I Need a Showstopping Birthday Menu to Cook in My Tiny Kitchen

This week on the Dinner SOS podcast, Chris and Maya Kaimal help a caller make a birthday feast to remember.
I Need A Showstopping Birthday Menu to Cook in My Tiny Kitchen
Photograph By Eva Kolenko for Indian Flavor Every Day by Maya Kaimal

ON THIS WEEK’S episode of Dinner SOS, food director and host Chris Morocco is joined by cookbook author and food entrepreneur Maya Kaimal to help caller Ira find recipes fit for a celebration that are also feasible to make and serve in his small apartment kitchen.

Ira loves to host a dinner party, but after moving back to New York from Los Angeles, he’s intimidated by the thought of hosting in a much smaller space. But that isn’t going to stop Ira from cooking himself and friends an ambitious birthday feast. The only question is what! When Ira mentions he’s a huge cookbook fanatic, Chris enlists Maya Kaimal (who you might know from her eponymous line of prepackaged Indian meals and sauces) for menu inspiration. Maya has a new cookbook called Indian Flavor Every Day, and she’s no stranger to recipe testing and hosting in a teeny-tiny New York City kitchen.

Maya comes prepared with multiple suggestions for Ira’s party. Her key move is to start with a main anchor dish and complement it with low-lift side dishes to maximize the flavors and textures at play. She proposes recipes from her book like chicken tikka skewers, herby roasted potatoes, a bright turnip tadka salad, and cucumber raita. Her next recommendations for a showstopper main dish? Chicken biryani and lamb vindaloo.

Listen now to hear the play by play of Ira’s birthday feast and to go behind the scene’s on Ira’s first, transformative trip to New York’s specialty food store Kalustyan’s (a place Maya and Chris both love). The only thing Chris and Maya can’t help Ira with? Cleanup.