Tag Archives: starter


We tried out this starter Italian Potato Dippers at one of our favourite restaurants Frankie and Benny’s. The American version of this usually has bacon in it, but I prefer the vegetarian version. Made it at home today and was quite pleased with the outcome. A great starter.


This is what you’ll need

Medium sized potatoes: 6

Cream cheese: 4tbsp

Green chillies: 2 to 3 (finely chopped)

Cheese sauce: 3tbsp

Spring onion green: To garnish

Chilli flakes: To garnish (optional)

Olive oil: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Prick the potatoes with a fork all over a few times. Coat with olive oil and bake in an oven at 180deg C for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the potatoes)

2. Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese until it is smooth and soft.

3. Add the finely chopped green chillies. Mix well and keep aside.

4. You can top this mixture either with grated cheese or cheese sauce. I used cheese sauce. (Prepare the cheese sauce by melting 1tbsp butter. Add 1tbsp flour and mix to a smooth paste on a low flame. Add 1 cup of milk and mix making sure no lumps are formed. Stir until thick. turn off the flame and add the grated cheese to it. Mix well until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper as required and use as required)

5. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

6. Cut them into half lengthwise and scoop out the centre pulpy portion, leaving about a cm of it all around. Do this with all the remaining potatoes. (The centre pulp can be kept aside for use in making parathas, mash or even cutlets.)

7. Bake the potato skins (skin facing up) in an oven at 200 deg C for another 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove and fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Top with cheese sauce or grated cheese and bake again for another 7 minutes.

9. Remove and serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

loaded potato skins2

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 and a half hour.

Serves: 3 to 4

loaded potato skins3


loaded potato skins1


I remember bookmarking this recipe from Sadia’s blog savoryandsweetfood.com. Inspite of being a complete foodie and a regular visitor to Mangalore, this recipe was completely new to me. When I saw how easy it was to make, there was no way I was going to miss trying this one out! Though I have used chicken in this recipe, I am sure it will taste just as good with fish, and for those who are looking for a vegetarian option, why not try it with cauliflower?

chicken bezule

This is what you’ll need

Chicken: 500gms (cut into bite sized pieces. I used boneless chicken)

Chilli powder: 1 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1/2tsp

Lemon juice: 1tbsp

Yoghurt: 1tbsp

Rice flour: 1tbsp

All purpose flour (maida): 1tbsp

Kashmiri chilli powder: 1/2tsp ( The original recipe asked for red food colouring, which I substituted for kashmiri chilli powder)

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

To be ground to a coarse paste

Coriander leaves: A handful

Ginger: 1″ piece

Garlic: 4 cloves

Green chillies: 4

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

Let’s get cooking

1. Take the ground paste in a bowl.

2. To this add the chilli powder, garam masala, lemon juice, yoghurt, kashmiri chilli powder and salt. Mix well.

3. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mixture for at least 4 hours preferably over night.

4. Just before frying, add the rice flour and all purpose flour. Mix well.

5. Deep fry in hot oil and serve immediately.

chiken bezule1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes (excluding marination time)

Serves: 4





Everyone at home loves Onion rings, but somehow I have never got around to making them at home. The other day some friends posted pictures of a Blooming Onion and it caught my eye. Immediately found myself searching for a recipe on the internet and what I ended up making turned out quite well. Well, my said said he would rate it a 10 on 10 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Onion: 1 medium or large

All purpose flour: 3/4 cup

Paprika: 1/4tsp

Chilli powder: 1/2tsp

Pepper powder: 1/2tsp

Oregano: 1/2tsp

Garlic powder: 1/2tsp

Salt to taste

Milk: 3/4 cup

Egg: 1

Oil: To deep fry

Let’s get cooking

1. To prepare the blooming onion, cut a small portion at the top of the onion and peel it. Trim off the bottom keeping the base intact. Scoop out a small portion from the top, lengthwise and make slits all round the onion. Carefully separate the layers and drop the onion in cold water until the flour mixture is ready.

2. Prepare the flour mixture by mixing the flour, chilli powder, paprika, pepper powder, oregano, garlic powder and salt.

3. Beat the egg and add the milk to it. Mix well.

4. Now coat the onion with the flour mixture and dip into the egg/milk batter.

5. Coat it with the flour mixture once again, followed by the egg and milk batter.

6. Heat enough oil in a pan and deep fry the entire onion until golden brown. ( The onion should be completely covered in the oil when frying)

7. Drain on a kitchen towel and serve immediately with a mayonnaise/ketchup dip.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2


My kids are not very fond of Chinese food, but they do relish the few odd starters like Gobhi manchurian, paneer chilli and after eating this one, honey chilli chicken too! I have seen most recipes for this with potatoes, but since the kids were keen on eating chicken I used that instead.  Found this recipe in Sanjeev Kapoor’s Chinese recipe book and modified it to suit our taste.

This is what you’ll need

For the chicken

Boneless chicken: 300gms

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Soya sauce: 1tsp

Vinegar: 1tsp

Cornflour: 4tbsp

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

For the gravy

Spring onions: 2 (coarsely chopped)

Green chillies: 2 (slit)

Green Pepper: 1/2 cup (chopped finely)

Ginger: 1/4″ piece (grated)

Garlic: 5 cloves (chopped)

Honey: 2tbsp

Ketchup: 2tbsp

Vinegar: 1/2tsptsp

Soya sauce: 1tsp

Sesame seeds: 1tbsp (toasted)

Oil: 1tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

For the chicken

1. Clean and cut the chicken into one inch pieces and place in a bowl.

2. Add all the ingredients listed under “for the chicken” except oil and mix until the chicken pieces are coated well.

3. Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes and then deep fry the marinated chicken in hot oil.

4. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.

For the gravy

1. Heat oil in a wok and add the spring onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the green pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.

3. Add the soya sauce, vinegar, ketchup and honey. stir well.

4. Add the salt, pepper and the fried pieces of chicken. Mix well until the sauce coats the chicken pieces well.

5. Add the toasted sesame seeds and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve as a starter. (If you want, you can add a little water, dilute it and have it as a gravy with fried rice or noodles)

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4





Cooking has always been a hobby and cooking for others even more! So when I joined the gym, it was a little food treat for my friends there whenever I could. On one such occasions I had taken Ragda Patties for them and while they relished it, a foodie, fitness freak friend of mine said she would have eaten more had the cutlet/ kebab been made with sweet potato ( a healthier option) Ever since she said that to me I have meaning to try making them at home. Somehow got so busy with other things and the months sped by! It completely slipped my mind, until today! It was not very difficult to think of a specific recipe beacuse I have made potato cutlets previously. With a few alterations to that came up with the healthy and really tasty recipe!

This is what you’ll need

Sweet potatoes: 4

Carrots: 2 (peeled and grated)

Green chillies: 4 (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves: 2tbsp (finely chopped)

Garam masala: 1tsp

Amchur: 1tsp

Salt to taste

Semolina: To coat the cutlets

Oil for shallow frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Pressure cook the sweet potato. Once it cools open the pressure cooker, drain out all the water, peel the sweet potato and mash well.

2. Add the carrots, green chillies, coriander leaves, garam masala, amchur and salt to the mashed potato and mix well.

3. Shape into round cutlets, flatten between the palms, coat with the semolina and keep ready.

4. Heat the oil and once hot shallow fry the cutlets until evenly brown. Turn over and cook again. Drain on a kitchen towel.

5. Serve hot as a snack or starter with ketchup or a spicy chutney of your choice.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 4o minutes

Serves: 4




I always have tinned sweetcorn at home and when I cannot decide on what to cook, I look for recipe ideas on the internet. Today was one such day and werecipes.com had this Rice sweetcorn bites recipe which sounded interesting and the picture impressed me so much that I tried the same idea when trying to present mine too! I did make a few changes to the original recipe however.The bites were delicious, a perfect snack. Thanks Gopi!. 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Butter: 2tbsp

Flour (Maida): 4tbsp

Milk: 1 1/2 cups

Sweet corn: 1 cup ( I used a small tin of green giant sweet corn 165gms)

Cooked rice: 2 cups

Green chillies: 4-5 (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves: 2tbsp (finely chopped)

Bread crumbs: To coat

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil to shallow fry

Let’s get cooking

1. Coarsely grind the sweet corn and keep aside.

2. In a pan melt the butter and add the flour. Mix well.

3. Gradually add the milk, mixing well continuously, until the mixture becomes a thick dry paste. It should resemble mashed potato.

4. To this add the corn, cooked rice, green chillies, coriander leaves, salt and pepper.

5. Shape into small squares or circles, coat with bread crumbs and shallow fry on both sides until evenly brown.

6. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

* The original recipe asked for more milk, but used less milk to prepare the flour mixture.

* If you think the mixture is not dry enough to form shapes add a little bread crumbs to the mixture and then shape them.


After all the feasting over Christmas and New Year, it was about time to go easy on all the rich food. Came up with this Prawn dish, which by far is one of the easiest dishes I have made, with very less ingredients.

This is what you’ll need

Large prawns: 300gms

Onion: 1 (finely chopped)

Curry leaves: 15-20

Chilli powder: 3/4tsp

Kashmiri chilli powder: 2tsp

Cumin powder: 1tsp

Vinegar: 3tbsp

Ajwain: 1/2tsp (optional)

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Oil: 1tbsp

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean, wash and devein the prawns. Pat dry.

2. Marinate the prawns with the chilli powder, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder and vinegar for about half an hour.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves. Fry until crisp.

4. Add the onion and fry until brown.

5. Mix in the prawns and fry for a few minutes.

6. Add a little water (around half a glass) cover and cook until the prawns are done.

7. Add the salt and ajwain. Fry the mixture until almost dry.

8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot as a starter.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes (excluding marination time)

Serves: 3-4




Another one of those days where my son was keen on eating something spicy! Was not really upto it to make anything very elaborate, so came up with this quick stir fry.

This is what you’ll need

Prawns: 500gms

Onion: 1

Chilli powder: 1-2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Pepper powder: 1/2tsp

Cumin seeds: 1/2tsp

Curry leaves: Few

Lemon juice: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Salt to taste

Oil: 1tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Wash, clean and devein the prawns. Chop the onions finely.

2. Make a paste with the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Marinate the prawns in this mixture for at least half an hour.

3. Heat oil in a pan and season with the cumin seeds. Add the onions and saute until transparent.

4. Add the curry leaves and the marinated prawns. Cook until the prawns are done, and the mixture dry.

5. Add the pepper powder, garam masala and lemon juice. Mix well and fry for another 2 minutes.

6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot as a starter or with rotis.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes (excluding marination time)

Serves: 3-4




Prawn Koliwada, was another dish we never bothered making at home when I was a child. It was always a take away from Sion Koliwada, along with a few other fish delicacies. Another one of my favourites, that I tried making at home for the first time.  Pretty good I would say. Do try making it too! Happy cooking!! 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Prawns: 250 gms

Besan (gramflour): 3-4tbsp

Plain flour: 1 1/2tbsp

Ginger garlic paste: 1tbsp

Chilli powder: 2-3tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Amchur: 1tsp

Coriander powder: 1tsp

Ajwain: 1tsp

Yoghurt: 2tbsp

Lemon juice: 1tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean the prawns and devein them.

2. Marinate the prawns with the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt for 15 minutes.

3. Make a thick paste with the yoghurt, besan, flour, amchur and ajwain. (add water only if required. I did not)

4. Add the marinated prawns (squeezed out dry) to this paste and mix well to coat all the prawns.

5. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry until golden brown.

6. Serve hot with salad and chutney. You can add a dash of lime or sprinkle some chaat masala before serving.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes (including marination time)

Serves: 2-3


Most times I find myself making what hubbie and kids like, today for a change thought it was time to pamper my own taste buds and was in the mood for something spicy. I have always preferred the spiciness of pepper over chilli powder, so decided to make some kerala style pepper chicken. Chose to use boneless chicken since it is easier for the kids to eat!

This is what you’ll need

To marinate the chicken

Boneless chicken: 500gms (cut into bite sized pieces)

Freshly ground pepper powder: 1tsp

Lemon juice: 1tsp

Salt to taste

For the pepper fry

Onions: 2

Garlic flakes: 5

Ginger: 1/2″ piece

Green chillies: 3

Tomato puree: 3tbsp

Coriander powder: 2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Freshly ground pepper powder: 2tsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Curry leaves: Few

Coconut: 2-3tbsp (Can use either freshly grated or desiccated coconut. I used desiccated coconut)

Oil: 2tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Marinate the chicken listed under “for the marinade” for around half an hour.

2. In the meantime, prepare the pepper fry.

3. Slice the onions finely and keep aside 2 tbsp for garnishing.

4. Slit the green chillies and crush the garlic and ginger coarsely.

5. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Fry for a minute.

6. Add the onions and saute until the onions are light brown.

7. Fry the coriander powder, turmeric powder and add the tomato puree. Fry well, until the mixture is almost dry.

8. Now add the marinated chicken and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes, without adding water.

9. When done, open the kadhai and add the pepper powder, garam masala and coconut. Mix well and fry again for another 5 minutes. Let the mixture coat the chicken pieces well.

10. When done remove from kadhai and serve hot garnished with slightly browned onions.


Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes (excluding marination time)

Serves: 4




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