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.

Asian Style Stir-Fried Chicken with Leeks

I didn’t feel like cooking today but I also didn’t want to order in as we strictly limit it to once or twice on weekends.

So I tossed up some quick Asian style stir-fried chicken with leeks and carrots. For vegetarians, you can simply switch the chicken with firm tofu or soybean.

Easy & delicious! Just like we need on weekends 🤍

Ingredients:

350 g bone-in chicken

3-4 large leeks, chopped into 1-inch slices

1 medium carrot, chopped into thin long slices

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tsp dark soy sauce (low sodium)

1/2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)

1/2 tsp all purpose flour

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp each of grated ginger & garlic

1 medium shallot, finely sliced

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Salt to taste

Method:

Marinate the chicken with some salt and freshly crushed black pepper. Now clean the leeks thoroughly & chop them into 1” slices. Chop the carrots into thin long slices.

Prepare a sauce by mixing 1/2 cup chicken stock with 1 tsp dark soy sauce (low sodium), 1/2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar), 1/2 tsp APF, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper, 1 tsp each of grated ginger and garlic.

Heat a wok and fry one sliced shallot. Throw in the chicken pieces and sear both sides on high heat. Once they are nicely browned, reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and the carrot. Cover for 4-5 minutes on low-med heat.

Remove the lid and add the sauce and stir fry on high heat again for 5-6 minutes.

Reduce the heat and let it cook for some more time. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve hot with rice😋