You too can be a masterchef, without toiling in the kitchen

  • Zofeen Maqsood, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 11, 2015 12:59 IST
Here's how to burnish your reputation as the host with the most. (Illustration: Malay Karmakar)

Almost everyone dreams of being a superb host, the kind whose guests leave a house party with their bellies full, their gullets nicely lubricated, and generally enveloped by a sense of wellbeing. Most of all, with the wild popularity of gourmet television shows, everyone aspires to impress their friends with a table creaking with the kind of dishes that kept you glued to Masterchef Australia and Nigella Lawson — before her life unravelled on the idiot box.

The growing number of people interested in trying gourmet food and replicating that culinary experience in their home kitchens is driving the demand for newer recipes that use exotic ingredients. "Today, we get young people taking classes not just for baking cheesecakes," says etiquette coach Rita Gangwani. "They also want to learn how to lay a sophisticated dinner table, use the right cutlery, and pick up cheat-tips to create a gourmet meal in a jiffy at home."

The ripple effect has led to supermarket shelves creaking with condiments from across continents. Now, not only does the inventive home cook enjoy spicing up her staid dal with exotic herbs, she also wants to impress dinner guests with a sumptuous feast. This has led to the emergence of interesting new services, some of which can help you burnish your reputation as the host with the most… without actually breaking your back in the kitchen!


So you enjoy the company of good friends and the idea of chilling over superlative food and drink appeals to you greatly. However, if the thought of whipping up a gourmet meal makes you break into a sweat, play smart and use these superb services:

Five star finesse

If you’re looking to replicate that chic five-star eatery experience in your dining room, call up this fancy eatery that not only home delivers exotic selections from world cuisine such as Malaysian massaman curry and baked red snapper but also sends across trained chefs and stewards who will carefully curate your dining table and set the mood for a great night of serious gourmet dining.

Where: Café Knosh, Mei Kun at Kempinski Ambience Hotel

Recreating the royal past

Delhi 6s khansamas specialise in recipes that recreate the grandeur of the Mughal tables. At a 24-hour notice, the place now delivers kakori kebabs, Pakistani biryani, phirni and other authentic Mughlai food that’s just perfect if you’re keen to treat your house guests to the culinary wonders of old Delhi.

Where: or call Shibli Anis at 9818206410

Happily boxed in

If you thought cooking a great meal invariably involves a dash to the market for a fresh supply of meats, veggies and herbs followed by hours of practising to get the right measures of ingredients, think again. Gourmet meal boxes are here to make things simpler. A relatively new trend, make-yourown-meal gourmet boxes come with measured ingredients and chopped, peeled and washed veggies and meat for the exotic dish you are set on serving. A step-by-step recipe card makes it all even easier.

Order your gourmet meal box at: www. ;;

Posh and perfect

A memorable dining experience goes beyond great food. That’s why the experts at catering service Savour provide you with tailormade menus, cutlery and even uniforms for house staff, regardless of the number of guests or the scale of your party.

Where: Savour -- The Fine Art of Catering, Call: 8130595524

Barbecue heaven

From smoking hot galouti kebabs to heavenly mutton seekh kebabs or chicken malai tikkas that melt in your mouth, kababs are a perennial favourite especially when the temperatures dip. But there’s nothing worse than a disastrous barbecue with charred skewers of meat. Avoid all that embarrassment by ordering from Javed kabab Khan Market Waley. The kebabs are marinated overnight to give them a deep flavour. However, they taste homey enough to allow you to pretend that they achieved that state of perfection in your own kitchen!

Where: Al Javed kabab, shop no 3, Club Road, Punjabi Bagh West Call: 9899266765

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