We grew up in a Gujarati household where our family was always involved in dinner parties. It seemed like every week, we were either attending one or hosting one. The evening would begin with the adults chatting, laughing and catching up with each other on the week’s events. The kids would be running up and down the stairwells of the apartment building, playing a game of hide-and-seek or tag.
One of the things I remember most and chuckle about now is that right before dinner time, the kids were responsible for laying out newspapers all across the living room floor. This would serve as our “tablecloth”. This is where the moms would bring out all the food from the kitchen and serve everyone. This is also where everyone would sit down in a big circle to eat their dinner while carrying on their conversations. Typically, Indian families eat on the floor so this was nothing out of the ordinary. I chuckle because of the practicality of eating on a “newspaper tablecloth”. It definitely made cleanup an easier task for the kids. We just simply threw the spoiled newspapers out, ran the vacuum over the floor and the living room was back to normal again.
The other thing I remember about the dinner parties we hosted is an appetizer my mom typically made called eenda nu shaak (translated as Egg Curry). In fact, I have now incorporated that as a meal for dinner for my own family, served on a bed of (you guessed it) quinoa. It is nutritious and light yet packed with wonderful Indian flavors that definitely have a kick to them.