Spruce Up Your Ramadan Game


Since Ramadan is around the corner and we all host at least one iftar daawat for our families and friends, I thought why not get some insights with my expert home chefs and share the knowledge with everyone. First, if you are the person who goes around saying Ramadan is for ibaadat and not for cooking etc., let me tell you, we all dislike you. We all know what needs to be done and feeding your family and friend is also a form of ibaadat.

If you are attending an iftar daawat please follow these few things:

1. Please try to put on your plate only as much as 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 waiting 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 assist them in cleaning up later as well.

4. If you like a food item, praise it and let the host know. If you do not like something let it go and hold your silence, the host is putting a lot of effort to make this day perfect so please do not spoil it for them.

5. Please be on time, and do not arrive too early or just a few minutes before iftar. Start getting ready a day before if you are the person who takes ages to get that perfect winged liner and won’t leave until both your eyes match.


Now let me quickly share how we can take our iftar daawats a step ahead and make them fun for everyone who is attending:

1. Decide your menu a week ahead of your daawat. This gives you time to plan around other things i.e. grocery shopping, table set up, serving strategies, etc. For your menu, try and look for things you can prep in advance so that you are not standing in your kitchen frying pakoras until the last moment while your guests wait all alone. The idea is to enjoy not exhaust oneself! Also, add some new stuff to your menu since everyone gets tired of eating the same old samosa, chaat, and the like throughout Ramadan. You can check out these recipes:

See Korean Chicken Wings Recipe

See Mac & Cheese Pakora Recipe

They are super easy and can be made in large batches.

2. If you are hosting a large party then use your table as a buffet table. If you have limited guests, you can place a setup for each guest. For individual settings 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 everything since it adds a sense of aesthetic. For buffet table setup, you can add little chalkboards or signs near your dishes, they are reusable and look super cute on your table. Make a separate station for drinks nearby along with glasses, ice buckets, and glass drink dispensers. You can also cut out stars and moons and attach them to a string, placing 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, preferably a day before your daawat.

3. Ask one of the guests attending to prepare a mini story around Ramadan for the 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 might also add card sheets and envelopes to these bags and ask the children to make Eid cards for their parents or grandparents. This way, the children will be occupied for some time while the elders can enjoy themselves.

4. Please designate a separate prayer area/room for both ladies and the men. Make sure there are prayer mats that are easily visible and place a sign for the Qibla direction to assist your guests. You do not want to run around at the last minute looking for prayer mats or guiding each person.

5. Prearrange disposable boxes and ask the guests to take leftovers along so that nothing is wasted. They can also save the stuff they have on their plates and hadn’t been able to finish.