Easy Iftar/Eid Table

Sunday, June 26, 2016 The Desi Wonder Woman 53 Comments

I'm a terrible host. I have an official sit-down kind of lunch or dinner at my place about once a year only and I really don't care about what someone may think of my presentation as long as the food I'm serving doesn't get anyone food poisoning. People should just be able to have a good time over fun conversation and be super comfortable. Those are my goals.

But this year when we decided to have an iftari at our place for just a few of our close friends, I decided to set up a table that only pretended to look like hard work but was actually super duper super duper easy. Enter lots of Pinterest inspiration I've digested over the years and my obsession with green. 


I wanted something fresh and summery (cos it's hot, bros) and easy on the eyes. I also want to remind you that I'm a task-simplifier and I don't personally enjoy it when I go to someone's place and the hosts are hardly at the table because they're prepping the food or clearing out the table, etc. Everyone should sit together if that's what the gathering is for. So I chose on an easy table setup (took me under 30 mins) with no fuss food (I'll share that at the end because so many people asked me about that on Snapchat) and disposable plates and it was the best.


Check it out, friends. Please tell if you like?


I'll explain below in detail what I did, along with a short and quick video on how I put the centerpiece (?) together, and if you appreciate what I've done, you can easily replicate it for yourself. I'll also suggest alternatives if you can't find the exact same stuff like those paper plates. Ok, let's go.



What You Need:
I had all of this in my home already except the plates
Greens for the centerpiece/tablescape (whatever you want to call it, don't know that much English)
Candles
Disposable plates
Gold cutlery
Glasses
Tissues
Twine
Sticky tape

Setup time: 30 mins


1. Green Tablescape: These are all faux green branches/stems that are all randomly assembled together (see video at the end). I started at one end and started taping them down so no one would accidentally move them and ruin my life. I already had them on me as props for my work, but not everyone's going to have these on hand already, so if you want to get yourself some, here are a few options.

a) Purchase. I usually buy mine from Creative Minds in Dubai, they have a huge selection and if you want to regularly use them, then you can easily pick some up. They should cost you about AED 150 - 250 depending on the stuff you pick.

b) Snip some off the real plants you already have at home. A tiny stem off each plant will do the job. Or you could beg a neighbor for one.

c) Go to your local nursery and tell them to give you anything they're ready to toss. You'll find enough greens to make it work and they won't die until the next day too.



2. Candles: Random candles from around the house. One was a gift from H&M Home and one was from Ace Hardware (10 AED).


3. Disposable Plates: In Ramzan I usually use disposable plates because I have friends over nearly everyday or have family visiting and it's a nightmare to do 5000 dishes on a daily basis. It takes time out of my schedule that I want to put aside for taravih and tafseer, and in parallel food coma is breaking boundaries so the mind is unbelievably numb at most points, so I try to do everything that I can to not waste time in pointless chores. On regular days, I use simple plates but if I want to make it a tiny bit special, I buy these bio-plates that are environmental friendly and look uber sexy too. I get these from Carrefour or Geant (you might not find them in the disposable plates section, sometimes they are in the party plates aisle).


Some of you had a few comments on the paper plates when I posted earlier so I'll address them quickly:

a) Disposable paper plates are not the best option in the long term because they are definitely a waste of the planet's resources. The only reason I use them in Ramzan is because with the kind of traffic I have at home at iftari (and sometimes even sehri) I save water with not having to wash a truckload of dishes. Is it an equal tradeoff? I don't know but it makes sense to me. Plus I've compromised on prayer time in previous years because of all the extra Ramzan food prep and cleanup work and I'm very clear that I don't want to do that anymore.

b) These plates I've only seen here in Dubai. I'm not sure if they sell in Pakistan. If they don't and you can't imagine using disposable plates for a formal dinner, I'll suggest some alternatives at the end. You can read and assess if they work for you.



4. Gold Cutlery: I got mine for super cheap from Daiso in Battuta. They don't look inexpensive and plus I love gold, bros.



5. Tissue & Twine: Just your basic white tissue, rolled up like a cigarette and tied together with twine. I snipped tiny stems off my faux IKEA plants (the smallest size ones) and inserted one into each knot of the twine. 


6. Glasses. I got these from Crate & Barrel about 4 years ago and they were definitely not worth it. C&B is terribly expensive, I was possibly hallucinating when I bought them because I would never do that again. They're pretty, sure, but I think they were about 20 bucks a piece? I use them about twice a year which is exactly why I don't buy expensive stuff - you're so scared of breaking it, YOU DON'T LIVE YOUR FREAKING LIFE. I got another set of really pretty summer glasses, that I use everyday btw and they're twice as sturdy, from Home Center. And they were 7 bucks a piece. What is this life. I'm not vomiting over C&B, it's great for specialty stuff, but for generic things like GLASSES TO DRINK WATER FROM, I stick to Home Center. I used the C&B ones here because my table was small and with the centerpiece, I wanted something low in height. 


So in summary:

1. I assembled the green centerpiece.
2. Added candles.
3. Placed the paper plates around it.
4. Threw the spoons and forks next to them.
5. Added tissue and twine.
6. Added glasses. 


Now let's check out some pictures before we talk alternatives.








Alternatives
For the tablescape
- Other things you can do instead of the greens: a) Flowers b) Dry stems c) Lots of tiny plants arranged in one line in the center of the table d) A line of candles   
- Instead of candles in the middle of the greens: a) Add a couple of flowers b) A couple of cacti in small pots

For the plates
- Embrace the regular white, boring plates and play with other things.
a) Get a colored tissue to place in the middle of the plate as the main accent
b) Take a big leaf and place in the middle of the white plate and add a white paper bowl on top. The leaf will add interest
c) Take brown circular placemats and put them under the white paper plates, it will make them look sexy
d) Put a flower in the middle of every white plate, instant dose of pretty.
e) Find solid colored paper plates and use those instead of white. Imagine a peach colored plate in this setup with neutral accents.


I know people say you can't do the paper plate thing in Pakistan. Do it if you want to, doesn't matter what anyone else says. I always ignore such nonsense and do whatever I want to - as long as it doesn't harm anyone you're good to go. Try it. 


If you'd like to see how simple it is to put together the centerpiece/tablescape (I still don't know what it's called, check out this very awesome (?) video below.


And for those asking for what food we did, here's what was on the menu. There were 5 iftari items and one dessert. Each of this took minutes to prepare - I prepped everything, except the bread, the night before.

1. Fruit Chaat
2. Dahi phulki
3. Fried samosas and prawn (I use Al Kabeer chicken samosas and some frozen prawn I don't remember the brand of)
4. Chicken Alfredo Bread (recipe here)
5. Dahi puri station (I got the puris from Al Adil and made yogurt and chutneys with it) Check out my Instagram to see it.
6. Imli and Green Chutneys (recipes here)
7. Papri (that I made at the beginning of Ramzan, recipe here)
8. White chocolate dipped dates with cashews (bought from Geant)
9. Banoffee Pie (I'll post the recipe on Tuesday)

Our friends also brought over quite a lot of food so we had way too much to eat (I don't really like having so much but then we reused the same stuff next day).

That's it, guys. If you do something like this for any of your Iftaris or Eid, I'd LOVE to know because ainveen. So tell me.

Note: The blog's 3rd anniversary giveaway is LIVE, is worth $3500 and is running for Pakistan and UAE until July 3rd, 11:59 PM GST! Enter right now if you haven't already. Here's the link.

53 comments :

  1. I love love love the tablescape! You make it look so easy. When i was reading i thought there is no way i can do it but when i saw the video ... I think i can!! :D I love the way you think about stuff (eating together, inexpensive stuff,... Being practical!) im sure your guests must have had a great time... Not only due to the yummy iftar but mainly the ambience..������������ stay blessed Shehzeen. ❤️

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  2. Just loved the table over lay, very refreshing. This is the first time I saw someone using artificial flowers for table setting but it's looking elegant.

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  3. Oh and i totally forgot to mention your perfect photography 😍

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  4. This is so beautiful! And even a decor noob like me can do it so seriously on point :D cannot wait for the bannoffee recipe :D

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  5. Amazing! The table setting looks beautiful😍😍

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  6. Love the homey feeling it brings to a party table!
    I also agree with you about how uncomfortable it can be when the hosts are busy in the kitchen.
    Growing up in Riyadh, we used to have these massive iftar parties where serving dinner after taraweeh was a norm! What a nightmare that was. My parents didn't wanna do it anymore and hence used to politely decline any invitations too. (Used to make up for it at Eid. Lol)

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    1. Haha. That does sound like a nightmare. And making up on Eid sounds like the perfect strategy. Well done, Parents ;)

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  7. You always give the best and easiest ideas. Love this so much :)

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  8. That's Really cool .. Future Goals for home or may be now sometimes ;) (y)

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  9. Wow that looked surprisingly easy even for a lazy ass like me. And I'm in LOVE with your table top. It's gorgeous!

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  10. I love the paper plates, my husbands always telling me to use them so I don't spend hours in the kitchen and complain about the dishes! Gonna look for these ones next, Absolutely love love the table setup so cosy and inviting!

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    1. Listen to the smart husband jaldi se. Thank you so much :)

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  11. Wow this is just amazing.
    Loved every bit of the decor
    You are totally amazing
    Hats off :)

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  12. Perfect iftaar hosted by a meticulous host....pop!!! the greens always work with you, i have got to try them now.

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  14. I'd just keep look at this table deco and praising the host.. Itni koi awesome setting ki hai..!!!

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  15. This is such an amazing decor. Loved it.

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  16. now thid is what i call elegant n the good thing its effortless the idea is great im often absent from dinners going about in the kitchen dinners or lunches sshould be about being together the photograph are amazimn too love it n thanks for the idea which is so practical xox

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  17. sorry for the typing mistakes my screen got black i dont know why😂but love the whole setup its cool n pleasing

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  18. Love how enthusiast you are i love your energy more power to you girl and thanks for spreading good vibes 😚

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  19. Just yesterday we had a big family iftaar at my mother's place here in pakistan and we used paper plates the silver ones with paper glasses bcz there were around 40+ ppl ...so yea we got away with paper plates no biggie and it was all practical n functional :)

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    1. Awesome! 40+ people, wow. Super smart choice. And silver can look so cool, I'd love to try that out.

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  20. Just yesterday we had a big family iftaar at my mother's place here in pakistan and we used paper plates the silver ones with paper glasses bcz there were around 40+ ppl ...so yea we got away with paper plates no biggie and it was all practical n functional :)

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  21. Wow aren't you a real wonder woman! This is such a beautifully simple idea.
    Wo kiya hay na : what an idea sir g :)

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  22. Wat an awesome table setting seriously just love it. N m sure gonna get those sexy plates from carrefour,they are on my list now

    Love ur writing 👌🖒

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  23. This setup looks so refreshing! Good job :)

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  24. This is amazing! So pretty and inviting at the same time. I hate those tables which are undoubtedly pretty but you are scared as hell about using them and destroying the decor. Also, I would love to see how you placed the iftari on it!

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  25. Picture Perfect!!
    Reading this post made me feel as if I am going through some A-class wala house decor magazine where we dream of getting the exact setup at our place and you made it look quite easy so no more dreaming :p

    -Amna Jamil

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  26. I completely loved the idea kinda very appealing & easy to follow. I must say you are a real wonder woman. :)
    Stay blessed.

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  27. so cute! serious table #goals! i love the glasses especially, not sure why, haha they add a great touch! and the menu is perfect, wish i was invited! :P

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  28. Aala yaar. No matter what, those glasses have paid you back... They look utterly sexy my friend. *high five* and you seem a decor pro, maaaan. I loved it.

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  29. I cant believe you. Never knew anyone can be this simple yet classy

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  30. This is so amazing.I'm so gonna try this . How simple yet so elegant. In love with it. And the summer vibe it's giving is awesome.

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  31. You have made me fall in love with my amma's fav color green ❤️ So much so i have made green jora for Eid��
    Decor was classy and super sexy
    You are a Star my friend��

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