In most cultures, eating is a festive and social event – people are meant to gather together and break bread, talk and enjoy a hearty meal. That being said, there are some cuisines that are just designed for sharing food; and Indian cuisine probably takes the crown. But it is not only the smooth and fragrant curries, full of sauce for everyone to dip their piece of naan in, that were originally conceived as the ultimate sharing meal; Indian cuisine offers an abundance of snacks and starters that are the perfect excuse for you to invite your mates over and have an Indian food feast!
1. Onion Bhaji
Indian food is famous for offering plenty of options; whether you are a meat-lover, or prefer your veggies on their own, Indian chefs know how to turn your favourite ingredients into succulent and nutritious meals. Take Onion Bhaji for example: finely sliced onions are smothered in a spiced and delicious batter before heading for the pan. Try them at Sanai Indian Restaurant, where they add grounded lentils to the mix.
Pakora is the ultimate Indian fritter – and a perfect snack to share on the go. It packs tons of flavour in little crispy chunks and is perfect if you are looking for something awesome to get you going before the mains arrive. At the Taj Mahal Indian you can try the vegetarian option, made with hand-battered fresh seasonal veggies, or the chicken option, with golden and crispy yet incredibly tender, succulent lean-cut chicken strips.
No list of Indian starters would be complete without a mention of the humble yet incredibly tasty samosa. The concept is simple: deliciously crisp pastry, filled with goodness and deep-fried till golden. At Three Monks you can try the samosa chaat – topped with onions, chickpeas and some incredible chaat vine grate – and their signature road house samosas filled with potato and peas. Both are vegetarian options, so perfect for sharing with friends who avoid meat!
Technically a Nepalese dish, Sekuwa has quickly evolved into a staple starter of most great Indian restaurants, too. Sekuwa refers to tender chunks of meat marinated in a special mix of spices and herbs and then skewered and roasted on the grill, country style. Diwali is famous for its Kathmandu Ko Sekuwa: barbecued slices of either lamb tikka or chicken tikka that slathered in a delicious sauce of ginger garlic paste, peppers and their own secret mix of spices.
5. Bhel Puri
Anyone who has ever craved Indian food in Dublin knows about Madina Desi Curry Co – but next time resist the temptation to order your favourite main straightaway and go for the bhel puri first. A low-fat and tremendously nutritious savoury snack made of puffy rice mixed with tasty vegetables in a rich tamarind sauce. Originally conceived in the street food stalls in Mumbai, Bhel Puri has easily conquered the hearts of Indian food lovers!
Looking to share the perfect Indian snack? Get your favourite delivered to your door with Deliveroo.