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3 Spicy starter recipes to make at home

3 Spicy starter recipes to make at home

3 min read

These spicy starter recipe ideas will add a little zing to your meal, whether you're looking for a quick lunch or snack, or cooking for friends
Spices help to stimulate the appetite, so they’re perfect to use in appetisers such as dips and soups. They enliven all sorts of other foods, too, from egg and cheese dishes to scones and muffins. When in doubt, add a little spice!

Spicy scrambled eggs on toast

spicy scrambled eggs with tomatoes on bread
Scrambled eggs become an extra-tasty treat when cooked with fresh herbs, spices and a splash of lime juice. They make a lively breakfast dish or a comforting supper for a cold day. Add more or less chilli, garlic and lime according to your taste.


Serves 4
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 green chilli, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry paste, hot or mild as you prefer
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 100g tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thick slices wholemeal bread
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat natural yogurt (optional)


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the chilli, curry paste, garlic, ginger and most of the spring onions, reserving a few for garnish. Fry over low heat for 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 1 minute.
  2. Beat the eggs with the coriander, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the pan and stir gently over low heat until just set.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the bread and keep it warm.
  4. Place the warm toast on serving plates, top with the scrambled eggs, sprinkle with the reserved spring onions and spoon on some yogurt if you wish.

Spicy vegetables with eggs

This popular breakfast dish from North Africa is known as chakchouka. To make a heartier version for lunch or dinner, brown 400g minced lean beef or lamb with the onion in step 1. If you like a bit of heat, add more fresh chilli, or use dried red chilli flakes.


Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 410 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves 
  • wholemeal pitas, warmed, to serve(optional)


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Add the chilli, garlic, cumin and ground coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  4. With a large spoon, make four indentations in the tomato mixture. Gently break 1 egg into each indentation. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with warmed pitas, if desired.

Spicy prawns with raita

Spicy prawns
This is a good starter for a casual barbecue. If you want to dress the dish up a bit, you could serve the prawns on a bed of baby rocket or mixed salad leaves and drizzle the raita all over. Garnish the prawns or raita with extra mint leaves, if desired.


Serves 4
  • ½ cup (125 g) natural yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 24 large raw prawns, peeled but with the tails left on
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
  1. To make the raita, combine the yogurt and mint in a small food processor and blend until the mint is finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the salt and garnish with extra mint if desired.
  2. Preheat a chargrill pan, heavy-based frying pan or barbecue to high heat. Put the prawns in a bowl, sprinkle with the garam masala and chilli powder, then drizzle with the oil and toss to coat.
  3. Cook the prawns for 2 minutes on each side, or until they have become opaque and lightly golden. Serve immediately, with the raita on the side for dipping.
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