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Whether it is cards game night, a cocktail evening, or a festive party, appetizers are a must. These small nibbles are great way to keep hunger pangs at bay while the main course is served, they line your stomach when you’re being heavy handed with the tipples and even be conversation starters with their innovativeness. From classics such as papdi chaat and kalmi vada, to new twists on iconic dishes such as idlis and dahi poori, here is our list of top 10 vegetarian appetizers to start off the party right and impress your guests. 

(Also read: Quick and easy to make non-vegetarian appetizers to light up your party)

Idli Shashlik

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Idli is a versatile food to experiment with at your Diwali party. Shashlik made from steamed idlis is a creative way to serve the humble breakfast dish. Coat the idlis with some ginger paste, oil, tomato ketchup, black pepper powder, and honey. Once done, place them on skewers with bell pepper and onion cubes and grill in oven or on a griddle.   

(Got some leftover idlis? Use these ideas to add extra zing to them )

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Papdi Chaat

Also known as sev puri in some parts of the country, Papdi Chaat is a popular street snack. Little Indian crackers (papdi) or flat stiff puris are layered with mashed or boiled potato, sprouts, a combination of chutneys, whisked yogurt, chaat masala, and sev. If you’re thinking of serving it at your Diwali party, ensure you don’t make these hours before the guests arrive or the papdi will get soggy. 

Idli Pizza Muffins

Idli lends itself to innovation very well. Idli pizza muffins give this nutritious morsel an Italian flourish. It is tasty, easy to make and healthy! You can make this idli appetizer in less than half an hour and kids will love them too! So, will this appetizer be a part of your Diwali party menu? 

Harissa Paneer

Give the over-used paneer tikka and paneer chilli a break, and let your guests dig into these grilled paneer roundels coated with chillies, garlic, and aromatic spices. Harissa Paneer can be prepared within 20 minutes and Chef Ripudaman Handa garnishes it with a dressing of extra virgin oil, sesame seeds, black pepper, salt, chopped parsley, and basil leaves. 

Masala Potato Wedges with Hari Mirch Dip

How about giving potato wedges, one of the most popular and easy to make party snacks, a unique twist this Diwali? Follow Chef Handa’s lead and spice up the wedges with chilli flakes, garam masala, sea salt, roasted cumin powder, salt, and oil. Take this interesting dish to the next level by serving it with a hung curd-based green chilli and garlic dip . 

Kalmi Vada

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A popular Rajasthani snack, the Kalmi Vada makes for a delightful appetizer at Diwali and other parties. These are basically fried patties made with lentils and raw bananas. The highlight of this dish; however, is its garnish. Chef Gautam Mehrishi garnishes it with some mayonnaise, dry mango powder, black pepper power, nylon sev, green chutney, and some fresh chopped mint leaves.  

Grilled Cheese with Tomato Shots

Another classic appetizer to consider making for your Diwali party is Chef Ranveer Brar’s Grilled Cheese with Tomato Shots. The best part about this dish is the combination of textures and flavours. Think crunchy buttery bread, gooey cheese, tangy tomato soup, and more.

(Also, if cheese is bae, you can also try these cheesy fingers. It makes for a great evening snack.) 

Mung Bean and Green Apple Dahi Poori
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Since we’ll be stuffing ourselves with plenty of traditional sweets at Diwali parties, how about balancing it with a healthy appetizer? Here’s an easy dahi puri recipe with a healthy twist. In this appetizer,
Chef Handa replaces the usual potato filling with green gram/moong sprouts and khatti-meethi chutney with green apple pulp. 

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Eekh ke Lollipop
Eekh ke Lollipop or sugarcane lollipop is a vegetarian alternative to the Chindian favourite—chicken lollipop. We’re positive, this vegetarian version will stand out at your Diwali party. They are basically fried spicy vegetable balls placed on match-sized sugarcane pieces. This mouth-watering appetizer is best served with some sweet chilli sauce. 

Soyabean Manchurian

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Love Chinese dishes? Make this protein-rich appetizer a part of your Diwali party menu.
Chef Gurdip Kohli Punj shows you how to prepare soyabean manchurian within 30 minutes. Unlike most appetizers on this list, this one doesn’t require any accompaniment to go with it, which means, more quality time with friends and family!

Images used for representational purposes only

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