If you like to host parties at your home, you’ll be all too familiar with that feeling of panic that comes when deciding what food to serve. How you can be an attentive and generous host, while serving outstanding food that people will remember long after the night is over?
You’ll want people to feel special in your home and have long-lasting memories of your evening, which is why you’ll need to serve more than just olives and breadsticks. Thankfully, the cuisine of India has an array of delectable street snacks and bite-sized delicacies that will get any mouth watering – and we’re not just talking about bhajis and samosas!
Here are some ideas for Indian starters and appetisers that will get any party off to a great start:
As well as being super easy to make, these spicy corn fritters are vegan and gluten free, making them ideal for serving to guests with dietary requirements.
In a food processor, blend two cups of corn until the texture is creamy yet coarse. Add corn meal and rice flour, along with finely chopped green chilli, chopped ginger, chopped coriander leaves, cumin seeds, lemon juice and salt. You may also need to add a little water to produce a thin, batter-like consistency.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a heated skillet to form a patty, cooking each side until golden brown.
When fried in batter, the Indian cheese paneer makes for a tasty appetizer. Make this at home by marinating squares of paneer in a bowl with yoghurt, corn starch, salt, ginger, finely chopped green chilli and fresh coriander.
Next, make a thick batter using gram (chickpea) flour, cumin seeds, salt and baking soda. Dip the marinated cheese into the batter mix.
Fry the pakoras in small batches until golden brown, and serve with your favourite dip or chutney.
Aloo Chaat (Punjabi style)
There are many different varieties of aloo chaat, but this Punjabi version works great as a starter or appetiser served in small paper cones.
Peel some potatoes, then cut into cubes and boil. Cook in a non-stick pan with a little oil until golden brown.
In a separate bowl, mix green chillies, coriander, mint leaves and chopped ginger, then blend into a paste with some water.
Add the potatoes to the paste, along with chaat masala spice, lemon juice and seasoning, and toss gently. Serve immediately, garnished with coriander.
Spice up your pre-dinner nibbles with these tasty masala peanuts.
Toast 225g of dry, shelled peanuts in a frying pan for a few minutes and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together gram and rice flours,coriander powder, turmeric, black pepper, finely chopped green chilli, red pepper, ginger powder, mango powder and citric acid. Stir in the peanuts so the mixture sticks to them, adding a little water if necessary.
Now drop the peanuts into a frying pan of hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Once cooked, place on a paper towel and allow to cool.
If these snacks have got your taste buds tingling but dinner parties aren’t your strong point, why not let the talented chefs at London’s finest Indian restaurants do the cooking for you instead?