Ravinder Bhogal’s alternative Easter menu

Looking to stray from the traditional roast dinner and experiment with an alternative Easter menu? Ravinder Bhogal, master of the art of blending cuisines and flavours from different cultures, has created a sublime, cosmopolitan spread fit for the most special Easter weekend gathering.

In 2007 Ravinder made the unusual leap from journalism to a career in food, and in 2016 opened her much-loved restaurant Jikoni in London’s Marylebone. It serves food inspired by Ravinder’s background (born in Kenya to Indian parents) and also celebrates the cookery of the UK’s diverse immigrant cultures.

Her celebration menu includes a classy one-pot chicken main, make-ahead dessert (with an inspired secret ingredient) and easy but elegant nibble that is a step up from a bag of crisps… These dishes are perfect for an Easter weekend feast – or any early spring gathering. Keep scrolling for all the details…

Ravinder Bhogal’s alternative Easter menu

There are several reasons to be cheerful about Easter, and all that hopefulness makes me want to gather the people I love for a celebratory lunch. There are a languorous four days off – a valid excuse to scarf vast quantities of chocolate. And for an early-ish Easter such as this one, though a chill still hangs in the air, there are shoots and buds in the garden on the brink of breaking into fresh green life – a promise that spring is in motion.

It’s a holiday, so look to crowdpleasers that aren’t too taxing on your energy or time. Minimum fuss and washing up is essential and, if dishes can be prepared a day in advance (leaving you free to sip wine with your guests), that’s a bonus. This menu takes a communal approach, with everything served at the centre of the table to be passed around.

A prelude to lunch to tease the appetite is always a great way to welcome guests. Smashed potatoes, ethereally crisp, topped with roe, are perfect for nibbling standing up, a glass of something charismatic in hand. They have the same devilish appeal as a bag of crisps but are obviously much more elegant. Houmous served with puffs of hot pitta bread is perennially popular too – this one made with nutty roasted cauliflower is prettily topped with pickles to cut through its heft.

For the main course, I’ve come up with an elegant, one-pot chicken stew that goes straight from hob to table. It’s the perfect recipe for transitioning out of winter and into brighter, more vibrant springy flavours, thanks to the lactic kefir and fistfuls of herbs. Finally, dessert is a beautiful wobbling pannacotta with rhubarb the colour of flushed cheeks. It can be poured into a large mould for a stunning centrepiece or divvied up into individual servings. Light and bright, the menu is a spring awakening on a plate.

A portrait of food writer Ravinder Bhogal


Ravinder’s celebration menu for six

Smashed potatoes with crème fraîche, chives and roe
These are everything a prelude to a meal should be: salty, creamy, crisp and very, very moreish.

A platter of potatoes topped with crème fraîche and roe, sprinkled with chives

Cauliflower houmous with pink pickled onions and pickled cauliflower
This rustic, homemade houmous will ruin you for the shop-bought variety. Serve with crisp lavosh or toasted pittas.

A dish spread with cauliflower houmous

Braised chicken with kefir, orzo, dried limes and herbs
A one-pot wonder with big flavour. Tender chicken and toothsome orzo may sound appealing, if ordinary – but when they’re mingling in this tangy kefir sauce, they have a surprising elegance that’s dinner-party worthy.

A dish of braised chicken in kefir, topped with herbs

"Light and bright, this menu is a spring awakening on a plate"

Roasted carrots with shatta butter
Sweet carrot with a tickle of chilli heat make for a vibrant side dish. If you’d prefer this to be a starter, serve on a bed of labneh or whipped feta.

A plate laden with roasted heritage carrots

Burnt honey pannacotta with forced rhubarb and chamomile syrup
Who knew chamomile teabags could be so versatile? The chamomile syrup is key to these wonderful pannacottas. I make a batch of the syrup, then stash it in the fridge to add an aromatic and herbal note to everything from fruit (melons, apricots, peaches…) to my gin and tonic.

Two plates with a pannacotta on each, with pink poached rhubarb on the side

Planning your bank holiday menu? Discover more Easter lunch inspiration.

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