As a bunch of Bachelors, who can cook only 3 things- Maggi, Omelette and Dosa (with ready-made batter); used to think that making an entire meal was something that would require super-powers. Although we don’t possess any, we have managed to host several barbecue(AKA Barbeque or BBQ) parties over the years. Consequently, incrementing the stated list with Barbecue!
With this guide, we intend to express – how easy it is to barbecue and host a party. we shall use the example of a party with 10 guests, Atomic Circle had the pleasure of hosting on 20th October 2018.
Committee (host, organizers and sponsors)
You could do it all alone but involving loved ones, definitely, makes the experience worthwhile. We at Atomic Circle have at least 3 people who look after everything from start(purchasing ingredients) to finish(cleaning up). Few of us pay for the entire expenditure; they’re called sponsors.
Any open place such as a garden, backyard or terrace. Most importantly, make sure there’s no dry grass or any flammable stuff lying around the chosen venue and the place is not closed such that smoke accumulates and makes everyone miserable(been there, done that).
At the same time, if possible, have a certain privacy setting such that the guests are able to openly express themselves around each other. It is hard to pull each others leg if elders or strangers are able to hear you.
We hosted the party on a terrace.
We have always had it planned in the evening, right after sunset, but peeps have always made sure to arrive an hour or two later.
The number of attendees
Get ready for a lot of rejections and some absentees. From experience, at the minimum 50% of invitees will decline, and likewise, 20% won’t show up. Also, a guest could arrive with someone uninvited. We recommend having more than 5 attendees at the party.
Most importantly, call(phone call) each and every member of your squad. Nobody has ever agreed to a gathering with just a message on the group chat. Some idiosyncratic personalities won’t even respond on a personal chat. They’ll leave you on seen and you’ll be left contemplating about the type of friends you have and where to find better ones. Therefore, avoid heartache – don’t text; call.
We invited around 20 folks, out of which 6 responded with a definitive yes and 3 with a maybe.
Above all, Don’t be disheartened if your invitation is declined or not responded to. Consider their excuses as most of them are justified. Never stop trying to include them in future events only if you care for them and enjoy their company. Those “Yeses” will make you forget about all the “Nos”. In fact, you’ll end up with the best set of people at the party. Besides, you can ignore and skip those who are always “busy”.
Purchasing Ingredients, Sauces and Snacks
Since you’ll be feeding plenty of people, purchasing chicken from a wholesale dealer would be the best idea to save money as you can bargain with them. Also, you can customize your purchase as per your requirement.
A rule of thumb to purchase chicken would be 500g meat per person. For heavy eaters, it can be increased accordingly.
We had purchased 7 birds(around 1.2kg each) for 9 people. The white meat was chosen to be turned into boneless malai kebabs and dark meat for tandoori kebabs.
Most of the ingredients specified in the recipe are already present at home, for this reason, look into your kitchen first. Also, visit your local kirana store instead of supermarkets for those little things like lemons and green chillis.
Sauces and snacks
Supermarkets for sauces, snacks and cold drinks. Look for deals online as well. Barbecue sauce and Mayonnaise are a must!
Although some recipes would suggest using exclusive and hard to find exotic spices and/or oils, you can skip them. While it may be true that those extortionate spices and oils would bring exquisite smell and scrumptious taste to the table but they’ll snatch away your peace of mind; trying to find them and using only a little, after purchasing excessive quantities. We have plenty of such items that are eating dust and have crossed their expiration dates. With this in mind, skip them.
Ingredients for Malai Kebab
For Boneless chicken (1.5kg),
- Lemons – 2
- Cardamom Pods(Elaichi) – 8
- Kaju – 50 grams
- Green chilli – 10
- Vegetable Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Refined Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Pepper powder – 1 spoon
- Chat masala – 2 tablespoons
- Curd – small packet (half kg)
- Cream – 1 cup
Cleaning the raw chicken
Cutting the chicken
For the meat to soak the marinade and acquire the taste desired, it is necessary to make deep cuts on large pieces of meat.
Preparing the marinade and applying it
Follow the recipe of choice and remember to keep your hands clean. All hell will break loose if you rub your eyes with spices stuck to your hands that you forgot to wash away after preparing the marinade. (Even recalling it hurts!)
Procedure for Malai Kebab
For 1.5 kg boneless chicken;
- After cleaning the chicken, squeeze out water from each piece
- Take 8 cardamom pods(Elaichi), 50 gm of Kaju, and 10 Green Chillis. Mix them together.
- Squeeze 2 fresh lemons and add salt to taste on the meat.
- Apply the mixture(Step 2) on the chicken and mix it well to spread evenly.
- Add oils, pepper powder and chat as per taste and mix thoroughly.
- Take curd in a clean cloth and squeeze out water, then add the curd.
- Add cream and mix all the ingredients gently.
- Keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for at least an hour. Never marinate at room temperature or outdoors since bacteria can quickly multiply on raw meat if kept warm.
The method we follow and recommend is to take a few pieces of charcoal and heat them on the stove. Once they’re fiery red hot, take them to the barbecue stand and cover them with other charcoal pieces. Now for the most fun and dangerous part, blow air from a hair dryer directly on the heap of charcoal so that the heat spreads to other pieces. Remember to keep the heating off on the hair dryer if you don’t want to break your hairdryer as I did. Also, don’t bring it too close to charcoal.
Ask others to stay away when you’re heating charcoals. Once a piece of charcoal flew and landed right under my eye, burning my eyelids as well. Furthermore, sparks can burn clothes(several holes in my clothes).