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    Cooking for 60 people!

    Has anyone done that? If yes, any pointers? tips? Also what dishes did you cook?
    It's for a mehndi.

    #2
    Re: Cooking for 60 people!

    If you are cooking all by yourself, I would suggest to keep the menu simple.... 1 rice, 1 Salan, oven baked chicken tandoori with onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. You can make sides like some sort of green salad, Chana chaat, raita, Tortola chips, 2-3 different kinds of salsas, humus. Actually you can put up a chaat bar.... Have boiled chickpeas, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, tortia chips, chutneys, salsas. People can make their own chaat plate. Do a store bought desert...ice cream, cake, etc.

    However, if possible get main course dishes catered, you don't want to be exhausted on mehndi function.

    If it is not possible then cook the Salan beforehand and heat it in oven.
    May Allah bring peace in Pakistan. Ameen
    Aray Logo Tumhara Kiya
    Main Jano Mera, Mera Khuda janay-

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      #3
      Re: Cooking for 60 people!

      Thank you so much! I was so lost there for a moment. I love the idea with the chaat bar

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        #4
        Re: Cooking for 60 people!

        You need to tell us more....

        How elaborate a menu is in your budget, is it in the afternoon or evening, where are you located, what sorts of facilities you have close by (are you in PK or abroad and what sorts of desi stores and restaurants are close by), will you be cooking alone or do you have some help and how much storage space do you have (refrigerators/freezers/ovens).
        You can't buy happiness, but you can buy shoes and that's kinda the same thing...

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          #5
          Re: Cooking for 60 people!

          Originally posted by Sehrysh View Post
          You need to tell us more....

          How elaborate a menu is in your budget, is it in the afternoon or evening, where are you located, what sorts of facilities you have close by (are you in PK or abroad and what sorts of desi stores and restaurants are close by), will you be cooking alone or do you have some help and how much storage space do you have (refrigerators/freezers/ovens).
          - Budget is around $400, but obviously it can be increased as we want to be on the safe side and have more food then people, and if we have a lot of food left, we will give people doggy bags.
          - Evening.
          - Scandinavia.
          - We have a lot of desi stores here.
          - It's just too expensive ordering from restaurants and unfortunately we have never had a good experience with local restaurants.
          - We will be 4 woman cooking.
          - We have a lot of storage, 3 huge freezers, 2 quite big refrigerators and 3 ovens.

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            #6
            Re: Cooking for 60 people!

            I posted this in another thread - but an ideal dawat menu has the following:

            1 - 2 appetizers

            Suggestions:

            Aloo tikkis - this can be made ahead and fried the day of and are relatively inexpensive.
            Mini patties - buy puff pastry and fill with seasoned qeema - again - you can make ahead the qeema up to a week ahead and fill the puff pastry up to 24 hours ahead and keep refrigerated and bake the day of.
            Samosas - up to what you want to fill it with - vegetables (potatoes and peas), spinach/paneer, qeema
            Chaat station (as suggested by Lusi)
            Bhel puri

            ^ I would personally recommend, no more than one meat appetizer.

            Main course - 1 salan, 1 dry kebab/roast chicken, 1 vegetable dish

            Salan

            Chicken qorma (maybe you like lamb or goat), karhai chicken/ghosht

            Dry meat

            Bihari kebab/seekh kebab/shammi kebab; chicken tikka/veal tikka
            ^ The advantage of the dry meat dishes is that the main work can be done several days in advance and it can be left to bake/fry the day of the event, qeema

            Vegetable dish

            Aloo-cholay, nauratan vegetable, shahi paneer, saag paneer, matar paneer.

            Rice dish -
            Matar pulao; moti pulao (with mini koftas); chicken/veal/lamb biryani; zaafrani rice

            Dessert - kheer, zarda, gulab jamun, barfi, halwas (you've tons of options with the halwa). Ice cream or a fruit tray.

            Raita, naan, salad.

            If you have kids coming, you can also add a pasta dish.

            My own suggestion - since this is for a mehndi and no doubt the wedding will have all of the fancy dawat items, simplify the mehendi menu to be more cost efficient:

            I would plan a menu like the following:

            Chaat station
            Mini samosas or patties

            Qeema and/or roast chicken or chicken tikka
            Cholay
            Haldi aloo

            Biryaani - up to whether chicken, veal or goat

            Parathas and naan (try and order this from a restaurant if possible).

            Baked pasta (for the kids)

            Raita

            Kheer or sewaiyan or halwa
            Fruit tray and/or ice cream

            ^ This is a simpler menu and definitely cheaper to make and easier to make with some make ahead options.
            You can't buy happiness, but you can buy shoes and that's kinda the same thing...

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              #7
              Re: Cooking for 60 people!

              wow! Thank you do much!!!

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                #8
                Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                I have been to mehndis where they had paratha/naan/poori , halwa, kheer, keema/Bihari kababs, chicken tikkah, and aloo bhujia. People seem to like this sort of menu too. You can prepare pretty much everything in advance. For appitizers just have a chaat bar.
                May Allah bring peace in Pakistan. Ameen
                Aray Logo Tumhara Kiya
                Main Jano Mera, Mera Khuda janay-

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                  #9
                  Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                  Catering works wonders here in Pakistan
                  Insulting and inflammatory signatures are not allowed, but posts are

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                    #10
                    Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                    bint-e-naeem should be able to help too
                    "This world (i.e., its pleasures and duration) in comparison with the Hereafter is (similar to the amount of water) one gets when he puts his finger in the sea. Let him then see what it returns with".[Muslim].

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                      #11
                      Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                      My mother cooked for a muqlawa ceremony of mine (its a function after valima in our family). Although we were in Pakistan but she did cooking at home. My Phopo, chachi n mumani were at help and it was around 50 people. She made chicken jalferazi, Simple biryani (not masala one) or chinese veggie rice (dont remember but both can go good), Bhunna huwa qeema, Chikkar choley and there were 2 more dishes one was some meat. (what I can remember is this as i ate very less and its now 8 yrs old thing). And salad plus raita. Naan from bazaar.
                      However many good ideas have been thrown in the posts above. In my opinion just dont go for appetizers, its only a formality that we do, make it simple. Nihari can be a good option too as it takes less hardship and goes great with naan. Moreover just dont go into specific things that this menu should be for kids etc. Keep it general. Its a mehndi function and after all you doing yourself n u also have to attend too. Chaat baar is great idea.
                      My suggestion

                      Rice (biryani, pulao)
                      Nihari/Qorma
                      Chicken roast/Bihari kabab/Seekh kabab/tikka boti
                      Halwa poori and choley only if you can order any paratha/poori from bazaar. Otherwise just leave them
                      Chaat baar
                      Dessert (firni is an easy one and traditional too)
                      Drinks
                      naan/roti

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                        #12
                        Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                        Thank you everyone for the help!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                          Originally posted by Lusi View Post
                          I have been to mehndis where they had paratha/naan/poori , halwa, kheer, keema/Bihari kababs, chicken tikkah, and aloo bhujia. People seem to like this sort of menu too. You can prepare pretty much everything in advance. For appitizers just have a chaat bar.
                          We attended a mehndi function last weekend, where the menu was almost identical to your above post.

                          Naan, paratha, halwa, chikkar cholay., allu bhujia, dum keema, bihari kebab, bhangain, hicken tikka and the most wonderful haleem I have ever tasted. No rice dish which was something new for me. There was a separate chaat and gol guppay bar, with all the fixins. It was amazing. There were many children at this function; separate food arrangements had not been made for the children.



                          The mehndi (in the US) was for about 80 folks, and all the food had been cooked at home. Outdid any local caterer.

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                            #14
                            Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                            We did not have separate food arrangements for children on my mehndi or shadi. Children ate whatever was on the menu and had no issues.
                            May Allah bring peace in Pakistan. Ameen
                            Aray Logo Tumhara Kiya
                            Main Jano Mera, Mera Khuda janay-

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Cooking for 60 people!

                              $400 for 60 people is a good amount provided you are cooking at home. I was able to cook food that would have easily cost me at at least 17 dollars per person for less than 7 dollars per person at home including the Naan which we ordered from outside.

                              If you are four ladies & you have enough storage & ovens then this shouldn't be a problem. Definitely plan ahead though. As Lusi mentioned you don't wanna be tired on Mehndi Day OR you don't wanna be running around like a headless chicken in the kitchen rather than getting dressed & looking good & enjoying the event.

                              First things first where is the event? At home or outside? You need to figure out how to keep the food warm while the party is still going on. Also any fridge or freezer to keep cold things & drinks/water cold?

                              The chaat bar idea is awesome & if done right is also cost effective. You can use the chaat bar as appetizer which in turns leaves people less hungry which in turns definitely saves up in food costs & no this does not sound cheap at all. In fact besides the chaat bar you can still pull off a great menu with this budget.

                              You need to divide up the food preps & dishes equally among the four ladies & ask everyone to make something that they are most comfortable with. Basically every cook is famous for at least one dish which they always get right. Get every woman to cook that. This way they won't be nervous while cooking which will most likely result in better food. Even a basic Daal cooked with a lot of confidence can taste so much better than a Biryani cooked for the first time.

                              I tend to be a crowd pleaser so I always do at least one rice, one salan & 2 grill items (red & white meat). If budget is not an issue then I go as far as trying to add a variety of meat items. Fish, chicken, beef, mutton.

                              Look around at your local grocery stores, For my daughter's Aqeeqa & first birthday I was able to get 40 lbs of frozen tilapia filets for almost the same price as I buy halal chicken breast meat here in the US. Also keep in mind adding variety doesn't necessarily mean you are adding more money. It just means you'll be spending more time in the kitchen. Because when you add variety the quantity of food being cooked per dish goes down too.

                              What kind of a crowd are you having? If they are open to non Desi food then Chinese food is another great unique alternative & if cooked at home will save you a lot money or within your budget you can create an elaborate affair.

                              Do a Soup station instead. Have Chicken corn and Hot & Sour Soup with all the condiments laid out. Add some fried crispies (papad) to the station. Serve Spring rolls & Chinese Chicken Pakoras for appetizers & then do Chow Mein Noodles, Fried Rice & any other kind of Chinese entree. (You can even add fried chicken or fish cooked with Chinese spices to the menu while staying in your budget)

                              For dessert do a ice cream bar with all the fixings. Nothing sounds more exciting & fun than being able to create your own combo of sundaes & ice creams.

                              Make sure you have 2 people designated for the station/bar to keep things flowing evenly.

                              Decide how the food will be transported on the day of the event. Who is going to take care of refilling the food while its being served. After party clean up is also another thing you need to look at.

                              If you decide to do a Desi affair, you can add Mango Lassi to your menu for more oomph. It doesn't cost a lot if made at home but is always a crowd pleaser.

                              I did a Chaat Bar once & added fresh fried potato samosas. It was a hit, especially among the ladies. I made sure that the samosas were warm & crispy though.

                              Good luck.
                              Even a Smile can be Charity!

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