Showing posts with label starters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label starters. Show all posts

Roast Baby Potatoes

A simple baked starter for parties. Easy to cook and full of flavor.

Roast Baby Potatoes
1. Clean and par boil baby potatoes in salty water till they are about 50% cooked. Remember to take care that the potato skin should not shrivel. Strain the potatoes and keep aside to cool
2. Make a mixture of 2 tbsp olive oil with 5-6 pods of crushed garlic, rosemary, pepper, sea salt and chilli flakes.
3. Preheat an oven for 15 mins at 160 degress Celsius. 
4. Add the potatoes to a baking dish. Add the marinade on top and then bake it in the oven for around 30 mins. Midway through stir/rotate the potatoes so that they are evenly cooked. Check with a fork at the around 20 mins and adjust the timings of the oven accordingly.
5. Remove the potatoes from the oven when golden in colour and tender

A very good step by step approach is given here 
Tried this awesome Chicken with dried red chillies in Singapore and decided to recreate it.This is my own version which is a mish mash of a few recipes I found online.

Chicken with dried chillies


  1. Marinate 500 gms of chicken with bones with 2 tsp soya sauce, 3 garlic cloves peeled and grated, 1 tsp red chilli sauce, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp pepper powder 1 tsp honey and salt and keep aside for an hour.
  2. Take 2 tsbp olive oil in a pan and heat it. When hot, deep fry 10 dried red chillies and keep aside. In the same oil deep fry 1 inch ginger which is cut into long thin slices and keep aside. Fry handful of peanuts and keep aside
  3. In the same oil, sear the chicken in batches along with the marinade till they are almost cooked. 
  4. Make a mixture of 1 tsp soya sauce, 1/2 tsp red chilli sauce, pepper, 1/2 tsp honey and 1/2 tsp vinegar or according to your taste, add 1 tsp of cornflour and keep it aside. 
  5. Add back the chillies, ginger and peanuts and the above marinade. Mix well and stir fry for 5 more minutes. Garnish with spring onions cut into long thin slices.


I was not a fan of hummus until we went to UK. I ate some store bought ready to eat hummus for breakfast and started developing a taste for it. Cook it often  these days as a starter or even as an evening snack. Like to eat it for breakfast too.

Here is my recipe ...


  1. Soak 1 cup of chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook in 3 cups of water for 3 whistles. Cool it and keep aside
  2. Take 2 tsp til (sesame seeds) in a grinder. Add 4 pods of garlic, 2 tsp curd and the boiled chickpeas and grind to a coarse paste.
  3. Remove from the grinder and adjust the salt, Add juice of half a lemon, 2-3 tsp olive oil 
  4. Sprinkle ground red chilli flakes and serve with Pita bread.
I also like to eat it as a spread with whole wheat bread for breakfast. This also tastes as a good dip to eat with freshly cut cucumbers and carrots.
Came across this recipe on Food Network that I have subscribed to and had to try it from the moment I had seen it. Finally tried it today and it was as tasty as it looked.
Here is my version

Grilled Chicken with Salsa
1. For the marination, take a bowl. Add 2 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, freshly ground pepper, some red chilli flakes, and 2 grated garlic cloves. Add 2 tsp of lime juice, salt and mix well. Marinate 250 gms of Breasts of chicken with the mixture. You can choose to butterfly the chicken as mentioned in the above recipe but I did not do that - I just cut the chicken into smaller pieces. Leave aside for 2 hours.
2. Make the salsa with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1/2 capsicum finely chopped. Add 2 tsp lime juice, salt and refrigerate.
3. After 2 hours, grill the chicken. I just chose to fry the chicken on a pan with olive oil on low heat , turning on both sides till cooked.
4. Serve hot with the salsa on top of each piece. You can garnish with freshly ground pepper and red chilli flakes.

Pepper Chicken

We had ordered Miryalu kodi (Pepper Chicken) at Rayalseema Ruchulu in Hyderabad last week. The taste of this South Indian (mainly Andhra cuisine) starter with  of pepper and curry leaves was too good. I tried looking for the recipe online but could not find it.  I tried my own version of Pepper Chicken and here is how I cooked it..turned out pretty close to the original.. 

Pepper Chicken

1. Marinate 1/2 kg boneless chicken with salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp garam masala powder  and leave aside for at least 1 hour.
2. Take 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan. When hot, add 1 sprig of curry leaves. When it splutters add the chicken and let it cook. Stir occasionally. Cover and cook on a low flame else the spices may burn.
3. Remove the lid after 15 mins and cook on low flame till chicken is cooked.
4. Sprinkle lemon juice, freshly ground pepper according to taste and serve.

Mint Chicken

This is a recipe shared by a cousin of mine. I like the fresh taste of mint and lemon in this dish.This dish does not require a lot of oil as the chicken is cooked in steam and hence is healthier than other deep fried starters.

1. Marinate 500 gms of chicken with 1 lemon juice, salt, pinch of turmeric, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp Cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder for at least an hour. The more you marinate the better. I also add 2 tbsp of curd to the marination.
2. Take 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan. Add 2 chopped green chillies, 10 cloves of garlic chopped finely and 1 inch of ginger chopped finely and saute.

3. Add 2 medium size onions cut into cubes and saute for a minute
4. Add the marinated chicken and saute. Sprinkle some water. Cover it and let it cook in the steam on a low flame till almost done. 
5. Grind 1/2 cup mint with 1/2 cup of coriander leaves to a coarse paste

6. Add it to the chicken once chicken is 80-90% cooked. Add 2 tsp garam masala powder and saute for 5 mins. Sprinkle some crushed  Kasoori Methi
7. Adjust the salt, squeeze 1 lemon juice and serve hot as a starter or a side dish with the main course.

Chicken 65

This dish was always on the menu at restaurants, but I somehow had never tasted it before moving to Hyderabad. But once I tasted this dish here it has become one of my favourite starters. I always wondered why is it called 65 and not any other number. One explanation was that it required 65 ingredients and hence I set out to find the recipe to see if it is actually that complex. I found the best recipe on and also the simple explanation. Chef Thumma says that this was the 65th dish on the menu card of a restaurant in Chennai and hence the name. Tried this recipe out for starters and found out that its not a difficult dish at all to prepare. It actually tastes very good and comes very close to what we get in restaurants.

Here is the recipe that I followed

  1. Marinate boneless chicken for an hour with salt, 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste and 1 tbsp pepper. I always make fresh ginger garlic paste when I have time instead of store bought one – adds a fresh flavour to the food.
  2. After an hour add 2tbsp cornflour, one egg and mix. Deep fry the chicken pieces in oil. See to it that the pieces don’t stick to each other. Drain and keep aside. The chicken pieces taste so good that we almost always devour half of it while deep frying itself.
  3. For the sauce, take 2tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 10 flakes of chopped garlic (you can add more garlic if it suits your taste), 2 twigs of curry leaves, 1tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1tbsp each of pepper powder, cumin powder and chilli powder. Saute till the raw taste of masalas is gone.
  4. Add red chilli garlic paste. You can either buy it at a store or make it at home. For this boil water and add around 5 Kashmiri red chillies and around 10 flakes of garlic and then grind them to a thick paste in a mixer.
  5. Saute the paste. Drop a few drops of water. Toss the chicken and cook for around 5 mins.
  6. I also add 2-3 onions cut into 1 inch cubes and separating the layers along with the chicken. This gives some volume to the dish and the onions taste good with the sauce.
This dish has a south Indian taste to it and its main flavours are from pepper, garlic and curry leaves. Hence use fresh ingredients and in generous quantities. The dish at restaurants has a characteristic red colour which comes from the red chilli garlic paste. You may add food colour but I avoid it.

Tawa fried Paneer Tikka

This is a simple started I like to make when I dont have enough time for elaborate cooking.


  1. Cut 250 gms paneer into 1 inch cubes
  2. Marinate with 1 cup thick curd, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1tsp red chilli powder for an hour.
  3. Shallow fry on a non stick pan with little oil. Dont let the sides burn.
If the paneer you have bought from the stores is very hard, soak it in hot water with a little bit of turmeric and salt for 5 mins, drain the water and then cook.

Boost your productivity by reading more in less time.