Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Indian Inspired Fireside Tablescape

Komali Nunna from Entertaining From An Ethnic Indian Kitchen wrote a book by the same name. I was quite honored when she contacted me and asked if I would feature her book on Vignette Design.
Entertaining From An Ethnic Indian Kitchen is more than a cookbook. Komali has elevated entertaining to an art form, as seen by the beautiful photographs. It really deserves to be showcased on the coffee table!

I was inspired by the many menus and tablescapes she features in her book, particularly her fireside dinner. She says, "I like to set a low table in front of the fireplace and use oversized cushions for people to sit on the floor around the table. Sitting on the cushions at a low table invites intimate conversation."

So, inspired by Komali's table, I set out to create an Indian inspired fireside tablescape.
Remembering my collection of wool Kashmir shawls, I used them to set the tone for my table.

Japanese maple leaves and hydrangeas freshly cut from the garden form the centerpiece, along with mercury glass votives and aged brass candlesticks.

I layered a paisley pillow over a velvet one for the floor cushions.

The dishes are from our wedding. I layered silver over brass for the chargers. The silver napkin rings are made in India, as are the candlesticks and centerpiece container.

The silver wine goblets are from my husband's family. They have been passed down from one generation to another.
The copper jesveh is from Armenia. It is used to make Armenian coffee, served in the tiny demitasse cups, a gift from my mother-in-law upon our engagement.

Sitting here, browsing through Komali's book, I noticed some similarities between Indian and Armenian food, and even fabrics. I'm wondering if it is the Persian influence on both cultures.

We both love lamb shish kebob and rice. Flat breads called roti are similar to the Armenian lavash. And of course pickled vegetables are a mainstay in both cultures. Komali tells about how making pickles and chutneys from every possible vegetable was part of her mother's repertoire. My husband's grandmother did the same thing. Armenians call it Tourshi!
In fact, that's what our daughter Ashley named her catering company!

Indian cuisine also features pomegranates, and so do Armenians. I'm so excited about this recipe for Brine Roast Turkey with Pomegranate Glaze.
We are definitely making this for Thanksgiving. I have been searching for this recipe forever, and now here it is!

Doesn't this look delicious!? Like I said, this book is brilliantly photographed.

I learned so much from Komali Nunna. Not only does she give practical entertaining tips, she also provides insights into the Indian people, their languages, festivals, history and geographical influences on the different regions and cuisines of India.

This may very well be my favorite tablescape to date! Seeing the opulent and elegant tablescapes in Komali's book really inspired me to try to do the same. I had fun gathering the ingredients together and look forward to recreating this tablesetting on a grander scale in the dining room someday.

Be sure to visit Komali Nunna's website here, where you can order a copy of
Entertaining From An Ethnic Indian Kitchen for yourself or as a gift.
Komali also has a blog here. She is a regular participant of Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.
I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday too this week, and also Jain at Food For Thought, where books are reviewed in the kitchen!
On Friday, I'm joining Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.

Oh, and guess what!?
While I was photographing my tablescape this morning, my Kitchenaid arrived from Designs by Gollum! That's right, I won the Kitchenaid giveaway!
Thank you Michael! I can't wait to use it for the first time. Perfect timing for the holidays.
I may have to fight Ashley for it. Her catering business is starting to take off. Check out her new blog here!
Sorry Ash, that's my Kitchenaid!

I'll be back later to light the fire.....


I'm back! It's now dark and the fire is lit!

Ready for a fireside dinner for two.


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