Chaat Room: 9 Indian Small Bites and Breads

 

Never made Indian food before? Test the waters with easy appetizers and breads like naan.

 

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Baked Samosas with Mint Chutney

Small and feather-light, these traditional Indian pastries are triangular perfection. Aarti Sequeira’s version, filled with chicken that's been rubbed with coriander, cumin, chile flakes and cilantro, is quickly baked before being served with refreshing mint chutney.

Get the Recipe: Baked Samosas with Mint Chutney

Paneer and Vegetable Skewers

Paneer cheese has a springy yet dense quality that is reminiscent of tofu, but it is intensely more flavorful, making it the ideal substitution for meat in many Southern Indian recipes. To control the kick in these skewers, taste the pepper’s seeds –– their heat will affect the entire dish.

Get the Recipe: Paneer and Vegetable Skewers

Dal Soup

Garam masala literally translates to “warm spice mixture” and can be found in any number of unique variations throughout India. Bal Arneson lets her own recipe serve as the base in this vibrant lentil soup.

Get the Recipe: Dal Soup

Mozzarella Gobi Koftas with Sweet Potato Raita

Gobi koftas are similar to Italian arancini in that they’re small, fried bites of cheese-filled goodness. Bal gives her recipe a bit of heft by adding shredded cauliflower into the mix. Bonus: Chickpea flour holds these little balls together and keeps the entire recipe gluten-free.

Get the Recipe: Mozzarella Gobi Koftas with Sweet Potato Raita

Mulligatawny with Green Raita 

You can make this tangy and rich soup, as well as its complementary apple-yogurt raita, in advance — its flavors will gain depth when given a bit of time to meld. 

Get the Recipe: Mulligatawny and Green Raita

Mango Chutney

This sweet and tangy condiment instantly elevates the flavor of otherwise boring dishes. Though any fresh mangos will work, Alphonso mangoes are considered to have the richest taste, so use them when available. 

Get the Recipe: Mango Chutney

Naan Bread

Prepared without yeast, naan cooks flat, puffing just slightly while baking. To make sure your baking sheets are appropriately hot, flick a few drops of water onto the center –– if it steam appears immediately, they’re ready to use.

Get the Recipe: Naan Bread

Potato Parathas 

Why relegate pancakes to breakfast? Bal’s savory, stuffed version can be served alongside any meal. Make sure not to overmash your potatoes or they’ll continue to stiffen.

Get the Recipe: Potato Parathas

Anoop’s Weekend Roti

Why is weekend roti different from all other rotis? Because Bal’s quickly prepped version is flecked with ginger, cilantro, coriander and chiles, resulting in an addictive, well-seasoned flatbread.

Get the Recipe: Anoop's Weekend Roti

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Indian Food