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How to put together an Indian theme party for your friends

Updated on October 12, 2013

Indian dancer sculptures

Bringing the theme to life - the right Motifs!

It is best instead of going all over the place, choose distinct elements that are associated with India instead of putting all things together.

I had once put together an event with classical dancer themes, with large cutouts in golden cardboard with black lines. Around them were earthen vases and half hemispheric pots with candles and water lilys floating. You will find dancing figurines in almost every Indian archeological discoveries and are very appealing compared to exotic elephants and horses, that are typically associated with India.

Another compelling theme associated with modern india is the Bollywood theme, but I avoid it because it ventures into 'tacky', as is the theme around Kamasutra... surely you can do better than that!

Festival of Color, mythical gods and Goddesses, Monsoon rain and tropical fruits etc can all bepart of your creative sketchboard!

The Invitation

So you gotta let people know that there is an exciting theme to your big splash. Do it like the maharajahs would do it. Choose Handmade/ recycled paper in earthy tones and engage your printer to put in the good word. Roll up the ends in bamboo sticks or drinking straws and tie up the roll with exotic looking ribbons.

Stamping earthy tone handmade paper with Indian motif stamps such as paisley shaped/ elephant motifs or dancing figurines are also attractive options.

Dress code

Here is the fun part! You are in luck because hand embroidered t shirts, and cotton shirts are all the rage in your favourite stores this summer. Crotchet lace, Cutwork and appliques are trendy in women's shirts. Silk scarves with batik work or even tie-dye pattern can bring in Rajasthan into your living room. Equally trendy are elegant and eclectic flourescent colors for baubles and shoes. Beautiful gem inspired and Holi color inspired bracelets, stone set necklaces, and stone set sandals, and stillettos are all the rage. It'll be the perfect opportunity for your girlfriends to showoff their latest purchases! Turqouise and emerald colored jewellery and belts.. just the right thing for your party!

The guys can wear cotton shirts with embroideries and even the beautiful salmon, orange and fuschia colors of cotton shirts that will totally infuse bollywood and holi festival into your party.

Finger foods

Yummy Crispy cabbage pakodas can wow your guests and transport them to Delhi in under a second.. here's the recipe:
Yummy Crispy cabbage pakodas can wow your guests and transport them to Delhi in under a second.. here's the recipe:

Instructions for Cabbage pakoda

  1. Ingredient: 1 cup shredded or finely chopped cabbage. 1½ cup besan/chick pea flour also known as gram flour 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1 green chili, finely chopped 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional) 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp ginger / garlic paste 1/s tsp turmeric powder a pinch of asafoetida 3/4 cup water salt oil for frying
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl while you heat up the oil for deep frying. The oil has to be sizzling hot before you start frying. Take a tablespoon of the batter and release into oil. Set 7 or 8 such spoonsfuls at a time. Have a plate with Kitchen towels ready. Once the pakodas turn golden, take them out and set them on the kitchen towel to seep off. you can serve them with chilli sause or green chilli sauce, depending on how much heat your guests can handle!


For the perfect playback tnes that wont make your guests think they are at a yoga place, you can try classical music CDs by Ravi shankar , Ustad Zakir Hussain and friends. For a more modern take, try Hard Kaur ( punjabi rock) , Dj style music by Bally sagoo mostly soft and melodious and some include party hip hop mixes.

And who hasn't heard Selena Gomez - Come and Get it - it is sensuous with Indian tunes and Tabla and its happening too!

More importantly, if you want the latest bollywood songs, sync your iphone to the Saavn app and you will get the latest weekly top 15 songs from bollywood in your playlist .. so party away!

note: bollywood is the multi billion dollar movie industry based in bombay (mumbai).


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