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Creating an Ethnic Themed Dinner Party

Attention all chefs! With the hot summer months quickly approaching, there is no better time to treat your family and friends to an indoor or outdoor ethnic themed dinner party.

Transport your guests to the streets of an exotic land by trying out an international recipe, such as Indian Butter Chicken – a delicious and fragrant dish utilizing many popular spices that is best served on a bed of rice with creamy, flavorful curry sauce, and topped with fresh onion, tomato and garlic.

Or perhaps you may like to try an African dish like South African bobotie – a sweet, lightly curried meatloaf with apple and golden raisins and topped with a baked egg custard. There are so many amazing and vastly different world cuisines for you to draw from to help you turn up the heat in the kitchen and dazzle the palates of your guests.

What about a great side dish - the options are endless.

Once you have decided upon a main course or two, you will need to pick a few side dishes to complement the meal. A hearty grain such as rice, quinoa or farro is often a good idea. You also can’t go wrong by having one or two side vegetable options, like a cucumber salad or perhaps just a simple steamed broccoli. The options are endless!

Garnishes add color and flavor

Lastly, make your dish(es) stand out by offering a selection of garnishes for guests to add a pop of color and flavor to their plates. Good choices are cilantro leaves, diced onion and tomato, or chopped nuts, such as peanuts or cashews.

Hosting a dinner party is already exciting and fun. However, don’t be afraid to increase the excitement and challenge yourself in the kitchen by cooking a creative and healthy international dish rich with spices and flavor!

You will, without a doubt, wow your guests who will probably ask for your recipe and for the privilege of taking home leftovers.

But before you put your spice lists together, keep reading and we'll show you our secret, foolproof and much simpler way to blend spices.

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe (


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1/4 white onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 1 cup tomato puree

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Add all ingredients to list


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.

  3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

South African Bobotie Recipe (


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 medium onions, minced

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 slices Texas toast thick-sliced bread

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 teaspoon apricot jam

  • 1 tablespoon hot chutney

  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil until soft. Break the ground beef into the skillet and cook until brown.

  3. Place the milk in a shallow dish. Soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread. Set the milk aside. Add the bread to the beef mixture. Stir in the raisins, apricot jam, chutney, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven 1 hour.

  5. While the bobotie bakes, whisk together the reserved milk, egg, and a pinch of salt. Pour over top of the dish. Lay the bay leaf onto the top of the milk mixture.

  6. Return the bobotie to the oven until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Dear home chefs, have you ever wanted (or even attempted) to wow a group of guests by cooking a creative ethnic dish such as an Indian or Thai curry, but found it too labor intensive, time consuming or just plain confusing?

Perhaps you didn’t have all the necessary ingredients or felt that the prep work was too much of a hassle. We don’t blame you! Here at Karen’s Spice Kitchen, we know how intimidating many international recipes can seem.

This exactly why we have simplified the process, so that anyone can feel like a professional chef in the comfort of their own home and host an incredible dinner party that will leave your guests’ mouths watering! Did you know that a typical butter chicken recipe calls for 11 different spices.

Here's our secret, foolproof and much simpler way to blend spices. We call it our 'grab-go and pour' pouch. We pre-blend all the spices for you, so you can spend more time with your guests, enjoying a great tasting meal.

With Karen’s Spice Kitchen spice blends, we have measured out each spice to perfection and blended them together - conveniently packaged for you in one 'grab-go and pour' pouch!

Our spice blends are flavorful yet mild and include a separate packet of hot chili powder for those who want to add a kick.

Each pouch also contains a simple, easy to follow step-by-step recipe and a list of suggested side dishes to go with your meal.

Our blends make it EASY for you to create all your favorite ethnic dishes.

Prep time is minimal, and with only one pot needed for the entire recipe, so is clean up time, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time socializing with your guests!

Order your Karen’s Spice Kitchen spice blends today, and experience for yourself just how easy culinary creativity can be!

To order or to learn more, check out our website: and please share with all of your family and friends!

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