Special occasion meals
The starting point for planning any big dinner is to know how many people you are feeding. It is really important to count up the number of guests, counting pre-teenage children as half an adult. For example, when cooking for 4 adults and 2 children, you need to prepare the equivalent of 5 portions; 12 adults and 4 children would be 14 portions, and so on.
Next is to shop and prepare as much as you can in advance, so that you don’t have to do so much on the day. Being organised means less stress, less worry and more time to shower and change before your guests arrive!
Here are our favourite time-saving tips at Sabiha’s Kitchen:
- When you have decided on your menu, make a shopping list
- Buy store-cupboard items (spices, tinned goods etc.) a week ahead
- Shop for perishable ingredients – meat, dairy and fresh vegetables a day in advance
- Weigh out your ingredients before you start and have everything ready in bowls
- Peel and pre-cut the vegetables, ginger, garlic etc.
- Jot down a timing plan of which dishes have to be started at what time
- Use your time effectively, cooking more than one dish at a time if you can
- Check back against your list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything
- Lay the table as early in the day as possible (get the kids to do it!)
- Have the salads, yoghurt, water etc. ready on the table and covered with cling film
All of the recipes below are available on our Sabiha’s Kitchen website.