Dawat is a word derived from Hindu or Urdu language which signifies a feast held for any celebration . This feast may be for any joyous event such as wedding or for mournful event such as death ritual gatherings, Normally this north Indian dawat are feasting and refreshments. These dawatas are feasting and refreshments. These Dawats have such synonyms as Preetibhoj, Antyoshti bhoj, Bhandara.
Origin of Dawat in India
Perhaps this word originated in the regime of the Mughal’s when the royal family members or the people with power and pelf used to throw Shahi Dawat. In these sort of royal feasts, thousands of people used to witness the royal grandeur and savor the delicacies of the old Indian cuisines mix with the cuisine of Northwest frontiers of India. Still, while the followers of Islam after the wedding ceremony arrange Dawat e Walima. In India, scores of restaurants are named as Dawat restaurants. In the holy month of Ramzan Dawat E iftaar are to be seen frequently.
Dawat in Uttar Pradesh
As a child born in the remote hinterlands of farukhabad district, I had a privilege to become a part of local Indian Dawat. It was usual with my grandfather to give feast to the entire village folk of the panchayat in the holy month of bhadrapad. Similarly in the month of Magha he used to enjoy kalpvas on the bank of the ganges lots of sages and the commoners used to attend Bhanadara’s arranged by him.
Pattal Ki Dawat
North Indian Dawat specially in Uttar Pradesh are arranged on Pattal. These pattals are made of the leaves of Banyan Tree tucked and stuck together with sticks working as nails. Some people provide this feast on the banana plant leaves also like the tradition in south India. Normally the entire family and friends engage themselves in the preparations.
The very common dishes in North Indian dawats are prepared from potato , lady finger, pumpkin, jack fruit. The vegetables are served in the containers puri or puaas are served with these vegetables. Raita and laddos work as desert. Most of the dawats are started in the afternoon and go on until late evenings.
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How Dawat is arranged?
The preparations for these Dawats are to be furnished by the mid-day and a call is given by the harbingers for attending the feast. Normally in a compound, the mattresses are thrown for the people to sit, and the people attending Dawat take off their shoes and get seated squatting on the floor. Now the family members start placing the leafy pattals before catch persons along with the earthen cups known as Kullads. First, the vegetables are served and later puri kachori raita and sweets are served. This group of servers call for each object and humbly request to grab more, Water servers call for water.
Such process mentioned above very common in all kinds of Dawats whether they are for weddings, birthdays or any other auspicious occasions. In the same way, the funeral Dawats what are known as Triodashi the Brahmins attend a feast first after the rituals. Later other people start taking feast. The death Dawat is normally not so sumptuous as the wedding Dawat or the birthday Dawats.
Rajasthan is famed all around India for its forts and palaces. Besides this, it is also known for iconic food delight. In Rajasthan Dawat’s and parties, you find the traditional food such as Daal Bati churma, Mawa kachori, Pyaaz ki Kachori, Mirchi Bada, Sev tamatar, Laal Mas etc. These dawats have common ingredients in their dishes such as lentils, beans, corn, barley ghee etc. As due to the climatic condition and avid zone green vegetables one less available. Thus the food has more use of gram flower chillese, onion and meats.
Madhya Pradesh Dawat
Daal Bafla- Daal Bafla is very similar to Daal Baati in Rajasthan , In Madhya Pradesh food you will see the influence of its nearby states uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Daal Bafla is preparing by baking wheat balls which are later dipped in Pure Ghee and served with spicy lentils.
Maal Pua and Mewa Baati are the famous desert of Madhya Pradesh served in social gatherings and special occasions.
Khasta kachauri- In Madhya Pradesh people are more fond of Namkeen instead of Sweets so without the special Khasta Kachori specially prepare in Desi ghee is also serve in Dawat on every occasion.
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One special vegetable special is must in every Dawat such as Awle ka Saag.
Dawat in Punjab
Punjab the northern territory of united India with its eastern boundary at the capital city of British India the New Delhi and the western boundary going right up to the north western frontal areas near Afghanistan. This large area has always been a habitat of the tribes. These tribes had a very cohesive and parliamentary system of social life.
How Wedding Dawat takes place in Punjab?
The wedding in a village was a matter for the entire village even now old system can be seen in villages of Punjab. Mostly the villages of Punjab sustain on agriculture, milk has always been in abundance. Even now if a villages in Punjab has a marriage usually entire village donates milk to the family. The collected milk is the used to prepare sweets. The village life more than fifty years back had no sugar it was first introduced by the British manufactured in British sugar Industries. The rural populace was promoted to use sugar.
Preparation for Punjabi Wedding Dawat
The preparations for the marriage were done months in advance. Milk was collected and the Halwais worked overtime to make khoa (condensed milk) and burfi from the collected milk. The Baraat was welcomed and preparations for the Baraatis were done and Baraat was made to stay at a place made specially for this purpose. Every village had these Dharamshala or the Janj Ghar as they were called. The charpoys collected from entire village were draped in new linen (also collected from villagers). The servants used to pamper the Baraatis who sitting on the charpoys draped in new Chadara and kurtas will Shamla Pagdis.
The Role of Mirasis in Punjabi Wedding
The Mirasis performed along with nautch girls entertaining the Baraatis and received generous bakshish. The Country made liquor was made available to the desirous guests. The serving of sweets was nonstop. Vegetarian and dishes made from meat were specially prepared and served to the Baraatis.
All this continued for almost 3-4 days until the bride and groom after the exchange of marriage vows departed from the village. The groom for the rest of the life became an esteemed guest of the entire village and whenever he comes to his in-laws every one of the village respects the “Parauna”.
As a Tourist witness Punjabi wedding Dawat
Now Punjab has seen the influx of modernism with swanky Marriage homes coming up in the entire Punjabi countryside The Dawaat has a large spread of Vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies and the sweets section is also prolific with deserts and ice creams tantalizing the taste buds. Usually, the marriage is a complete day affair starting with the serving of morning breakfast comprising of many sorts of pastries, omelets, vegetables, and paneer fritters.
As the near ones and bride and groom go on to solemnize the marriage the rest of the gathering is entertained by a live band of performers who churn out peepy Punjabi music aided with loud audio the youngsters enjoy on the ramp with dance and galore, as the bride and groom return, they sit on the stage with almost entire village blessing the newlyweds the lunch is served alongside. Now marriage is a very costly affair but usually, no one complains as Punjabi nowadays have few children and often the Non-resident Punjabis come to Punjab to marry their children.