Finger foods for the fans

The sounds of caution against coronavirus have now been replaced by cheers, hoots and noise of the vuvuzelas — behind the mask, of course.

Published: 24th September 2020 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2020 06:29 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The sounds of caution against coronavirus have now been replaced by cheers, hoots and noise of the vuvuzelas — behind the mask, of course. It is a month of celebration for cricket and football fans as the match season brings some revelry and respite. While the watch-parties for The Premier League and Indian Premier League come with terms and conditions, thankfully, there are no restrictions on food. We may not be able to tell you if Manchester City will defend its title to Liverpool, this year, or if Chennai Super Kings will lift the championship trophy for the fourth time, but Naaz Ghani is only happy to introduce you to healthy recipes from three home chefs that you can munch on as you chant your team’s anthem.

Eggplant Bruschetta by All Things Vegan

Large brinjal: 1, Chickpea flour: 1/4 cup, Polenta/Semolina: 3/4 cup, Full fat coconut milk: 1/2 cup, Olive oil: 2 tbsp, Italian mixed herbs: 1 tbsp, Sea salt: 1 tsp, Black pepper: 1 tsp, For the Bruschetta filling Cherry tomatoes: 1 cup, diced small, Black olives: 1/4 cup, diced small, Fresh basil leaves: a small bunch, chopped into long thin strips, Balsamic vinegar: 1 tbsp, Salt & pepper


  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place it in the oven. Preheat oven to 200 degree C.
  • While the oven is heating, cut brinjal in thick horizontal slices (approximately 1 inch).
  • Brush the brinjal slices liberally with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt, pepper and mixed herbs equally on all slices.
  • Flip the brinjal and smear oil.
  • Mix semolina and chickpea flour. Add a pinch of salt and mix again.
  • Dunk brinjal slices one after another, into the coconut milk, then immediately into the semolina-chickpea flour mix. Coat all sides.
  • Once the oven is heated, place all slices onto the baking tray and bake at 200 degrees C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the brinjal bakes, dice tomatoes and olives into small pieces. Mix balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh basil in a bowl.
  • Once brinjal is baked, top it with the tomato-olives mix, drizzle some extra olive oil.

To fully enjoy the flavours of basil, cut them fresh just before you’re ready to eat.

Tofu protein mayo by Aakaariyaa

Tofu: 1 block, Garlic: 3-4 cloves, Pepper: 1 tsp, Salt: 1 tsp, Lemon juice: 1/2 tbsp, Onion: 1, Olive oil: 2-3 tbsp, Water as required, Nutritional yeast (optional)


  • In a pan, add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic till translucent.
  • Now, add shredded tofu along with salt, pepper, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Once cooked take it off the flame and let it cool.
  • Put the mixture in a blender and blend on high-speed th until it’s a fine smooth paste. If needed, add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Serve with fries, potato wedges or in any way you would normally use mayo.

Whole wheat chips and salsa by Aakaariya

Tomatoes: 3-5, thinly diced, Green chilli: 1, Garlic: 3 cloves, Onion: 1/2, Jalapeno: 1, deseeded and membranes removed, Date syrup: 1/2 tbsp, Cilantro: 1/2 cup, Salt: 1/4 tsp, Juice from 1/2 lime, Taco seasoning: 1/2 tbsp


  • Roughly chop up the onion, jalapenos, and garlic. Add them to a food processor.
  • For the dip, blend ingredients in a blender to a sauce-like consistency.
  • Marinate the tofu in oyster sauce and pan-fry it to golden brown on the sides. And let it cool down.
  • Cut all the vegetables, except lettuce, into thin strips (juliennes).
  • Blanch the carrots in boiling salted water and shock it in cold water to cool it down.
  • Combine five cups of water and 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of salt. Place it in a wider bowl or plate.
  • To assemble the summer rolls, soak the rice wrapper in water for three seconds on both sides. Remove the rice wrapper and lightly blot off the water.
  • Place the seared tofu and the vegetables in the tofu wrapper. Roll the wrapper over the vegetables and fold the sides to complete the roll by sealing it tight.

Keep a cloth towel ready to place the soaked rice paper on it to absorb all the moisture. This will prevent the rice paper from getting glued to a dry surface.

Spicy carrot sticks by Aakaariyaa

Large carrots: 5-6, Sea salt: 1.5 tbsp, Pepper: 1 tsp, Garlic powder: 1 tbsp, Dry mango powder: 1 tbsp, Red chilli flakes: 1/2 tsp, Paprika: 1 tsp, Mixed Italian herbs: 2 tbsp, Olive oil: 4-5 tbsp


  • In a mixing bowl, add sliced carrots.
  • Add salt, pepper, other spices and seasoning.
  • Line the sticks on a baking tray and drizzle olive oil.
  • Coat the carrots in all the spices and then marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Once they are well-soaked, put them on a greased tray and toss them into an oven for 30 minutes or till the carrots turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve them hot with some cashew sour cream/vegan mayo.

Vegan Dahi Tofu Kebab by Soukanthi Srinath

Tofu grated: 200g, Vegan curd: 3/4 cup, Onion: 1, chopped, Green chilli: 1, chopped, Ginger: 1, chopped, Coriander powder: 2 tsp, Coriander leaves: handful, Powdered chana dal: 4 tsp, Chilli powder: 2 tsp, Salt: 1 tsp, Corn flour: 3 tsp, Pepper: 1 tsp, Olive oil: 2 tsp


  • To the grated tofu, add vegan curd, onion, green chilly, ginger, coriander powder, chilli powder, pepper, salt, chana dal powder, corn flour and some fresh coriander leaves.
  • Gently mix all the ingredients together and make a dough.
  • Make small round cutlet pieces with this dough and add olive oil in a pan.
  • Shallow-fry the kebabs on both sides until golden brown.
  • Add some coriander leaves on top and serve.

Guacamole by Soukanthi Srinath

Avocados: 3 ripe, Onion: 1, medium size, Tomato: 1, medium size, Fresh lemon juice: 2 tbsp, Cilantro: handful of leaves, Ground cumin: 1 tsp, Salt: 1 tsp


  • Chop onions into fine pieces and put them in a cup of water to remove the raw flavour.
  • Cut each avocado into half, longitudinally, and remove the seed. You get the best guacamole if the avocado is light green on the inside.
  • Scoop out the rest of the avocado with a spoon, and put it in a bowl.
  • Add lime juice to this and mash with a fork.
  • Add the onions, leaving the water behind.
  • Cut the tomato in half, scoop out the seeds, and finely chop the remaining tomato into pieces.
  • Add tomato, cumin, salt and cilantro to the bowl and mix with a spoon.
  • Decorate with some more cilantro on top.
  • Enjoy by using this as a healthy dip, or even in sandwiches and wraps!

Baked Brinjal Crisps by Aakaariyaa

Big brinjals: 2-3, Lemon: 1, Cold water, For the coating, Whole wheat flour: 1/2 cup, Salt: 1 tbsp, Kashmiri red chilli: 1 tbsp, Cumin powder: 1 tbsp, Garlic powder: 1 tbsp, Dry mango powder: 1 tbsp, Onion powder: 1 tbsp, Turmeric: 1 tsp, Garam masala: 1 tbsp, Nutritional yeast (optional): 1 tbsp


  • Wash the brinjals and cut them into round pieces with medium thickness.
  • Fill a bowl with cold water. Add salt and soak the brinjal in them. Let them sit till the coating is prepared.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the whole wheat flour (can be replaced with oat flour) and mix in all the spices.
  • Take the brinjals out of the water, sprinkle lemon juice and carefully coat them with the whole wheat dry mix. Pat them a few times to make sure the mixture clings.
  • Preheat your oven at 180 degree C for 15 minutes. If you are choosing to pan-fry it, then heat a pan and add a little oil.
  • Line the brinjal slices with olive oil and toss them into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender crispy.
  •  Enjoy this with a side of cashew sour cream, vegan mayo or just as it is!


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