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A Garnish is the decorative element that enhances the visual appeal of whatever you are serving, whether food or drink. Garnishing is almost an art form and it is not difficult to make your food and your drink look splendid, like the icing on the cake!
Garnish each dish attractively to make it look appetising. You can also use the colour of the serving plate to aid in the presentation of a dish.
Imagination is what you need for this, but some basic guidelines should be kept in mind:
- The garnish must enhance the look of your dish/drink.
- If using a specific ingredient, the garnish must complement that in colour and flavour.
- Care should be taken that garnishes are crisp and fresh to add appeal. It is better not to garnish at all than to do it with limp or old materials.
- To make the table look attractive, use different garnishes for each dish.
- Colorful straws, cocktail stirrers, decorated toothpicks and satay sticks, paper umbrellas and flowers are attractive add-ons to a simple garnish.
- If there is difficulty in getting fresh ingredients for the garnish use paper, metal foil, decorative elements, edible leaves and flowers which however should not be mixed with the food.
Some sample pictures of different garnishes that you can use:
Sautéed Mushrooms garnished with tomato slices on a matching red plate.
Mint Potatoes in a clear glass bowl with an under plate of green.
Lemon Sponge cake garnished with lemon slices and lemon leaves.
Chicken salad with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
Shami Kebabs with onion rings, chilies and chutney on a paper doily.
Palak Raita with chopped spinach leaves and mustard oil.
Keema-matar with chopped onions, coriander and green chillies.
Raan with onion rings, lemon wedges, sliced chillies and a radish rose.
Moong Dal Halwa with cashews and almonds.
Palak Makai with boiled kernels of corn.
Pancakes with orange sauce and orange slices.
Paper flowers and paper doily as a decorative element to a plate of brownies.
Nut croquettes with wafers.
Serving drinks with originality adds style. This is where you use your imagination.
An olive and a piece of lemon for a Gimlet.
Watermelon and a paper umbrella for a watermelon-based drink.
Orange and kumquat slices for a whisky cocktail.
Slices of pineapple and a cherry for a Pina Colada.
A cucumber curl, a black olive and a slice of lemon for a lemon based cocktail.
A slice of a plum and an interesting stirrer for a Rum Punch.
Mint leaves and lemon for a Mojito.
Celery sticks and leaves and a lemon slice for a Bloody Mary.
Different ways of decorating the drinks.