It's my first Ramadan in Dubai. Any iftar tips?

Our expert explains how to feed a large crowd without the fuss

I’m not Muslim, but this is my first year living in the Middle East and I want to invite neighbours round for iftar. Do you have any tips for feeding a large crowd?

– Laura Blundell, Al Barsha, Dubai

Firstly, remember that even when you’re preparing a special meal for a large number of people, you don’t need to do everything from scratch. If you’re after a centrepiece that doesn’t require too much last-minute attention, opt for a tagine, curry or stew, which all taste better when they’re made a day or two ahead. Simply reheat it once you’re getting ready to serve.

Another way to ease the strain is to rope in friends or relatives and ask them to give you a hand; you can even get children involved. Team up and spend an afternoon assembling batches of fatayers and samosas – one person on pastry duties, the other in charge of the fillings. These can be frozen, ready to be defrosted on the day they’re needed.

People are always happy to bring food with them, too. Whether it’s a beautiful box of baklava from the bakery or a bowl of homemade hummus, it will all help to fill your table with the generosity called for at this special time of year.

Guest Expert: Sukaina Rajabali

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