Some confusion exists over the word “Starter” or “Starter Recipes”. To the British a starter is the term used to describe any relatively small light dish served at the beginning of lunch or dinner. An appetizer, on the other hand, can also be said to be a starter but is more specifically defined as a food or drink served before a meal designed to stimulate the appetite. In other words is to whet the appetite whilst still leaving room for the meal ahead.
Some people use the term entrée to refer to a starter. This is originally the French word for starter which originally denoted the entry of the meal to the dining room. The entrée dish, in 15th Century banquet hall dining, would have been paraded around the room on great big silver platters before being served to the high table. In modern times the entrée generally refers to a dish served before the main course.
Just to confuse things further, Americans generally use the term entrée to refer to the main course of a dinner and the word appetizer to refer to the starter.
To simplify matters here on Mydish we have generally grouped together starters and appetizers into one category so that the terms may be used interchangeably and return the same search results. As we are a British website site we have not used the term entrée (USA) and instead use the term Main Course to categorize all those dishes which can generally be served as the main dish during a meal.
Typically starters are very versatile and can also be made as a light lunch or supper meal.
When selecting a menu with several courses the skill is in choosing which starter goes with which main course as wel as which flavours complement each other ensuring that the meal is neither too rich or too light.
Cooking ideas for starters are varied but soups are a popular option for home recipes, being light and easily digestible.
Italian anti-pasti is a continental take on the British starter and uses cheeses such as mozzarella combined with stronger flavours such as sundried tomato, olive and pesto.
For some Indian starter ideas, Tandoori Chicken or lamb is a popular dish. The marinated meat is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven after being marinated in spices and yoghurt. Try onion bajees for a vegetarian starter idea, a perfect introduction to an Indian meal.