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A Vegetarian Wedding Feast from LA's First Indian Pop-up, Jan. 29

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By Carren Jao/Special to LAist

Indian weddings are extravagant celebrations. Unlike most Western white wedding affairs, these celebrations are marked a rainbow of color, elaborate decorations and sumptuous food.

In the latest run of The Un-Curry Table, Los Angeles’ first Indian pop-up, chef Kaumudi Marathe recreates some of that festive atmosphere by serving an authentic Marathi wedding feast at Glendale’s Recess.

So, what to expect? No curries or samosas, that’s for sure. Chef Kaumudi is on a mission to introduce us to a different type of Indian cooking: Marathi. “The kind of Indian food that people eat is so boring and stereotypical and so limited,” says chef Kaumudi, “India is a whole continent, there’s a whole world out there that—like my food—nobody knows anything about.”

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Marathi cuisine hails from Maharashtra along India’s west coast. Unlike the rich, nutty sauces of the Punjab region many of us are used to, Marathi food is more refined, hardly spicy at all, but full of flavor coming from a careful mix of spices. “It’s very, for the most part, healthy—very lightly cooked.”

By no means a freshman effort, The Un-Curry Table has already hurdled four previous runs in November and December where chef Kaumudi updated Marathi cuisine and added a California twist. But this month, chef Kaumudi goes back to her roots by creating a purely authentic Marathi Indian wedding feast for her guests. “I’ll serve food the way the wedding feast is traditionally served.”

Guests can look forward to communal seating; servers frequently replenishing your large plate (possibly made out of banana leaf); an elaborate vegetarian meal (Indian weddings are religious affairs. Thus, no meat.); and dessert as part of the main course.

I only got a taste of Kaumudi’s dishes, but if that nibble were representative of what she had in store, then I’d say she’s already making good headway on her mission to champion Marathi cuisine. “I think [Indian food] has to be re-classified as many, many dishes, and not just one. It is very complex. It is haute cuisine, the way French food is.”

The Un-Curry Table pop-up at at Recess is Saturday January 29th, 2011, with seatings at 6:30 and 8:15 p.m. $35 per person.

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