Chef Prince Beniwal Shares 4 Summer-Friendly Appetiser & Drinks

If you’re hosting guests this season, be it for an intimate get-together or a chic soiree, think of summer-friendly appetisers and drinks, so your party is a hit with your guests. Seasonal cocktails, for instance, are always a great choice. Instead of exotic imported flavours, think of local produce which can easily be incorporated into your tipples.

For appetisers, keep it light but hearty. Salsa bowls and chaats are always great for summers, you can also think of airy, vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetisers. Chef Prince Beniwal and mixologist Dishant from The Swinton House Jaiour have some amazing ideas. Let’s explore them!

Avocado papdi chaat

Love east-meets-west chaats? Try making them with avocado! You wouldn’t associate this exotic fruit with chaats but thanks to its distinct taste and creamy texture it can add an amazing flavour element to your chaats, especially if you have the right fixings.


For the Papdi (Crispy Flatbreads):

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

Water, as needed for dough

Oil, for deep frying

For the Avocado Mixture:

2 ripe avocados

Juice of 1 lime

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)

For Serving:

Yogurt (beaten with a little salt)

Tamarind chutney

Mint chutney

Sev (crunchy chickpea flour noodles)

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Chaat masala


Prepare the Papdi

Make the Dough: In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, ajwain, ghee, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add water and knead to form a stiff dough. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Roll and Cut: Divide the dough into small balls. Roll each ball into a thin round and use a cookie cutter to cut small discs.

Fry the Papdi: Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the discs until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool.

Prepare the Avocado Mixture: Mash the Avocado: Halve the avocados, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. Mash the avocado and immediately add lime juice to prevent browning.

Season: Add salt, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, chopped onion, tomato, and green chili to the mashed avocado. Mix well.

 Layer the Ingredients: Place the papdis on a serving plate. Spoon a generous amount of the avocado mixture onto each papdi.

Add Toppings: Drizzle with beaten yogurt, tamarind chutney, and mint chutney. Sprinkle sev, chopped coriander, and chaat masala on top.

Serve immediately to enjoy the crunch of the papdi with the creamy avocado and flavorful toppings. 

Savoury chicken 

Hosting guests for a summer soiree? Think of finger foods which are grease-proof and mess-free. Instead of saucy chicken wings or BBQ options, consider savoury pastries wrapped in dough. This chef's special appetiser is sure to win you some brownies!


For the Chicken Filling:

500 grams boneless chicken, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)

1 teaspoon cumin powder

Salt, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Juice of half a lemon

 For the Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons ghee or melted butter

Water, as needed

For Frying:

Oil, for deep frying

For Serving:

Cilantro Chili Salsa (homemade or store-bought)

Sour cream


Cook the Chicken: Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions turn translucent. Add the chicken and cook until it begins to brown.

Add Spices: Stir in turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder, cumin powder, and salt. Cook until the chicken is tender and infused with the spices.

Finish the Filling: Remove from heat. Mix in chopped coriander, mint, and lemon juice. Allow to cool.

Prepare the Dough: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Add ghee, mixing until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Gradually pour in water and knead to a soft dough. Let it rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

Roll Out Dough: Divide dough into small balls, rolling each into a 4-inch circle.

Fill and Seal: Place a spoonful of the chicken filling on one side of each circle, fold over, and seal the edges with a fork.

Fry Pockets: Deep-fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

Present with Sides: Serve the Savory Chicken Pockets hot with a side of vibrant Cilantro Chili Salsa for a refreshing kick and a dollop of cooling sour cream. The Cilantro Chili Salsa, with its bright flavours, and the rich sour cream make perfect accompaniments that add layers of flavour and texture to the dish, creating a harmonious balance with the spicy and savoury chicken pockets.

The Moaning Milf

The Moaning Milf cocktail presents a refreshing and fruity blend, ideal for summer menus or as a vibrant addition to a sophisticated dining experience. Mixologist Dishant from The Swinton House, brings a creative and refined approach to the art of mixology. Explore this cool seasonal drink!


2 oz Vodka

3 oz Fresh watermelon juice

1 oz Strawberry oleo-saccharum (strawberry sugar oil)

2 dashes of bitters (Angostura or a fruit-flavoured bitter would work well)

Carbonated water to top up

Ice cubes

Fresh watermelon and strawberry slices for garnish


Chill the Glass

Place the wine glass in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it.

A cold glass will keep your cocktail refreshing for longer.

Prepare the Strawberry Oleo-Saccharum. If you don’t have this prepared, you can make it by muddling fresh strawberries with sugar and letting the mixture sit until the sugar dissolves and forms a syrup with the oils of the strawberry.

Strain to remove the fruit pieces. Mix the Cocktail. In a shaker, combine vodka, fresh watermelon juice, strawberry oleo-saccharum, and bitters.

Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until the mixture is chilled.

Take the chilled wine glass and fill it with ice cubes.

Strain the mixture from the shaker into the wine glass over the ice. Top up with carbonated water.

Add a thin slice of watermelon and a strawberry on the rim of the glass or float a small slice of watermelon inside the glass for a visual appeal.

Serve Immediately: Present the Moaning Milf cocktail immediately to ensure the best combination of effervescence and coolness.

Guava Grooves

Guava Grooves mocktail is a terrific non-alcoholic drink that combines the tropical flavour of guava with a spicy kick from jalapeño and the herb freshness of basil. Here's a recipe that balances the sweetness of guava and cranberry with the tartness of lime, creating a complex and refreshing drink.


4 oz Guava juice

1/2 oz Lime juice (freshly squeezed)

1/2 oz Cranberry juice

2-3 Fresh basil leaves

2-3 Slices of jalapeño (seeds removed for less heat)

Ice cubes

Basil sprig and jalapeño slice for garnish


Muddle the Flavors:  In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the basil leaves and jalapeño slices to release their flavours. Be careful not to over-muddle, as that could make the jalapeño too overpowering.

Combine the Juices -Add the guava juice, lime juice, and cranberry juice to the shaker.

Shake the Mocktail: - Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.

Prepare the Glass: -Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.

Strain the Mocktail: Strain the mixture into the prepared highball glass over the ice.

Garnish with a sprig of basil and a slice of jalapeño on the rim of the glass for an attractive presentation and an additional burst of flavour and aroma.

Serve Immediately: - Serve the Guava Grooves mocktail immediately to enjoy the full spectrum of its refreshing flavours.