With Easter almost here, many of you must have already made plans to host a brunch / lunch party for your near and dear ones. No matter how many guests you are inviting, planning is important so that everyone at the table has a good time and relishes the delectable food.
Now comes the challenging part, planning an Easter menu can be difficult because you have to get the best of entrées, mains and desserts for the feast. To make your job less tedious, we spoke to a few food lovers and specialists who have shared some easy dishes which can be whipped up in no time, yet will make a fun and memorable Easter treat for all.
Aneesha Singh, a student and a passionate cook living in Europe, says that every year she looks forward to Easter lunch. “Not just because of the amazing get together but because of the delicious traditional food that people make so lovingly,” says Singh adding that be it Glazed Ham, Buttery Asparagus, Lamb Chops, Chicken Roast or the fabulous custards and puddings topped with caramel, she relishes them all. Like every year, Singh will host the lunch at her place this time too. She has already done the planning, set the menu and has got all the ingredients in place so that there is no fuss when she actually starts preparing the meal.
Dianath Arshad, founder and managing director, Brea, says that Easter is all about celebrating it with family and friends along with a hearty meal. “With our fast and busy lifestyles, people are looking at a quick way of whipping up Easter lunch without taking too much stress. The only way to do that is to cook a one pot meal or a one tray meal for Easter.”
While keeping traditions intact, it is important to keep nutrition in mind too. “We can make it contemporary by serving compact meals or one pot meals, instead of using separate dishes and plating them,” suggests Mothasim Arshad, chef, founder and director, Produce & Operations, Brea, adding that Easter lunch can include a three-course meal comprising a healthy Beetroot Soup topped with yoghurt, a Multi-grain Sandwich stuffed with oven roasted vegetables with chicken salami slices and baked Potato Wedges with a hint of mixed herbs and spices. A Carrot Cake can be a perfect finish to your meal.
“The desserts which I like to include in the Easter spread are Banana Cake or Carrot Cake made with multi-grain flour topped with seed mix which adds a bit of crunch. This is also the best way to include vegetables/ fruits in a dessert which is tasty and nutritious,” says Munazeera Mustafa, Research and Development chef, Brea Foods. He adds that his Easter special is Carrot Cake “because it is healthy, nutritious and brings out the authentic flavours of Easter.”
Grilled Lamb Chops
* Lamb chops.....6
* Greek yoghurt.....¾ cup
* Garam masala.....1 ½ tbsp
* Turmeric.....1 tbsp
* Garlic cloves, chopped.....3
* Ginger, chopped.....1 tsp
* Lemon juice.....2 tbsp
* Paprika.....2 tsp
* Cayenne pepper......¼ tsp
* Salt as required
*Combine Greek yoghurt, garam masala, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a bowl and stir until fully mixed together.
*Pour the marinade into a Ziploc bag and add the lamb chops.
*Seal bag and move chops around inside until they are well coated with marinade.
*Place it in refrigerator and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
*Heat grill pan and remove chops from marinade and scrape off excess.
*Place chops on grill and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
(Recipe by Aneesha Singh)
Multi-grain Flour Carrot Cake
* Multi-grain flour.....300 gm
* Vegetable oil.....175 ml
* Powdered jaggery.....300 gm
* Vanilla extract.....5 ml
* Cinnamon powder......5 gm
* Baking soda.....3 gm
* Salt.....3 gm
* Carrot, grated.. .200 gm
* Seed mix to garnish (optional)
*Begin with pre-heating oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
*Prepare pan by greasing with oil / butter.
*Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla essence and powdered jaggery/ gud in a large bowl and blend well.
*In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt. Stir in the grated carrot to coat it with the flour (this will help extract the most colour). Add this to the wet mixture and stir until evenly blended (the batter will be wet).
*Divide this between the pans and bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
*Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
*Garnish with seed mix (optional) and serve.
(Recipe by Munazeera Mustafa, Research and Development chef, Brea Foods)
Chicken Tikka Cigar
*Chicken breast.....120 gm
*Minced chicken.....150 gm
* Cheese.....60 gm
*Turmeric powder.....½ tsp
*Garam masala.....¼ tsp
*Red chilli powder.....½ tsp
*Green chilli paste.....¼ tsp
*Tandoori red masala.....90 gm
*Lemon juice as required
*Add garlic, ginger, spices and cheese to the minced chicken and squeeze lemon juice, and marinate for half an hour.
*Cut the chicken breast into thin slices and hammer it.
*Now stuff the marinated chicken keema into the thin slices, roll it like a cigar and lock it with a toothpick.
*Add the tandoori masala to the chicken and rub the spice on the meat. Let it marinate for some time.
*Gently put all the cigar rolls on the seekh.
*Grill in tandoor for 20 minutes.
*Add some butter after 10 minutes.
*Take the rolls out and remove the toothpicks.
*Plate the rolls, sprinkle chat masala on top and serve hot with mint chutney.
(Recipe by Navin Patrick, managing partner, Tahelka, Pimple Nilakh)