Vegetarian Tandoori Platter

Its the Indian festive season so we can't continue cooking Firangi food. Over time we have realized that cooking Indian food is no easy task. The number of masalas that go in, and the balance of flavours required to give that precise taste is very tricky. We have tried a number of gravies, but for blogging a recipe, we will start with relatively easier ones - presenting here a couple of dishes to create a mouthwatering platter!

Lotus Stem Kababs

Of course we were not going to make Aloo based kababs so heard of a recipe that used lotus stems. We were intrigued and the experiment was totally successful. These melt in your mouth without protruding your bellies!


2 lotus stems
1/4 cup onions (finely chopped)
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
A bit of coriander
Salt to taste
Panko bread crumbs for shallow frying - We love this stuff. Gives it a really crispy and professional texture !


1. Pressure cook Lotus stems for 2 whistles. Then roast the boiled lotus stems in open flame, like on a stove flame. It will take approx 5-10 minutes, being cautious that you don't burn them excessively (A little blackening is fine).

2. Grate the roasted lotus stems and keep aside. Sauté onions, cumin and garlic to remove moisture and raw bitterness. Combine the onion mixture with the grated lotus stems to form round kababs/tikkis. Also add some coriander to the mix. You may have to use a bit a bread crumbs in case they don't gel well. Now here is a key tip: Freeze the kababs for about an hour before making them. This will help them retain their shape.

3. To cook the kababs, we always recommend shallow frying instead of hardcore deep frying. But shallow frying does not lend itself to a crispy output. So, to overcome that we recommend that you coat the kababs with panko style bread crumbs (normal coarse type bread crumbs would work too). Brush the kababs with some oil to help them cook uniformly.

So we are done with one part of the platter. This one was a mellow flavoured dish, but the next one is going to be tangy and explosive.

Tandoori Paneer and Veggie Tikkas


1/2 cup Paneer (cut in cubes)
3 cup Veggie Assortment: Bell peppers, capsicum, onions, and the real star - Mushrooms
1 cup Marination mix: Curd, gram flour (besan), a bunch of Indian Masalas - cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, red chilli powder (you can add slightly more than usual if you want some zing!), ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder (only a pinch), kasturi methi, black pepper, and salt
Very importantly lemon juice. Good 2 tbsp
1/4 cup milk and saffron mix - A super classy touch. Avoid the food colours

1. Mix all the vegetables, paneer, and the marinade mix around 2 hours before you wish to make the tikkas. Add the saffron-milk mixture to the marinade (you might want to warm the milk and stir in the saffron for 5-10 minutes so it mixes properly).

2. Arrange the tikkas on sticks. We use thin bamboo sticks to minimize impact on the veggies and ensure uniform heating. You can do this on the steel sticks that come along with ovens.

3. Grill the tikkas in the oven at maximum temperature for about 20 minutes or till whatever time they are golden brown. Keep the sticks in the middle to avid uneven browning.

Serve the platter with spring onions and pudina chutney. Also don't forget to add a little lemon juice and coriander on the tikkas. Trust us, they come out as good as at any good Mughlai place - especially the mushrooms and bell peppers!



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About the Authors

This blog is from the kitchen of Neha Gupta and Mridul Karkara. We go about our days pretending to be HR Managers and Business Consultants respectively, though in reality, just thinking about our next big meal! This food blog is a representation of our experiments in the kitchen and for the simple joy of cooking and sharing!

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