Planning for family functions can be overwhelming. People are often confused about what menu to choose, which dishes complement well, and which appetizers and drinks to serve.
A bit of planning helps you to manage and keep everything under control. So gather information from your guests prior to the family function like:
- Headcount: Total number of guests coming to a family function.
- Dietary constraints: How many guests are gluten-free, dairy-free and so on?
- Meat Preferences: Do non-vegetarians prefer chicken or lamb?
- Allergies: Check for any food allergies
Most menus include three to four-course meals – Appetizers/Drinks, a main course and dessert.
- Drinks: Juices, Mocktails, Soda, Water
- Appetizers: Filling appetizer + light appetizer
- Main course: Chicken dish + Curry + Paneer or Vegetable dish, Naan & Rice dish
- Desserts: Dry dessert, Wet dessert, or flavoured ice cream
Planning an ideal menu that will please the family can be a task, but we are here to simplify things. Start with planning for the appetizers and main course first.
Filling and elaborate appetizers are rather standard at family functions since dinner or lunch is mostly served later than normal. Following are some appetizers that are enjoyed by most of the family.
- Paneer Tikka
- Samosa Chaat
- Veg Spring rolls
- Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
- Paneer Chilly
- Vegetable Crispy
- Corn & Cheese Samosa
The main course can include a variety of curries, rice, dals, and so on. Select a main course that is a little lighter on your stomach after all the appetizers. Here are some main course dishes you can include:
Veg Main Course
Mix Vegetable Curry – Veg Kadhai, Veg Kolhapuri, Veg Kofta (Yellow/Red Base Curry) or Palak Paneer Curry/ Aloo Palak (Green Based)
Dal Fry/ Dal Makhani & Jeera Rice or,
Vegetable Fried Rice/ Noodles
Paneer Manchurian Gravy
Paneer Manchurian Gravy
Chicken Korma or Kheema
Chicken/ Egg Biryani
Chicken Chilly Cravy
Chicken Hakka Noodles
- Chicken Fried Rice
Now coming to the drinks and dessert menu- keep drinks and desserts in common for vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus.
Drinks are best to serve when everyone has just arrived at the venue or your home. These drinks will help your guests feel refreshed after arriving and keep them busy until the appetizers are served. You can serve drinks in between the function too.
- Mix fruits juices
- Mocktails like Fruit
- punch or Pinacolada
No menu for any function is complete without desserts. It’s one thing from your entire menu your family will enjoy the most and look forward to relishing. So here are some options that you can have for desserts
- Gulab Jamun & Vanilla Ice Cream
Moong Dal Halwa
Chocolate Ice cream
- Chocolate Brownies with Ice cream
So, these are some crowd-pleasing menus for appetizers, main courses, drinks and desserts.
The key to planning for a family function menu is keeping it simple.
Most people like having elaborate menus that include multiple cuisines, but that’s unnecessary. Limiting to one or two cuisines is the best for family functions.
Choose a complementary menu if you are going for a two-cuisine menu planning, like Indian Cuisine and Chinese Cuisine. These menu options complement each other and are mostly enjoyed by many.
Factor in where you plan to have your family function because you can only cook one cuisine at home if you plan to do so. You may ask for the multiple cuisine menu if you plan to have a family function at a banquet.
Usually, banquets have catering services that can help you plan a menu for the family function. You can choose from a variety of cuisines for the function. It makes your job easier. All you have to do is convey your family’s tastes and preferences to the chef, and they will take care of it all.
Planning the menu for the family function is easy if you stick with the basics. The menu need not be fancy as long as it is delicious. And in the end, it’s all about celebrating with your family and having a great time devouring scrumptious food.