Cooking for a crowd can be challenging. I admit it's a little nerve racking but I like the challenge. How much is enough is the biggest question. I personally think that it all depends on the time of the event and age group of people attending the event. But the most important factor that I personally consider, is the head count as well as the number of dishes to be served for a particular event. A lot of planning and thinking goes into cooking in bulk. My goal is not to have left overs to feed an army!
The recipes mentioned below worked well for this years Satyanarayana Pooja. We had about 175 attendees. With an array of dishes, I cooked some dishes enough for 80-100 people and some upto 150 people, depending on popularity. A rough estimate is half size aluminum disposable tray feeds approximately 25-30 people (again, if you are serving just fried rice/vegetable biryani with one side dish - a half tray will feed 10-15 people only). Matar paneer and Val-Val, were the two dishes that I cooked enough to feed an army since it has always been a favorite. Tomato Saar and Doodpak was almost done before the last 3-4 families arrived and I didn't fret on it! I had enough of Dalitoy and Jalebi.
The menu has been almost the same with slight variation every year. The menu this year was Chana Gashi, Tendle Batate Bibbe Upkari, Val-Val, Matar Paneer, Dalitoy, Tomato Saar, White Rice, Lemon Rice, Doodpak - all home cooked. Khaman Dhokla, Jalebi and Roti were store bought. Pickle, Pappad and Phanna Tak on the side.