Trend Winter get-togethers don a new avatar with barbeque. Prabalika M Borah sniffs the aroma

Finally we see some fog, feel the moisture of the dew and don’t feel the need to reach out for the fan switch in the evening. While those who shopped for heavy winter clothing may be disheartened at not being able to flaunt their new woollens, this also is the best time to plan a grill or a barbeque evening. Bbq evenings are best for an informal gathering of friends and also allow the guest to play host, as guests can take turns in turning their own portion of meat or veggies or get their skewer ready. “Bbqs are non messy and can be cleaned in no time. No one will complain about the mess or fumes as long as the meat keeps coming,” says chef Gaurav. He suggests chicken for a bbq night as it cooks easily and doesn’t need much marination.

Another very popular bbq food is fish. Reason: It cooks fast and needs absolutely nothing much but a good wipe of salt and some basic spices. The only caution every bbq fan recommends is that it be washed well. Kehkashan Fazal, a student, loves her visits to Vizag where her friends make sure they make the best use of the dipping temperatures. She recommends, “It is always handy to keep the meats marinated well before so that the grilled meat turns juicy and absorbs the spices well.” She adds, “A bbq is definitely the most sought-after get-together plan these days.”

Those who think bbqs are possible only at a place with open lawns, think again. “Open space is definitely is a pre-requisite but that doesn’t mean you need a lawn. I had bbq get-togethers on my balcony which is an extension of my living room and it works out fine,” says Saurav Gupta, a marketing professional with a leading hotel chain. If your living room doesn’t open up to a balcony, you always have the terrace at your disposal.

Saurav’s veg bbq is also a hit with friends; he surprises them with the veggie array beginning with sweet potato, baby corn, mushroom, bell peppers, baby potato, radish and paneer. Chefs suggest that marinations are kept simple for a home bbq— if making the spices at home is a task, for first timers, “then fall back on packaged marination mixes. They are quite handy and meet the requirements well. To make the task of bbq easy and non-messy marinate the meats in bigger vessels which are easy to carry and everything should be assembled in a way where one doesn’t need to keep returning for smaller things.”

Bbq is a good way to catch up with friends and definitely a greater way to unwind over drinks and food. Apurva Marur usually celebrates her birthday which falls on Christmas eve with a bbq get-together. “I love the idea of bbq afternoons. I have friends coming over and I love to be at the helm of things. So I take special care to ensure perfect cuts in the meat with a marination which is exotic. My favourite is the Korean style bbq,” she says.

While Apurva gets the meat ready she keeps her friends occupied with bbq sausages with a marination of butter and Italian seasoning. And for those who don’t have a grill, look around there are many options to create your own.