Every party needs a great finale. Why not feature the exotic spices of the Indian continent in a dessert. As part of my entertaining scheme for hosting a super, modern, party of small bites, try adding a chutney to your cheese board, and a spectacular chai-based ice cream for a fantastic Indian dessert.

To complete the party menu for our Modern Indian theme, I couldn’t help but suggest a couple of excellent products to add to the buffet. In these items, Indian flavors infiltrate the dessert phase in the most sophisticated way.

[1] Virginia Chutney Co  I love chutney. It’s got such a fine assortment of textures, sweetness, and a tanginess that can’t be beat. I like to think of it as a great shortcut ingredient to add in many recipes, including salad dressings and as a spread on sandwiches. (Think turkey.) The Virginia Chutney Co offers six interesting flavors and combinations, which are family-made in the blue hills of Virginia. For the Indian-themed party, I suggest a pairing with cheese—you can’t go wrong with any of their mixes.

The Balsamic Fig Chutney would be a nice complement with a goat cheese or a blue cheese. I couldn’t resist repeating the wonderfully descriptive tasting notes from the website… “Fig chutney is our lush hedonist, the notorious Italian uncle who arrives in Virginia with armloads of gifts, dances with all the ladies at the wedding, and keeps everyone awake singing operettas late at night. It’s all fig and no leaf, a loud sweetness rounded with a rich balsamic.”

Also fantastic is their Spicy Plum variety, whose spice-iness comes from caramelized onions and ginger. Match it with with Brie or cheddar. If you are more interested in presenting a sweet juxtaposition, go for the Sweet Peach which pairs up with just about any cheese. $8, available online at virginiachutney.com.

[2] TEA•RRIFIC Ice Cream The Masala Chai mixes Assam black and rooibos teas with cardamom, ginger, clove, and peppercorns, a truly sophisticated treat. $7, available at Whole Foods, Garden of Eden, and other local NYC markets. They’ve also got six other flavors, all tea-based. Try them all!  tearrificicecream.com

See more recipes for creating cool, mod, Indian-inspired bites in 08 India Calling