The bride, Shefali Manilal. Mendhi Ceremony with Scrumptious
Indian Appetizers

Having traveled to India regularly for more than 20 years, I consider the country’s sights, sounds, and flavors among life’s greatest treasures. I’m blessed with many Indian friends, both overseas and here in the Bay Area, who’ve initiated me into the secrets of their exotic cuisine.

I traveled to New Delhi for the wedding of a close friend, where I joined the women of the family in the mendhi—or henna—ceremony pictured here. The wedding was a glamorous week-long affair featuring guests and traditions from around the world. Happily, the delectable recipes I brought back work equally well at more informal gatherings!

Thanks to San Francisco’s huge Indian population, I can easily locate rare spices and ingredients at our many ethnic grocery stores. If no such stores exist in your area, take advantage of mail-order resources online.

  Featured Recipe  

Sugar Cookies

This dough is easy to handle and yields heavenly cookies.


Indra Rai feeds Barbara Adams Indian appetizers so that the henna designs on her hands can dry.
Mendhi wallahs at work.   Pakoras Indian appetizer recipe   The bride's cousin has henna designs drawn on her hand during the Mendhi party.
Papri Chaat Indian appetizer recipe   A beautiful child with her first henna mendhi designs.   Sheekh Kebabs  Indian appetizer recipe
Papri Chaat       Sheekh Kebabs
A mendhi wallah works on the hand of the bride.   Aloo Tikki  Indian appetizer recipe   Two mendhi wallahs apply the henna to the hands of guests.
    Aloo Tikki    
Koftas  Indian appetizer recipe   Tiny hands decorated with henna mendhi designs.   Nimbu Pani (Lime Water) Indian recipe
Koftas       Nimbu Pani (Lime Water)
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Barbara Adams Beyond Wonderful features large recipe collections of full-proof quick and easy recipes, classic family favorites, global cuisine, and party ideas. Get illustrated cooking tips and techniques,cooking for beginners, food features, and expert advice on baking, cheese, produce, and wine.

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