When it Comes to Food, Nepalis Know How to Throw a Party…

The title really says it all…

During the past two weeks about 50+ emails have been exchanged to plan a big dinner party for this evening. The occasion? Ten Nepali students are graduating from P’s university, and the non-graduating Nepali community is hosting a dinner in their honor and for the graduating students’ families. The party is projected to have about 50 people but one can never be certain what the final head count will be at a Nepali gathering until it happens.

Last night eight of us split into two marathon shopping trips to gather all the food, and we met at S-di and M-dai’s house to divide up the ingredients. Each non-graduating Nepali-community member was charged with bringing some dish or another to the party– P and I had to make a giant (giant!) vat of cauli aloo (cauliflower potato curry), a massive tossed salad, and of course, a giant bowl of rice (because how can you eat without rice??). Our cauli aloo used 5 large heads of cauliflower and 10 huge potatoes. We are used to cooking for big crowds, but that was quite a lot!

Cauli aloo mattar (foreground) and (pre)tossed salad (background)...

As we were dividing up the groceries last night S-di said, “I feel like we are at a wedding house” since during weddings usually there is a back and forth offering of gifts between the bride and groom’s family, and each family has to arrange trays of goodies (fruits, sweets, snacks, etc). The families spend long evenings arranging all the trays and prepping them for their unveiling.

The "wedding platter" goodies from R and S's wedding...

P and AS chopped up eight whole chickens and spiced the meat. I helped to peel about 6 bulbs of garlic while others peeled ginger and counted out onions, tomatoes, and lemons. This morning P and I were charged with running to the grocery store to pick up last minute items and deliver them to various people’s houses. It has been quite the undertaking…

It is a beautiful day in our little section of  New England, so I am happy to emerge from the kitchen, eat rice, curries, achars, and salads until I can’t move, then dance the rest of the night away.

But it certainly wouldn’t be a Nepali party without lots and lots of food…

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