Indian Party Meal Planning Basics

Indian Party Meal Planning Basics

Indian festival season has started and with that comes parties and potluck dinners. It’s always a hassle to decide what to cook, how long it’s going to take to cook the entire meal and above all how much quantity should I cook? The three- course Indian meal starts with appetizer, moving on to main course and finally the dessert. Rule of thumb – KEEP IT SIMPLE and plan your meals and your day beforehand. It saves time and lots of energy.

When planning for snacks or hors d’oeuvre – choose small snack-sized dishes. Hors d’oeuvres is a french word meaning “snacks served just before the main course. So they are not fillers, they provide hungry guests to munch on something while they socialize and wait for main course. For instance if serving Khaman, cut it into small pieces not like the market ones. This way your guest will enjoy all your creations and appreciate your culinary skills. 🙂

Well, this meal plan will surely take away all the worries and help you get started with your dinner party. But before I begin, let’s touch base on some important points.

Mealplanning1small_arrowGet yourself organized, pen down your ideas.


Make a plan before you shop. This way you will shop more efficiently.

small_arrowBefore you head out, check your pantry for already available ingredients. Final step prepare your list.


small_arrowWhat’s the head count? How big is the group – calculate adults and kids.

small_arrowAre there any dietary needs? Like elderly people coming to the party and may prefer no onion no garlic meals or veg meals.

small_arrowAre you planning to cook everything yourself or plan to order some food from outside?

small_arrowKeep the food color scheme in mind. For example, try not to cook Rajma with Paneer tikka masala – Red color scheme or Kadi pakoda with gobi – yellow color scheme. Plan a menu in such a way that it maintains the harmony of colors and is eye pleasing.

small_arrowMake sure ingredients are not repeated in one single course. For example – Kadai paneer with paneer tikka masala.

small_arrowHave a balance of dry and gravy dishes. For instance – if making achari gobi – a dry veggie, pair it up with a kofta curry – a gravy dish. Both have different flavors and texture.

small_arrowAlways plan to have a raita on hand. It’s a cool accompaniment and will balance the spicy flavor of the Indian food.

small_arrowPlan according to weather – if it’s winter, dishes prepared in morning will stay just fine till the evening. But if it’s summer, some of the items may go bad- my personal experience.


Always have a salad on the menu. Not only it adds nutrition to the diet, salad is crunchy, colorful and light on the tummy.

small_arrowTry to plan your menu in such a way that some of the dishes can be prepared in advance or a day ahead. Try to utilize your morning time the most.

small_arrowPlan the appetizers in such a way that it requires minimal work at the last minute. For example – if your appetizer needs baking, keep that time in mind or if you have a salad on your menu than assemble everything beforehand and save the dressing for the last.

small_arrowLast but not the least – Always include a resting time – how will you entertain others if you are not well rested?



Snack 1

Snack 2

Green Chutney

Tamarind Chutney


Dal/ Beans

Dry Vegetable

Gravy Dish

Gravy Dish

3 R’s – Rice, Roti, raita




You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. nisha says:

    Good one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *