Can’t Decide Your Menu For Bakra Eid Dinner? We’ve Got You Sorted
If you’re one of those families that host dinner/lunch for Bakra Eid, then I can honestly say ‘I feel your pain’. Apart from spending the whole day in the kitchen on Eid day, you’re stressed about menu planning at least 10 days before the actual day. Don’t even get me started on the expectations of ‘the guests’. There is an unspoken need to not just satiate but also dazzle your guests with the meal.
How does one do that? MENU PLANNING. Right now! The more you plan in advance, the lesser the stress and better the ability to make sure everything proceeds seamlessly.
We’re going to break the menu down to 3 components: Appetizers/Salads, Main Courses and Dessert.
For sides, keep the staples: raita, sliced lemon, ginger, coriander, green chilies, naan, paratha, sheermal, etc.
And don’t forget the drinks!
A salad is a staple at any dinner. However, appetizers aren’t. So the decision to include them in your menu is completely yours. Appetizers are mostly needed when you know your guests will not be punctual and the early birds will be sitting around with nothing to munch on.
Good options for light appetizers are:
- Cheese plate with fruits
- Pita chips with hummus
- Chips and salsa
- Breadsticks/crackers with spinach artichoke dip
- An assortment of nuts and nimco
- Vegetable sticks with a cream cheese dip
- Garlic bread
These do not need serving and can be kept on the coffee table for guests to help themselves.
Salads are an important component of any dinner- you can make them as fancy or as simple as you like. You could even serve more than one salad. Here are a few ideas:
- Basic Caesar salad- Iceberg/Romaine lettuce, croutons and Caesar salad dressing. Simply toss together and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Baked/Grilled vegetables- carrots, eggplant, zucchini, teenday, sweet potato, mushrooms, etc. drizzle some olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper over the veggies (sliced thickly) and either grill or bake in the oven.
- Taco salad- the layers of taco salad have minced beef (cooked dry with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper and red chili powder), iceberg lettuce, ranch dressing, corn, red beans, salsa, more iceberg and cheddar cheese. Olives, jalapenos, chopped onion and tomatoes go on top for garnish.
- Peach salad
- Macaroni salad- every family has a recipe for this classic, but I would recommend that you make a second salad with this, to provide a healthier option. A simple kachumbar would suffice.
- A whatever-you-have-in-your-fridge salad: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, oh you found an apple? Throw that in too. Top it off with Thousand Island dressing and ta da! You have a great salad.
Yes, courses with an ‘s’. Desi dinners often have more than one main course, especially if it’s an Eid dinner. I’m going to divide this list further into desi, continental and dry items.
One thing to note is that there should be a variety of protein at the table: beef, chicken and vegetarian. Depending on how many guests are coming (and how ambitious you are), you can pick as many dishes off this list:
- One rice dish- typically biryani (mutton, beef, chicken). You could opt for pulao, Singaporean rice or Chinese fried rice- but, biryani is always a hit.
- Mutton/Chicken Karhai
- Palak gosht
- Boneless chicken handi (makhni, paneer reshmi, shashlick)
- Badami karhai
- Aloo ki tarkari
- Palak paneer
- Mirchon ka salan
- Chapli kabab
- Dum chicken/ dum keema
- Tandoori chicken
- Fried fish
- Seekh kabab
Just one ‘wilayati’ dish is enough to add variety to your menu, but of course the choice lies with you.
- Pasta- penne in white sauce/red sauce, lasagna, spinach and chicken lasagna, baked spaghetti
- Tacos- the latest trend. Soft shell tacos can be filled with fried fish, chicken, pulled beef and a few veggies topped with salsa and sour cream.
- Chicken pot pie- homemade filling, store bought puff pastry; make it seem like you spent hours on this
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Khao Suey
- Grilled chicken with Moroccan style sauce, paired with mashed potatoes and stir fried veggies
- Sliders (mini burgers)
Even though Bakra Eid is all about the main course, dessert has to hit just the right notes to end the night perfectly. Here are some evergreen favorites:
- Ras Malai
- Shahi Tukray
- Khobani ka meetha
- Mango cheesecake
- Fruit trifle
- Brownie and mousse trifle
- Fruit pavlova
- Three milk cake
- Key lime pie
You can keep your Bakra Eid menu as simple or as fancy as you like- these are a few ideas to help you get through a quick checklist.
*Tip: Prep as many things in advance as you can. Half cook and freeze, chop vegetables and put them in Ziploc bags, do majority of the grocery shopping 3-4 days prior to your dinner.
What are your Eid table staples?