The bright idea to search for affordable home caterers and budget party ideas came from a friend born in March. She would always sulk that she barely had any money at the end of the financial year to treat her friends on her birthday. When I set out to find inexpensive home caterers and budget party ideas, I was nervous. I thought coming up with budget party ideas would be impossible, let alone finding a caterer or home chef who would cater to a party of 25-30 people within 3,000 INR. But I took up the challenge for budget party ideas and started my research, asked friends for references and got down to telephoning them as a potential client.
I have had caterers hang up on me when I mention my limited budget. There go my grand plans for budget party ideas! Some exclaimed in disbelief, some laughed thinking I was joking about budget party ideas, some called me ‘crazy lady’ and then there were those who abused me for wasting their time with budget party ideas. But there were some caterers who heard me out and tailor-made a menu to fit my rather modest budget party ideas.
Of course, restricted finances meant that my budget party ideas could not include a five- or seven-course meal. But who cared as long as I was delivered with scrumptious, hygienic food that pleased my guests? Here are the handful of caterers I found that met all my criteria of my budget party ideas:
1. Chef Agnes Nirmalkar: This woman makes a mean chicken curry (550 INR per kg), and her vegetarian and non-vegetarian biryanis (800 INR per kg) are drool-worthy. Chef Agnes’ chicken and fish preparations are great starter options and have some zing to them thanks to their rich Malvani and Konkani flavours. Great for budget party ideas. Be warned though, she doesn’t home deliver. You will need to pick up your order from her home in Andheri. Contact: 8689977139
2. Chef Bhavna: Even though she cooks only vegetarian food, it is lip-smacking and is perfect when considering budget party ideas. Home chef Bhavna has Jain options for all her dishes that has ensured that she has a wide clientele base. Our pick from her wide menu are her dips—her hung curd and cheese dip, and the capsicum, garlic, cheese and cream dip (both priced at 550 INR per kg) complement any dipper, whether it’s chips or cutlets or any other. If you would like a light menu, say you have invited guests for high tea, her mini pizzas, Russian sandwiches and frankies (each for 50 INR per piece) are delectable and filling. Her other signature starters include cheese corn balls, Chinese and Jain samosa and spring rolls (each for 13 INR per piece); and she also gives you the option to fry these at home, fresh before the party begins. Also on her menu are continental and Chinese dishes, plus biryanis (her dahi biryani is yummy), which are in the range of 500-700 INR per kg. Now that's a whole lot of options for your budget party ideas! Again, you will need to take on the responsibility of picking up the food from her residence at Sion.
3. Pratap Caterers: Though Pratap Caterers offer Chinese and North Indian food, they are most recommended and well-known for their Bengali food. Name any popular Bengali dish and these caterers whip up a delightful version of it. From Kosha Mangsho, Bhappa Ilish, Aloo Poshto, vegetable cutlet, Prawn malai curry, Shorsho Maach, Sweet pulao, Cholaar Daal to Dhokaar Dalna, every dish is packed with flavours that will have your guests thanking you after every bite. With a restricted budget, if you are running out of budget party ideas, you can afford to order a rice, daal and 2-3 dishes. The secret to getting a good deal out of these caterers is to haggle. Seriously, haggle a lot when you're working on budget party ideas! And a tip that will always come in handy when planning budget party ideas is to deflate the number of guests when you place your final order because their portions are enormous. Pratap Caterers charge extra for home delivery depending on your location, and he transports the food from his central kitchen in Santacruz.
4. Dial Organic: If you are having health-conscious guests over for your next house party, or if you are an organic devotee, you may think this shrinks your budget party ideas. But all you need is Namita Ambani’s Dial Organic on your speed dial. All ingredients are sourced directly from the farmers and at wholesale rates, thereby making the organic dishes affordable. While these vegetarian meals (rice, daal, roti, sabzi, salad, dessert and starters) start from 150 INR upwards, you can customise it to meet your budget party ideas. Quantities are generous so order for 25 people. If you make a combo of 3 items, it will cost you 120 INR per whole meal. The food is tasty and there are no traces of oil - could you ask for more when thinking of budget party ideas? If you want to binge on starters only, we would recommend their sandwiches, cutlets and frankies (all 35 INR per piece). Exclusive of delivery charges.
5. The Good Food Co:Need more budget party ideas? This intimate café in Vile Parle, which is popular with college kids, has a limited menu with only vegetarian options, but they offer yummy food, with their salads, wraps, pizzas and pastas being the best bets. They take mass orders for house parties, but they don’t deliver outside the Ville Parle area, so put on your self-service cap. You can customise your order depending on the preferences of your guests. But if you wish to opt for a pasta, we would recommend their in-house special TGFC pasta, which marries the flavours of Alfredo and Arrabiata beautifully. The Tex Mex pizza is also excellent.
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