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11.06.10 by  

Cocktail Bites, Indian Street-Style

A roundup of hearty, spicy snacks to accompany your next Happy Hour.

Next time you’re hosting friends and thinking stuffed mushrooms, think again. Instead, give your appetizer platter some Desi street cred with simple Indian-spiced bites. Our go-to flight of three includes a recipe of our own, plus two others from the Web that round out the spread.

1. Chickpea Popcorn — Crunchy, spicy finger food pairs well with both sweet and savory cocktails.

Baked Chickpeas

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 teaspoons ground garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • S&P
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  1. Mix ingredients in an oven-proof dish. Add only enough oil to very lightly coat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until dry and crispy. Serve warm.

2. Aloo Tikki — Think of these cakes as a South Asian twist on potato latkes. Serve with a sidecar of tomato or herb chutney for dipping. The Edible Garden’s recipe is simple, spicy and not too bad to look at in a party spread.

Quick Potato Patties/Aloo Tikki Recipe

  • 2 medium potatoes, grated
  • One bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • 1 generous pinch asafoetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Grate the potatoes and add the other ingredients in, mix well. Shape into flat patties and shallow fry in a wide pan until golden brown on both sides.

Spicy potato bites pair well with cooling cocktails.

Photo: Edible Garden/

3. Amritsari Fish – Sanjeev Kapoor’s fish recipe is a common street food that mixes things up during Happy Hour.

Amritsari Fish

  • 1 1/3 pounds mackerel
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain seeds)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  1. Place fish fingers in a bowl. Add red chili powder, salt, carom seeds, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and chickpea flour, mix well. Set aside.
  2. Heat sufficient oil in a frying pot.
  3. Break an egg into the fish mixture and mix. Put the fingers, a few at a time, into the hot oil and deep fry till almost done. Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
  4. Deep fry again just before serving till golden and crisp. Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
  5. Serve hot, sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon wedges.

Skewer the fish pieces after cooking so they are easy to grab from an appetizer platter.