6 Summer-Themed Dishes To Include In Your Match Day Menu

As match season is upon us, snacking endlessly in front of the television does not always have to be about junk food or binge eating. Combine the challenge of the unbearable heat that will soon leave everyone feeling queasy, having foods that are high on grease or spice can actually have dire health consequences. Hence, planning a summer-themed menu which takes into account seasonal fruits and grains are extremely important. While health should definitely be a priority to plan a match day menu, taste shouldn't be left far behind.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

Image Credits: OneGreenPlanet

Some match days can be gruelling and comfort takes the form of this umami-enriched barley risotto. The pseudo grain, which is a summer staple in India, not only tastes delicious but presents an indigenous replacement for arborio rice. Use a variety of different mushrooms and cook them with plenty of garlic and white wine, before adding in the barley and following the same principles you would with a regular risotto. What’s even better is that this one-pot meal requires very little prep time, without having you slave in the kitchen for hours.

Dahi Vada

In the spectrum of cold foods to enjoy during the summer season, the dahi vada reigns supreme. A versatile, DIY recipe that simply involves prepping all the ingredients, this preparation can be a great way for your friends to customise the dish according to their taste preferences. Offer up a medley of green, sweet and spicy garlic chutneys for them to choose from, along with a host of different toppings like chopped coriander, onions, masala peanuts and chaat masala to add flavour and texture.

Mango Chicken Salad

Most of us might find it odd, almost repulsive to add fruit to a chicken salad – however, the addition of ripe mangoes to this robust and colourful salad only makes it better, by giving it a hint of sweetness. Chicken being a fairly bland protein, takes on the bright flavours of the dressing as well as retains its moisture due to the mango juices. Use a mixture of salad leaves or simply stick to one type that you might prefer over the others.

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Flatbread Pizza

While a regular pizza necessarily classifies as junk food, cut out the middleman by swapping the refined base for any kind of flatbread – think pita, corn tortilla, rice bhakri and the likes. Simply toast them on a pan until they develop a crisp bottom and top it off with fresh herbs, chopped tomatoes, spice blends of your choice or even a citrusy arugula salad. Flatbread pizzas aren’t just a healthier option, but also vegan and gluten-free – hence opening up the possibility of your friends with dietary restrictions being able to enjoy the match with equal enthusiasm.

Blackened Fish Tacos

Combine the epic-ness of a nail-biting cricket match with taco nights at home by making these fish tacos to please a crowd. Since seafood is a fairly light protein option for the summer as compared to chicken or red meat, find an easy-to-clean variety that you can charr on the outside for an inherent smokiness and drizzle a spicy dressing along with some feta to top it off. Spruce up your fish tacos by taking it a step further with some fresh mango salsa spiked with bird’s eye chillies.

Flavoured Labneh

Although this might not come across as a good enough match day snack option, fresh labneh made with hung yoghurt is as summery as cheese can get. Experiment with different combinations – coriander and garlic, black pepper, red chilli and oregano or even za’atar. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top and make these ahead of time so you can get your guests started while you rustle up other eatables in the kitchen. Serve it with toasty sourdough, pita, lavash, cucumber sticks or even good ol’ potato chips.