Let the Games Begin! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 26, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 26, 2018

Rush’s Kitchen Chronicles

Let the Games Begin!

Football World Cup is here and that means watching games together with friends and families and hosting game nights at home. Serving chips and popcorn will keep your guests satisfied, but delicious homemade finger food can amp up the fun and add more to the festivities. Here are some simple recipes that won't take hours in the kitchen! I love using local ingredients and putting my own twist to them. Not only are they tasty yummy fusion snacks but it's also easy to find all the ingredients!

Fried Dhaka Paneer Sticks

Dhaka Paneer is one of my favourite cheeses and this is my local version of mozzarella sticks, but I feel these are more flavourful than mozzarella.


500g Dhaka Paneer

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup gram flour (you can also use tempura flour)

2 cups oil, for deep frying

Salt to taste

Chat masala, to taste



Cut the paneer into longish rectangles. I make the rectangles as long as my fingers and 2 inch wide and 1 inch thick.

In a mixing bowl, pour the gram flour, paprika and garlic powder, and gradually add water to make into a smooth batter that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Put the oil in a fry pan and heat it. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a bread crumb-- if it sizzles in the oil then it is ready to fry the sticks.

Dip the cheese in the batter, make sure it is well coated, and slide into the hot oil and fry till golden. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with chat masala. Serve hot with tamarind or mint chutney.

Bakarkhani Cheese Melts

12 pieces bakharkhani (packaged ones)

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

20 pieces of pepperoni

1 cup green capsicum, finely chopped

1 cup tomato (deseeded), finely chopped

Dried oregano

Salt to taste

1 tbsp olive oil



Dice the pepperoni into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the pepperoni and make them crispy. Drain the oil on a tissue and set aside.

Take a baking tray and line it with baking sheet or foil. Place the bakarkhanis on the lined tray. Sprinkle a teaspoon of tomato, a teaspoon of capsicum and a teaspoon of fried pepperoni on top of the bakarkhani. Next top it up with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of oregano on each and a pinch of salt.

Place the tray in a preheated oven (180 °C). And bake it for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve hot!


Fried chicken is an instant crowd pleaser. The same recipe can be used to make chicken strips or even beef strips.


1 kg chicken drumsticks

2 tbsp soya sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp Fish Sauce

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 cup coriander leaves

2 cups rice flour

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Oil to deep fry



Put the coriander leaves in a grinder/blender and make it into a paste. In a large bowl, combine the coriander paste, garlic paste, ginger paste, soya sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce. Add the chicken drumsticks and mix into the marinade. Cover the bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 5 hours. The longer you marinate the chicken, the juicier and softer the fried chicken will be! I sometimes marinate it overnight.

Now, mix the rice flour with the toasted sesame seeds.

Take the chicken out. Coat the drumsticks in the rice flour once and then dip it in the marinade again and coat with rice flour again. Heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, slide the chicken into the oil and lower the heat to medium. We don't want to fry on high heat because then the coating with cook faster than the chicken and also, the chicken will get dry if fried on high heat. Serve hot with Thai chilli sauce.

Cool Mango Shooters

This recipe has a lot of steps and might seem complicated. But it's actually very easy to make. On a hot summer's day, it is the perfect light dessert!


12 glass shooters/shot glass

4 large ripe mangos

1 packet mango jello

Sour yoghurt (1 container) or Greek yoghurt

½ cup sugar

For Crumble:

1 cup flour, 50g butter

1 cup sugar, ½ tsp salt

Mint leaves for garnish

2 piping bags



Follow the instructions on the jello packet and mix the powder. Pour ½ inch depth of jello mixture into the shot glass. Put the shot glasses in the fridge to set.

In the meantime, preheat the oven at 180° C.

Take a mixing bowl and put 1 cup of flour in it. Then add the sugar and the salt. Mix.

Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the flour. Using your hands, mix the butter with the flour. When done, the mixture will resemble coarse sand.

Line a baking tray with baking sheet and spread out the crumble mixture evenly. Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The crumble will become golden. Take care not to burn. Cool it down and break it down into crumbs with your hand. Keep it in a bowl.

While the crumble is in the oven, take 3 mangoes, chop the flesh, and put them in the food processor or blender and blend  into a smooth puree. Cut the remaining mango into small dices. This will be used to garnish.

Mix the yoghurt with the sugar. Make sure the sugar is not grainy.

Now to assemble the shooters. Take out the shooter glasses from the fridge. Check to see if the jello has set. Piping bags will make the layering much easier. Put all the yoghurt mixture into one bag then cut the tip off. And in another bag put the mango puree and prepare it for piping. The first layer after the jello will be the homemade crumble. The thickness of each layer should be ½ an inch. Using a spoon make the first layer. Then pipe a layer of mango puree. Followed by a layer of yoghurt. Then garnish the top layer with diced mangoes, a little heap of crumble and a sprig of mint leaves. Keep it in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.


Photo: collected

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