Hosting an Eid gathering? Here’s everything you need to know

Less time in the kitchen means more time with family and friends

Food in an integral part of Eid. Bringing together a sense of family, sharing, community and gratitude for life’s gifts Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) is a great time to host your own celebration with those you love. Put on a memorable spread without spending hours in the kitchen. Here’s how:

Stick to simple salads

Make sure no guest goes hungry by whipping up easy extra dishes before anyone arrives. In this case, salads are your friend – especially those with a base of rice or couscous. Think griddled aubergine salad with crispy chick peas and baba ganoush yogurt, herby farro, chick pea and grape salad, classic fattoush salad, lemon rice and spinach, chick pea, pomegranate, date and crispy rice salad.

Freeze, freeze, freeze

Planning ahead ensures you can spend more time with loved ones on the day. Opt for mains that can be cooked in advance and frozen; slow-cooked spiced lamb and chick pea stew, chicken, aubergine and feta samosas – ideal for handing round when guests arrive – or kofta with saffron rice (just cook the rice before serving) are all brilliant options.

Ask for help

Rope in friends and family – not only will this lighten the load, but cooking as a team offers a great chance to bond. Older children are useful for making drinks like cucumber lemonade, elderflower iced tea and cardamom, almond and rosewater lassi, while the little ones will love decorating cookies and cakes. To make things easy we also have sparkling juices in store – just add some pomegranate jewels for the finishing touch.

Start as you mean to go on

Starters whet the appetite and give you time to prepare main courses – our deli offers a range of party-ready dips and snacks. For some simple homemade creations, assemble these mini chicken, pomegranate and parsley shawarma cones, using garlic cream and rotisserie chicken from our store. If you’re looking to start from scratch, broad bean, tahini and lemon dip, roasted red pepper and feta dip, mini kibbeh, crispy lamb croquettes with homemade mint sauce, vegetarian chick pea fatteh or Turkish-style cheese borek are ideal for any Eid spread.

Slow cook it

Choose dishes that you can leave to cook like this chicken and aubergine tagine with pistachio couscous or chicken biryani; not only will this give their flavours time to develop (there’s nothing like the taste of slow-cooked meat) but it gives you the chance to mingle with guests. Hearty lamb makes for an excellent centrepiece; Persian mutton stew with saffron rice, lamb tagine with olives and spiced lamb meatball stew are pleasing on the eye as well as the palette.

Make light work with dainty desserts

End the feast with small sweets that are not too heavy on the stomach. Fresh fruits – our fruit cups go excellently with lightly whipped cream – and ready-prepared baklava trays are perfect if you’re after little bites that don’t require too much time. You can also opt for light and refreshing DIY desserts; we love mango, cardamom and vanilla cream pots, mini lemon saffron pavlovas, date, coffee and walnut maa’moul and pink grapefruit and pomegranate sorbet.

The extras

Make the occasion memorable by playing some fun family activities. Snuggle up and watch a movie or witness the wondrous Eid fireworks at The Beach, JBR. Quizzes, karaoke or traditional games such as charades are sure to get the crowd going; keep the little ones entertained by decorating cut-out moons and stars… you can even hang them up around the house for a truly festive feel.

If you’re after cute, edible gift ideas for Eid we’ve got you covered.