Deccan Chronicle

A Picnic Basket

Deccan Chronicle.| Bindu Gopal Rao

Published on: June 25, 2023 | Updated on: June 25, 2023
Honey-Kissed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Honey-Kissed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Good food has a way of connecting people in a way nothing else can, and nothing is as good of a conversation starter as a bowl of tasty snacks for the hungry tummy.

"As a chef, I believe that picnic recipes are a celebration of culinary creativity and the joy of dining in nature’s embrace. It’s a chance to escape the confines of a traditional kitchen and let the flavours of the great outdoors inspire us. Whether it’s a delightful Olive burrata accompanied by the soothing whisper of olive oil or any other carefully crafted dish, picnics offer a unique opportunity to savour exquisite flavours amidst the beauty of nature. So, pack your basket, embrace the open air, and let the symphony of tastes transport you on a culinary adventure like no other," says Sabuj Pal, Chef De Cuisine, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa.

Here are some recipes for you to pack in your picnic basket.

Tres Leches

Courtesy: Vasundhara Kochar and Stuti Saraf Jain, Founders, Cheesserted


For the Sponge
Flour 120 grams
Baking Powder 3 grams
Curd 190 grams
Baking Soda 2 grams
Castor Sugar 100 grams
Vegetable Oil 80 grams
Vanilla 3 grams

For the Three Milk Soak
Whole Milk 200 grams
Condensed milk 100 grams
Heavy Cream 100 grams


To make the sponge cake, mix baking soda and curd. Whisk together and set aside for a couple of mins until you see bubbles. In a separate bowl, mix castor sugar, vanilla and vegetable oil and mix until it is well combined. Sieve the dry ingredients. Add castor sugar mix to the curd mix and then fold in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into a 7-inch cake tin and bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees until a skewer comes out clean.

To make the three-milk soak, combine all three ingredients (listed) and whisk well until there are no lumps.

Once the sponge is baked, make holes using a skewer while the cake is warm and in the mould. Pour 3/4th of the soaking syrup and refrigerate.

De-mould and garnish with whipped cream, seasonal fresh fruits, and mint leaves. Pour the remaining soaking syrup around the cake and serve chilled.

Blueberry Banana Breakfast Smoothie (Vegan)

courtesy Rahul Ramnani, Chef & Co-Founder, RITUAL Café

This quick and easy smoothie is a great ‘feel good’ pick-me-up when you are looking for something light and refreshing yet nourishing.


50 grams Blueberries (fresh or frozen). We recommend frozen for a thick smoothie consistency
150 grams Banana (fresh or frozen). We recommend frozen for a thick smoothie consistency
80 grams Pineapple (freshly chopped)
60 ml Coconut milk


Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until thoroughly mixed.
Pour in a tall glass and enjoy.

Olive Burrata

courtesy Sabuj Pal, Chef De Cuisine, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa

Olive burrata is the perfect choice for your picnic recipe for several delightful reasons. This exquisite cheese, born in the 1920s amidst the serene ambiance of an Italian castle in the Apulia region, showcases the brilliance of human creativity in minimizing food waste. When you first encounter a burrata on a plate, delicately tilted, it may leave you in awe. Its rich history traces back to the culturally vibrant land of Maharajas, Rajasthan. Additionally, Olive oil embodies tales of integrity and excellence. By combining the delectable flavours of olive oil with the creamy and luscious burrata, this Olive burrata brings together the best of both worlds. The smooth, velvety texture of burrata blends harmoniously with the rich essence of olive oil, resulting in a tantalizing fusion of flavours that will elevate your picnic recipe to new heights


Burrata Cheese 130 grams
Poilane (sourdough bread) 55 grams
Green Olives 1 cup
Taggiasca Olives ½ cup (available online)
Olive Oil 3 Tbsp
Fresh Oregano 1 Tbsp
Rosemary 1 Tbsp
Thyme 1 Tbsp
Vinegar 2 Tbsp
Salt and black pepper to taste       


In a large bowl combine green olives, Taggiasca olives, olive oil, fresh oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt, paper and pour over the olives and toss a coat.

Break open the burrata cheese and lay out on the toasted Poilane bread and add olive mixture on the burrata.

Chicken & Eggplant Parmesan Hero’s

courtesy Suraj Chauhan, Chef de Cuisine, Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar

When we talk about a picnic, the first meal that comes to our mind is a sandwich. Not only is it one of the easiest meals for anyone to cook for their loved ones, but also very quick and easy to make. and it can be easily tailored to one’s needs.


Chicken breast pounded to 1/3 inch thickness 6 no.
Eggplant cut crosswise 500 grams
Refined flour 200 grams
Panko crumb 200 grams
Parmesan cheese 220 grams
Eggs 4
Fresh Mozzarella 500 grams
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Italian loaf or ciabatta 6 no.
Butter 60 grams
Refined oil for frying 500 ml
Tomato sauce 600 grams
Italian seasoning 5 grams


Take the pounded chicken breast and eggplant slices in separate bowls each and season them with salt, cracked black pepper and drizzle of refined oil.
Whisk the eggs in a separate shallow bowl and blend panko and parmesan cheese in a separate bowl.

Dust the marinated chicken and eggplant with refined flour and dip in the egg batter and coat with panko and parmesan crumb mix.

Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce in a pan with some Italian seasoning.
Deep fry the coated chicken breast and eggplant in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked to desired level.

Assemble the hero sandwich by cutting the bread lengthwise and spreading butter on it.

Laying the fried chicken breast and eggplant over it followed by the tomato sauce and sliced fresh mozzarella cheese.

Bake it under the oven until the cheese melts and cover it with the top slice of bread.

Serve hot with sprinkling some Italian seasoning.

Honey-Kissed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

courtesy Yuusf Galabhaiwala, Founder, Honey All Day

Honey is a natural sweetener with a plethora of anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It is a healthy alternative to refined sugar with a lower glycaemic index and a bouquet of antioxidants, making this sweet treat both tasty and healthy.


3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips
Optional additional chocolate chips for topping


l Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and keep it aside for later.

Combine the mashed bananas, honey, melted butter, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar in a sizable mixing bowl. All the ingredients should be thoroughly combined after mixing.

Combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a different bowl.

Stirring gently to blend, gradually add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Avoid overmixing because it can result in dense bread.

Gently stir the chocolate chips into the batter until they are all incorporated. Evenly distribute the batter as you pour it into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Once baked, remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Paneer 65

courtesy Sujit Mahato, Chinese Sous Chef, Kurry Patta

The creaminess of paneer combined with spices from the South make Paneer 65 a big hit in any occasion. Being a no-fuss and no condiments required dish, this finger food is a perfect addition to everyone’s picnic baskets, especially since this can be enjoyed hot or cold. The dish can be prepped the previous night and quickly put together on the morning of the feast. It pairs well with chilled beer and other picnic staples like sandwiches and chips.


Paneer 200 grams cut into triangles
Curd 2 tbsp
Oil 1.5 tbsp + more for frying
Mustard seeds 1 tbsp
Dried red chilli 2 pcs
Kurry patta 8-10 leaves
Chopped ginger 1 tbsp
Chopped garlic 1 tbsp
Chopped onions 2 tbsp
Chopped spring onion 2 tbsp
Cornflour 1 tbsp
Schezwan sauce 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup 1 tbsp
Soya sauce 1 tsp
Castor sugar 0.5 tsp
Half a lemon
Salt to taste


Coat the diced paneer with Schezwan sauce, cornflour and a sprinkling of water and fry till golden brown. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, add in the red chillies and mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds,

Add kurry patta and fry till crisp

Add the ginger, garlic, onions, and fry till they turn brown.
Add the Schezwan sauce, tomato ketchup, soya sauce and curd. Add salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix everything well and sauté for two minutes.
Add the fried paneer and spring onions to this mixture and sauté for a minute.
Bring the mixture onto a serving plate, top with some spring onions and serve or pack once slightly cool.

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