinks
Indian dishes usually come with a variety of sides to complete the dining experience. Rice is a popular way to serve many menu items, as most of them contain some type of sauce or gravy. White basmati rice is the most commonly served, although some restaurants also offer brown and saffron rice.
No matter what food item you order, you cannot forget the Naan. This very popular, and addicting, soft flatbread is baked and brushed with oil. It can be enjoyed on its own and is also the perfect accompaniment to the sauces that come with typical Indian dishes.
Other side accompaniments that are popular with Indian catering are ones that help cool the palate and counteract the spiciness of the dishes. These include yogurt, achar (Indian pickles), and a variety of chutneys.
Indian drinks are another way to combat the heat. A lassi is a drink made with yogurt that is blended with fruit or sugar. Iced chai, a warming-spice-infused black tea that is combined with milk and ice, is another great drink to help balance the flavors from Indian food.
Visit Little India in Denver
When searching for Indian food catering in Denver, the place to go is Little India of Denver. Consistently rated as one of the top places for Indian food, it offers a wide variety of dishes. Order from them for your next catering event or, for a 5-star dining experience, enjoy lunch or dinner at their restaurant.
Now that you understand common menu terms and phrases, you are ready to enjoy the best Indian restaurant in Denver.
Image Credit: Getty Images / JoeGough