4 Easy Appetizer/ Starter Recipes that are Beyond Delicious

Appetizers/ starters are the soul of any gathering or party. Be it a Friday night shenanigan with friends or a Sunday housewarming lunch at home, starters are not only crowd pleasers, but are also easy to put together.

Today I will be sharing 4 delicious appetizer recipes that are also quick and inexpensive! Master these simple recipes and munch and mingle your way through any party next time 🙂 What more do we want?

1. Dahi ke Kebab/ Hung Yogurt Kebab⭐️

Soft, melt in the mouth hung yogurt kebabs spiced with nutmeg and with a filling of roasted cashew, fried onions, fresh coriander and fennel🤍

I really love it when you bite into a dahi kebab and can taste the cream cheesy texture of just the hung yogurt, which is not mixed with paneer or grated cheese as some recipes call for.

I followed my favourite Indian chef Ranveer Brar’s YouTube recipe to the T, the only difference being I shallow fried my kebabs on a tawa (flat skillet) instead of deep frying. Dahi kebab is the perfect appetizer when paired with some mint chutney or a spicy tomato relish.

Here’s how you can make yours following the chef’s fantastic recipe:

For the filling:

Roast 1/2 cup cashews in a pan with a tbsp of ghee (clarified butter) until golden. Remove and keep aside. Once it has cooled down, chop them into pieces.

In a bowl, throw in the chopped cashews, 1/2 cup fried onion, 1 tsp fennel seeds, chopped green chili (according to taste), 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder, some hung yogurt and salt to taste. Mix it well and keep aside.


For the kebab:

In another bowl, add 2 cups of hung yogurt, 4 tbsp fresh bread crumb, 1/4 cup roasted gram flour, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper and 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg. Again mix well until everything is well combined. Now take a small portion of the yogurt mix and make a round ball.

Add the stuffing in the center as a filling and seal it properly to again make a round-ish patty. Coat all the kebabs with some bread crumbs and keep refrigerated for at least 5-10 minutes so that they become slightly firm. Shallow fry them in a tava/ skillet until nice and golden from all sides.


2. Sumac Prawns with Lemon, Coriander & Garlic 


When I first read Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, I was blown away by how basic ingredients could transform a simple recipe into a winning dish🤍

Persian food really highlights the use of fresh herbs/ aromatic spices and it’s not hot or too spicy but the flavours do pack a mean punch. So for the next starter, I made this stunning prawn recipe from her book. Juicy, succulent prawns flavoured with citrusy sumac, lemon, black pepper, coriander and lots of garlic.

I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely delicious this dish is! Definitely a must try 🙂

Here’s the recipe (with 12 medium sized prawns, quantity of ingredients slightly adjusted):

In a bowl mix together 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, grated rind of 1 lemon, 3 fat garlic cloves crushed, sea salt, 1 tbsp sumac, 2 tbsp of finely chopped coriander with stalks and freshly cracked black pepper.

Marinate the prawns for about 30 minutes. Now heat a frying pan with oil and shallow fry the prawns on both sides until you get the right texture- juicy and tender, not chewy. I used bamboo skewers but you could skip it.

Serve immediately and enjoy. I served these prawns with a homemade yogurt-parsley dip.


3. Pan-grilled drumsticks 


Just 4 ingredients and some patience and you have got yourself a juicy tender chargrilled chicken kebab, perfect for your weekend Netflix marathon 😉

I do fancy elaborate recipes but there are days when I just can’t be bothered. This starter is perfect for those days!
It was on my lunch menu today along with dal, some rice and lots of fresh salad🤍

Here’s the easiest recipe:

Take a bowl and add 3 heaped tbsps of greek yogurt, 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder and some salt. Mix well and throw in 5 chicken drumsticks and coat them well with the marinade. Make sure to make some deep gashes on the drumsticks for better absorption of the spices.

Keep aside for an hour. Now heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a wok and add in the chicken pieces. Toss them on high heat for a minute or two, then lower the flame to medium, cover and cook.

After every 10 minutes, keep checking and turning the sides. Cook it covered on med-low heat, until the chicken is nicely charred and all the gravy dries up.

Squeeze some lemon and serve with your favourite dip.

4. Easy Paneer Skewers⭐️

I looove paneer! You give it to me in salads, curries, as grilled, parathas or even raw, I’ll be a happy kid. But it has to be really fresh and soft. I’m not fond of most store bought paneers, but Nanak’s paneer is an exception. Their malai paneer is so creamy and soft, I’m sure a lot of you would agree!

For the last one in this series, I have got a really easy paneer hariyali tikka recipe for you. You could serve these in a tortilla wrap with a mint-yogurt sauce and some salad and turn them into paneer tikka wraps. Enjoy🤍

Here’s the recipe:

In a blender, add 1.5 cups of coriander leaves, 1 cup fresh parsley, 3 tbsp hung yogurt, salt to taste, 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 green chili, 2 fat garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger and blend into a smooth paste.

Now transfer the paste into a bowl and add 1/2 tsp powders of each of the following- coriander, turmeric, cumin, kashmiri red chilli, garam masala and chat masala. Throw in 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and 2 tbsp roasted besan (gram flour). Mix well and adjust the salt.

Add 250g paneer (cottage cheese) cut into 12 cubes and 12 pieces of diced red bell pepper. You could add diced onions as well. Coat the paneer and the veggie well with the masala (spice mix) and keep it refrigerated for 1 hour.

Now heat a skillet with 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter), place the paneer skewers on it. Cook until the edges of the paneer get crisp and brown. You could brush them with ghee once in a while if needed.

Squeeze some lemon juice and serve with any chilled yogurt dip.

4 Easy & Delicious Nourish Bowl Ideas

A nourish bowl is a wholesome and nutrient rich meal that is also an excellent option for a healthy yet delicious lunch/ dinner. They are so versatile! 

So how do you create a nourish bowl from scratch?

Here are 5 easy steps!

1. Choose a base- any carbs of your choice like quinoa, red rice, couscous, whole grain pasta, etc. You could even use a leaf base with lettuce, kale or arugula. But I’m a true blue bong, so I need my white rice once a day 😛 I generally end up using that.

2. A protein main- lean chicken or turkey, lentils, eggs, fish, chickpeas, kidney beans, cottage cheese, etc. There are endless varieties to choose from!

3. A side- you could choose from roasted sweet potatoes, stir-fried or grilled veggies, falafel, etc. Whatever makes you happy 🙂

4. A fresh salad- Eat the rainbow as they say! Get creative here. You can add cabbage, carrots, sprouts, microgreens, kale, spinach, coleslaws, the works.

5. A dip/ healthy fats and other add ons- To amp up your nourish bowl, add a dollop of any homemade sauce, yogurt, tahini, guacamole, nut butter, sour cream, etc. Healthy fats are such a comforting and a delicious add on.

I will share 4 such nourish bowl ideas, with recipes for a few of them. The main objective is to give you an idea of how to create such a bowl that’s perfectly customised to your taste and preferences and make your lunches truly wholesome!

So for the first nourish bowl, I used white rice as my carb and also chose good old rajma (red kidney beans) as my main protein. Sides were some homemade roasted plantain chips. For greens, I threw in some steamed zucchinis, pickled purple cabbage, kale and carrots. All finished off with a big dollop of Icelandic skyr yogurt. 

2. A rainbow nourish bowl for some healthy and scrumptious lunch inspiration 🥙

Yogurt and herb grilled chicken thighs with baked sweet potato fries, kale rice, fresh coleslaw (no mayo) and pickled baby radish. All homemade from scratch 🤍

I love kale rice!
It’s one of the best ways to use your leftover rice and make it nutritious. Just stir fry kale leaves in lots of garlic, shallots & dried red chillies & finish off with a sprinkling of dried fenugreek (kasuri methi) after adding the cooked rice.

If you love coleslaw, but want to avoid using mayo, then read on for a lip-smacking healthy version 🙂

Finely slice some purple and green cabbage along with carrots. Prepare a sauce by mixing hung yogurt, salt, pepper, lime juice, crushed garlic and honey/ agave in a bowl. Add little water and make a slightly thick batter. Throw in the chopped veggies, mix well and keep refrigerated until serving. So delicious without the nasties 💯

3. Next up is the Mediterranean style turmeric and almond rice; rosemary, garlic and lemon chicken with a side of sumac roasted veggies; finished off with some zucchini 🤍

I really enjoy creating these rice bowls that are not only delicious but also loaded with goodness!

Here’s the recipe of the chicken and yellow rice. Super easy and yum!

For the chicken- Marinate the chicken breasts with olive oil, fresh rosemary, lime juice, grated garlic, salt and paprika for 30 mins. Place a slice of lime & a rosemary sprig on top and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes at 210 C. Juicy and perfectly done!

For the rice- Heat a tsp of butter in a deep bottomed pan and fry some chopped garlic and shallots. Add the chopped almonds (skin removed) and fry for a minute or two.

Now throw in basmati rice, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and mix everything well. Add water (for 1 cup rice, 1.5 cups of water) and season with salt. Cook until the rice is all done and fluffy.

4. Vietnamese noodle bowl 🥙

Saving the best for last 😀

This nourish bowl is a Vietnamese style vermicelli noodle bowl.
A delicious bowl comprising of fresh herbs, lemongrass prawns, cucumber, radish, rice noodles topped with peanuts and a generous squeeze of lime and sriracha🤍

It’s so flavourful and has a wonderful balance of sweet/ savoury and tang! 

There you go! It’s as simple as this. Go ahead and create your own nourish bowl and stay healthy! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section.

Bon Appetit 🙂