Since Ramadan is around the corner and we all host at least one Iftaar dawat for our families and friends I thought why not get some insights with my expert home chefs and share the knowledge with everyone. First and foremost if you are the person who goes around saying Ramadan is for ibaadat and not for cooking etc, let me tell you we all absolutely dislike you. We all know what needs to be done and feeding your family and friend is also a form of ibaadat.
Spruce Up Your Ramadan Game
If you are attending an Iftaar dawat please follow these few things
1. Please try to only take what you can finish; wasting food is a big No!
2. Please let the host know in advance if you will be attending or not, along with the number of people they should expect, this way they can cook accordingly and avoid wastage.
3. Instead of sitting and watching your hosts run around please get up and help them. Ask them what needs to be done or what you can help with and help them clean up later as well.
4. If you like something appreciate it and let the host know, if you do not like something please ignore and keep quiet, the host is putting a lot of effort to make this day perfect please do not spoil it for them.
5. Please arrive on time, do not arrive too early or just a few minutes before iftaar. Start getting ready a day before if you are the person who takes ages to get that perfect winged liner and you wont leave until they match.
Now let me quickly share how we can take our Iftaar Dawats a step ahead and make them fun for everyone who is attending
1. Decide you menu a week ahead of your dawat, this gives you time to plan around other things i.e grocery shopping, table set up, how you are going to serve it etc. for your menu try and look for things you can prep in advance so that once your guests arrive you are not standing in your kitchen frying pakoras until its iftaar time. The idea is to enjoy not exhaust oneself! Also add some new stuff to your menu since every one gets tired of eating the same old samosa, chaat etc through out Ramadan. You can check out these recipes:
They are super easy and can be made in large batches.
2. If you have a large party then use your table as a buffet table, if you have limited guests you can do place settings for every individual guest. For individual setting ensure all your glasses, plates, cutlery, napkins and mats match each other. You can also use a table runner to add some colors. Make sure you are color coordinating every thing because it looks really nice. For Buffet table setup you can add little chalk boards or sign near your dishes, they are reusable and look super cute on your table. Make a separate station for drinks near by with glasses, ice buckets, and glass drink dispensers. You can also cut out stars and moon and attach them to a string, place this string along with some fairy lights over your food setup to give it a nice Ramadan vibe. Use a tablecloth to cover your table, you can select your tablecloth according to your crockery or match it to the decorations you want to hang up. Do all this before your guests arrive, this can be done a day before your Dawat.
3. Ask one of the guests attending to prepare a mini story around Ramadan for children attending; you can designate a corner with some cushions and a carpet for this story session. If no one is willing to take the job up look for an informative movie or cartoon around the same theme. You can also prearrange mini goody bags for children with coloring books, colors, puzzles etc. You can also add card sheets and envelope to these bags and ask children to make Eid cards for their parents or grand parents. This way children will be occupied for sometime while elders can enjoy themselves.
4. Please designate a ladies prayer area/room and one for men too, make sure there are prayer mats and are easily visible, also place a sign for Qibla direction to assist your guests. You do not want to run around last minute looking for prayer mats or guiding your guests.
5. Pre arrange disposable boxes and ask guests to take leftovers along so that nothing is wasted, they can also save stuff they have on their plate and have not finished.