How to host a stress free desi dinner/dawat

How to host a stress free desi dinner/dawat……

A happy, relaxed host means happy, relaxed guests! Let us show you how it’s done.

The invitations

Send out invites well in advance. Make sure to have your complete address ,timing schedule and phone number .

  • Ask guests about food allergies and any food restrictions by doctors.
  • Send a reminder a day before about the event.

Menu planning:

Plan the menu to give yourself time to make a trip to the grocery store for shopping. Decide if you want to serve only desi or incorporate a few fusion dishes. This depends on the guest list: adventurous or standard “Roti-salan” fans? Keep four or five dishes on the menu, majority of which can be cooked in advance and frozen. This way you can simply heat them on the day of the event and garnish to look super appealing. Don’t have more than one fried item on the menu unless you want your house smelling bad.Don’t try a dish for the first time for the dinner. Stick to tried and tested ones.

Hosting Children:

    Hosting little people requires special planning.

  • Check with parents what their children prefer to eat. Biryani is always a safe to be a hit with any group of children.
  • Keep plastic or paper plates/glasses  for children
  • Set aside an area for children to eat at. Preferably where they can sit safely and to contain the unavoidable mess. You can place a plastic mat on the floor for the children to sit and eat at.
  •  Keep a basket of toys for the children. Blocks, books and lego are a safe choice. Avoid markers (your walls will thank you), Avoid scissors and any small parts that can be choking hazards.
  • Before the guests arrive turn off your TV  and laptops,so the children do not get busy with them.They should enjoy party with other kids ,not with gadgets.
  • Remove anything that you value and might be in the children’s reach.

Desi  Menu choices::

Have one “Main Family’s Favourite ” dish that you know everyone will love and that can be the centre point of your spread. A few great ideas are roasted raan (leg of Mutton), Biryani,Yukhni Pulao,Beef bong Paya,whole roasted chicken or Murgh musallum ,Bihari kabab,Nihari or Haleem.

A low budget Pakistani menus suggestions:

1,Bombay beef Biryani + Kebab + Raita + Salad + chicken and Vegetable Pasta + Chicken Karahi + Naan

2,Murgh Musallum+chutney+ raita+salad+Matar Pulao + Aaloo gosht+Naan

3,Nihari + Naan + Vegetable Rice + Chicken reshmi kabab+ Raita + Salad

4,Haleem + Naan + Mutton Pulao +raita,salad

5,kachay qeemay k Kebab +Chicken qorma  + Mutton or Beef Biryani+Mayo Salad+raita

6,Chicken Malai handi,

Labenese kabab ,beef biryani,salad ,Raita


Waheed k fry Kabab

Pakistan Style foil packet Chiken

Naan or Sheermaal

Dhaaba pulao


Green Chutney


8,Reesha kabab or Degchi kabab

Mutton Bukhari pulao

Achaari Aaloo


Imli ki chutney


Some high budget Pakistani Menus:::

1, Roasted Mutton leg,Sheermal,

Highway chicken Karahi ,Beef biryani,zeera aaloo,

Mayo salad,cachumber  salad,Raita

2,Matka gosht/Paya kunna,yukhni pulao,finger fish,chicken Karahi,Naan,salad,raita

3,Bihari qeema,Afghani chicken pulao,Dhuan dhu Baigan,Mutton Qorma,Sheermaal,salad, raita,paratha

4,Fried gola kabab,Mutton Badami Qorma,Dhaba Mix Sabzi,Chicken biryani,Aaloo bukharay ki chutney,salad,Raita,Naan

5,Peshawari Mutton Karahi,Chicken Shashlik,Fried Rice,Kofta Curry,salad,raita,Naan

6,Achaari Aaloo,Foil packet chicken,Smokey qeema,Puri paratha,Imli ki chutney,Raita,salad,Mutton pulao

7,Mutton paya,Spicy Fried fish,Chicken karahi,Bagharay rice,Naan,green chutney,Ketchup,lemon and hara masala for serving

For many people dessert is the highlight of the desi dinner party. This is a topic for a whole new blog post. The great thing about desserts is that most can be made a day before. Do keep healthier options like deserts with  fruits if possible.

Famous Pakistani desert for Dawat/Dinner party  are:::

Sheer khurma

Shahi tukray

Khoobani ka meetha

Fruit Trifle


Brownie trifle


Three days are busy for women ,who is hosting a dinner.

1,,Day before the event.

2,,,Day of the event.

3,,Day after the event.


Night before the event:

  • Take out the frozen food and put in the fridge to thaw.
  • Re think about your menu and write menu list on paper .
  • Take out the clothes you and your family plan to wear. Make sure that the matching dupattais ironed and the dress your child is supposed to wear still fits. Doing all this the night before saves a lot of last minute drama.
  • Make your sweet dish/ desert at night before the event to have chilled desert.If you have to add fruits ,then Add fruits before serving.
  • Clean your house.
  • Keep ice cube trays in freezer.
  • Keep water bottles in refrigerator to be chilled  for guests.
  • Check for grocery shopping ,if you do not have any thing ,then make a list to shop early in the morning.
  • For Leftovers: Keep ziplocks and tuperware handy to pass on leftovers to guests or freeze it for later.

Day of the event:

  • Make a nice raita and salad in the morning . Chop up all the veggies and put them in a Ziploc bag; this takes up less space in the fridge and leaves you with less Tupperware to wash. Mix the dressing for the salad when the guests arrive.
  • Cut ginger slices, fresh corriander and lemon slices in the morning and put in sealed containers to use for garnishing the food .
  • Cook dishes according to your menu,,early in the morning ..
  • Set the table beforehand. Think where every food item will go. Put the bowl/serving tray in the spot and add a sticky note in the middle with the name of the dish.
  • Leave all last minute preps and get ready an hour before your guests arrive. That way even if you are running late you will be in a presentable state to receive guests and can involve them.
  • Check the powder room or any washroom the guests will use. Make sure there is a hand towel and soap .
  • Don’t use your bedroom as dumping ground for the extra living room stuff. People might need to use your room to pray, nurse a baby or change a diaper,older people can take some rest.
  • Heating the food before serving::If you don’t have enough chafing dishes, you can keep the food in pots and warm on the stove till right before serving. If you have an especially good looking pot or non stick can serve right out of that! Decorate your clay handi lid or cover it with alumunium foil..Be creative!
  • Drinks: If you decide to serve fizzy drinks, don’t forget to keep plain /chilled water also. All that spicy food, makes people thirsty.



17 Comments Add yours

  1. K.T. Lynn says:

    You certainly are an amazing hostess! I would love to attend a party of yours 😛 This post made me hungry! 🙂 Perfect advice…”Know thy guests.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. afreenzia says:

      Thanks and welcome dear.


  2. Adiba Anwar says:

    You have a great sense of planning a party. I mostly start with two dishes and ends up with a lot of and gets tired.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Muslim Mummy says:

    I tend to avoid things like this…as people always have to comment on the food and make judgements. Plus not a fan of cooking so much! But some great tips here.


  4. bushrazblogs says:

    My god, I had no idea that hosting a party involves so much work…. Great article…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never been to a Pakistani dinner party but I enjoyed your post particularly the tips about thinking of the children. #Muslimahbloggers


  6. lubnakarim06 says:

    This is one useful post and I am making points from it…I should keep this post in reference from now on…planning is always important when you are hosting a party…love your choice of recipes under low and high budget….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zainab Dokrat says:

    This is such a cute post! Lol stress free dawat for desis seems impossible. But plan ahead and prep as much as possible before the day of the dawat.


  8. Muslimah92 says:

    Mashallah!! This plan is genius!!! I love the prep that went into it this hard task. Great job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Martinbob says:

    Hi All im rookie here. Good post! Thx! Thx!

    Liked by 1 person

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