Here is a Fried Prawn Starter recipe from the houseboats and backwater resorts of Kerala. It’s fast, simple and fun to make! It’s delightful to be served as starters at parties or on your friendly game night.
They can of course, also be served as a side with your meal. The prawns are peeled and deveined but the tail and sometimes head is left intact for presentation purpose. Don’t forget the lime/lemon wedge. A squeeze, while serving helps to make the flavors pop in your mouth!
Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat is another delicious and extra quick starter/salad, that can enhance any meal and dinner menu. Think of it as the Indian version of the Western potato salad, with the added goodness of chickpeas and crunchiness is supplied by the red onion and the tasty, crispy Aloo Bhujia.
Aloo Bhujia is crispy, tangy and spicy Potato Noodles, often available at your local Indian Grocers. I will add the link to the recipe for Homemade Aloo Bhujia soon.
Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat can be served as a light snack on its own or as a salad/ side dish along with the main meal. I love all types of Chaats. So refreshing and fulfilling. This chaat item makes a good side dish during Ramadan as well, where light refreshing starters are often needed.
Punjabi Chole Bhature – the ever popular street food, everyday food, snack and favorite of the young and old alike! Chole(Cholay) is the Punjabi name of this curry made of chickpeas. It is also known in other regions as Chana Masala. Chana Masala and Chole are basically the same curried dish of chickpeas. It may be semi dry or have more gravy and the recipe varies from home to home and Dhaba to Dhaba (Punjabi roadside food stall)!
Bhature, (Bhatoora), is a soft, fluffy deep-fried leavened bread. It is similar to Puri which is its unleavened counterpart. Bhature is most often served with Chole, hence the name of the meal – ‘Chole Bhature’.
Chole is extremely simple to make. This easy recipe delivers a fast and so very yummy, semi dry gravy of chickpeas. Check out the stepwise pictures (slideshow) below. The Bhature is quite simple to make as well (although it may require a little practice). I often make the chole on its own to serve along with salads too.
Stuffed Mussels | Kallumakkaya Nirachathu
Stuffed Mussels | Kallumakkaya Nirachathu – Mussels Stuffed with a ground rice and coconut paste, steamed and then fried. This is one very tasty Malabar Snack. It gives the impression that it is hard to make, when in actuality it is not so difficult at all! In the Malabar region, these are made on special occasions or for special guests. And being such ardent lovers of hospitality, you can be sure these snacks are made quite frequently
‘Kallumakkaya’ is the native word for Mussels. They are also known as ‘Kadukka’. ‘Nirachathu’ translated, means ‘Stuffed’. The dish is also sometimes called ‘Arikadukka’ – ‘Ari’ refers to the rice used for making the stuffing. Although I love it crisp an fried all on its own, some like to use a dipping sauce of some kind. Thousand Island dressing or Tartar Sauce are good choices
Dill Pickles | Easy Homemade Refrigerator Pickles (with slideshow)
These dill pickles are my favorite instant pickles.. They may be used just after 24 hours. It’s no doubt that home made products, usually beat the flavor and reliability of store bought. Pickles are no exception! And the dill pickles from the store usually contain too much sugar and artificial coloring! Make your own fresh, crunchy dill pickles, that require no special pickling equipment and temperature control. You will be surprised how easy they are to make. First time I made these, I was amazed at how good they were. Fresh and crunchy, retaining the nutrients of the fresh cucumber.
Obviously, Dill weed is essential in making the pickles. Fresh is always preferred but the dried herb may be used if you can’t find it! And when it comes to pickling cucumbers, they say the the kind of cucumber that make you burp, are best for making pickles, due to the higher lever of cucurbitacin. You can use whole cucumbers, spears or slices. I tried a few varieties and I found these snacking baby cucumbers to be the best for my pickles. If I want to use them for burgers, I simply slice them up after pickling. We use these pickles in salads on a regular basis.
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad is one of the most popular and traditional foods served in Tunisia. If you love dips and are always looking for something different, this is excellent. The combination of peppers, once grilled gives a unique and delicious flavor as well as enticing aroma. Slata Mechouia, pronounced ( S-lata Meshweeya) means ‘Grilled Salad’ in Arabic, but it is more of a grilled salsa than a salad.
Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita. According to the variety of peppers used, it can range from mild to spicy, however, the milder ones are more common and preferred. It is customary to top the salad with flaked tuna, olives and boiled egg.. I was skeptical at the addition of tuna but it actually works with the spicy, grilled sweetness of the peppers. Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita.
An extremely popular appetizer in Tunisian homes and restaurants.. this is one of my posts honoring all the people I have met from across the world and their wonderful cuisines. Thanks to my high school friend Nadege, for some lovely Tunisian Recipes.
Spicy Grilled Baby Corn
My daughter often wanders into the kitchen, proclaiming she is hungry and that I must fix her something yummy to eat. Three meals a day is hard enough, it’s not possible to give the kids cooked, tasty snacks everyday.. usually our tea time, is biscuits and Milo for the kids. Naureen helped herself to the baby corn I was using for a salad. “Hmm, this is nice – maybe we could make something spicy with these and some lemon!”, she giggled. She didn’t think I would let her take the ingredients, I had intended for our salad. I thought it was actually a pretty good idea , so we ended up making these Quick, Tangy, Spicy Grilled Baby Corn Skewers!
I also skipped the ‘grilling’ part and simply seasoned some of the corn… kids liked that too!
Tempura Prawns | Crispy Japanese Battered Prawns | Ebi Tempura |
Tempura is the ever popular Japanese Batter Fried Seafood or Vegetable dish that can be served as starters. Tempura Prawns | Crispy Japanese Battered Prawns is without doubt the most popular. So easy to make. The batter is very light and yet so crisp. Tempura must be served immediately. I sometimes marinate the prawns in a little soy sauce and sesame oil first, which I think is not traditional. Key to making a good batter is that It must be very cold (add ice cubes) and it must have some lumps (not super smooth). Consistency, may be adjusted to personal taste though, I like my batter a little thinner. I added more liquid.
This a my absolute favorite Keema Samosa | Mince Meat Sambousek Recipe! Quite easy to make, just takes some time, peeling the samosa pastry and filling them. I like to toss the wok and get some ‘flaming’ action in there to get a deliciously smoky flavor! Trust me you will love these. I will post my home made samosa wrapper recipe soon, but samosa pastry is available in most good supermarkets. I make these regularly during Ramadan. They can be frozen to make as needed. Check out the video below.
Galouti Kebab – The Royal Melting Kebabs
The Galouti Kebab (Galawati Kebab) is quite different as far as Kebabs go.. It truly melts in your mouth! I bet the phrase ‘melt in mouth’ was coined after having these kebabs! There is an interesting story behind the melting kebabs… The Rulers / Nawabs of Lucknow (formerly known as Awadh) were notorious for their exuberant lifestyles filled with vast luxury. But on the bright side (for us), many a regal dish was created on demand and till today remain prized recipes. Their fanciful palettes demanded and their Bawarchis (head chefs) delivered exciting food fit for a King! Galouti Kebab, legend has it is the product delivered to the aging Nawab of Kakori (Wajid Ali Shah) , Kakori is Famous for the Kakori Kebabs. The nawab had lost his teeth, and demanded for a kebab which would not require the use of his teeth! Hence was born the softest, most delicate kebabs in the world! The Royal Melting Kebabs.
Try to stick to this recipe, to get the authentic taste. Check out the video.