The festive season is upon us and it is a given that we have a ton of parties that we have to attend and a ton of them that we will also have to host. Now, many of us may love to cook as a hobby or as a necessity. Usually, it comes down to cooking two quick meals a day during working days and one elaborate brunch spread during the weekend. But that is for a couple of people. The problem arises when we put our culinary skills to the test during parties that we host for a big crowd. For people who are used to cooking for a small group, cooking for parties can get a little messy and overwhelming. But do not worry. We have some tips and tricks for you to ace the next house party that you host.

Keep the menu simple

You might be an experimental cook, but please limit your experiments to your family luncheons. For a party, keep your menu very simple and include dishes that you know most people love to eat. For example, if it is an Indian menu, cook biryani or if it is a Chinese menu, cook noodles. You can never really go wrong with such staple dishes.

Stick to cooking what you make best

If you know that you make kheer very well or if there is a salad that you carry for lunch that all your coworkers love, make sure to include that in the menu. It is always recommended that you cook your tried and tested dishes, so that you do not waste your time figuring out what to do while you are cooking for a large gathering.

Cook dishes like biryani that are crowd-pleasers | Pexels

Prepare in advance 

For a big party, your preparations need to start a day before so that you are not too busy to enjoy the D Day. Figure out dishes that you can cook in advance and freeze. They would only need defrosting and re-heating the next day, saving a ton of your time!

Mix up big batches of drinks

If you are serving cocktails or mocktails at the party, do not try and mix drinks for every individual guest. Prepare a couple of drinks and let the guests pour them out themselves. Get a lot of ice cubes and glasses ready. Good drinks can keep the guests engaged till you are ready to serve the appetizers.

Make a big batch of drinks | Pexels

Start you meal prep a night before

Understand that for a huge crowd, you can barely make everything from scratch on the same day. So, finish chopping the night before and refrigerate the chopped vegetables in air-tight containers. Similarly, prepare your sauces and grind your masala well ahead of time. If you do not wish to use packaged ginger-garlic paste, make a fairly big batch of it at home the previous night and store it.

Do not shy away from ordering from the market

While it is applause-worthy that you want to cook everything and add your personal touch to the menu, it is also okay to order some dishes or at least elements of them from the market. If you are making cupcakes, it is okay to use store-bought icing. Those are still your creations, with a little help from your favourite bakery nearby!

Follow these tips for your next party and we can assure you, not only will you become the best host in your circle, you will start to see these parties as a mode of enjoyment and relaxation rather than something you are stressed about.