Cool Comfort: Appetizers on a plate

Cool Comfort

Summer-ready recipes with international influences from a chef at Oi, Mumbai.


Strawberry Gazpacho


Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 20 minutes + chilling time

Calorie count: 279 calories (per serving)



20 ml apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp pepper

12 g salt

40 g breadcrumbs for thickening

150 ml extra virgin olive oil

500 ml mineral water

80 g cucumber, deseeded and cut into chunks

1 clove garlic

60 g capsicum, deseeded and cut into chunks

50 g red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

400 g strawberries (or watermelon), cut into chunks

600 g ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks



  1. Blend together the strawberries (or watermelon), cucumber, garlic, capsicum, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and water to a smooth puree.
  2. Using a fine sieve, strain the puree well twice or thrice.
  3. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the strained puree, and blend well.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs to thicken, and blend again.
  5. Season with apple cider vinegar, white pepper, and salt.
  6. Chill before serving.

Tip: Serve this Gazpacho cold, garnished with strawberries (or cubes of watermelon) and micro greens.


Burrata with Bell Pepper Coulis, Walnuts and Seasonal Fruit Jam


Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Calorie count: 351 calories (per serving)



5 walnuts, toasted

4 tsp fig or strawberry jam

4 baby burratas

To prepare the bell pepper coulis:

40 g breadcrumbs, to thicken

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

10 ml lemon juice

Sugar, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

2 cloves garlic

500 g bell pepper

To prepare the charred pepper salsa:

Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Powdered sugar, to taste

1 tsp lemon juice

6 tsp basil leaves, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

250 g mixed yellow, green and red bell peppers, deseeded and finely chopped



  1. To prepare the bell pepper coulis, roast the bell peppers over the fire on a fork.
  2. Remove the skin, seeds and pith. Blend the peppers to a fine paste with the breadcrumbs, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, pepper, salt, and garlic.
  3. To prepare the charred pepper salsa, heat a non-stick pan over medium flame, and saute the garlic and peppers until slightly charred. Remove from the flame and cool.
  4. Add powdered sugar, pepper, salt, lemon juice and basil.
  5. Divide the bell pepper coulis between four serving dishes.
  6. Place a baby burrata on top of the coulis, and sprinkle generously with the bell pepper salsa.
  7. Place a teaspoon of fig or strawberry jam on the side, alongside a toasted walnut.

Tip: Burrata can be found in gourmet food stores and online.


Cottage Cheese A La Plancha


Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Calorie count: 847 calories (per serving)



Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

½ avocado, sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

50 g baby spinach, blanched

50 g bok choy, blanched

250 g cottage cheese, cut into roundels

4 tbsp butter (divided usage)

6 tsp extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the mushroom truffle sauce:

5 drops truffle oil

Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

50 ml vegetable stock

200 ml fresh cream

250 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

6 tsp sunflower oil



  1. To prepare the mushroom truffle sauce, heat the oil in a pan over a medium flame.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic for a minute, before adding the mushrooms, and cook on a high flame until soft.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and cream, and cook till a creamy consistency is achieved.
  4. Season with pepper, salt, and truffle oil.
  5. Heat the extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon butter in a pan over medium heat.
  6. Fry the cottage cheese on all sides until golden. Set aside.
  7. Heat a pan and heat one tablespoon butter. Saute the bok choy and baby spinach with the garlic. Season with pepper and salt.
  8. Grill the avocado slightly on the pan.
  9. Spread the mushroom truffle sauce on a serving platter.
  10. Place the grilled cottage cheese roundels on top.
  11. Place the avocado, spinach, and bok choy on one side.

Tip: Garnish the dish generously with truffle oil and a few micro herbs.