How to Write a Recipe in English

Writing a recipe in English requires clarity, precision, and an understanding of the audience’s needs. Whether you’re documenting a family favorite like Matar Paneer or a traditional dish like Besan Chilla, the process remains fundamentally the same. Here’s a guide to crafting an easy-to-follow and engaging recipe.

hoose a Descriptive Title

Your recipe’s title should be clear and descriptive. It should immediately tell the reader what to expect. For example:

Matar Paneer: Spicy Peas and Cheese Curry

Besan Chilla: Savory Gram Flour Pancakes

Provide a Brief Introduction

Introduce the dish with a brief description that includes its origin, significance, and why it’s special. This sets the context and adds a personal touch.

Example for Matar Paneer: “Matar Paneer is a popular North Indian vegetarian dish made with peas (matar) and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a rich, spiced tomato gravy. It’s a staple in Indian households and is often served with naan or rice.”

Example for Besan Chilla: “Besan Chilla is a savory pancake made from gram flour (besan) and spices, often enjoyed as a nutritious breakfast or snack in India. It’s quick to prepare and can be customized with various vegetables and herbs.”

List Ingredients


List all ingredients with exact measurements. This ensures the reader has everything they need before starting. Organize the list in the order they will be used.

Ingredients for Matar Paneer:

  • 200g paneer, cubed
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Ingredients for Besan Chilla:

  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • Provide Detailed Instructions (Continued)

Instructions for Besan Chilla (Continued):

Add chopped onion, tomato, green chili, and cumin seeds to the batter. Mix well.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and lightly grease it with oil.

Pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and spread it out in a circular motion to form a thin pancake.

Drizzle a little oil around the edges and cook until the edges start to lift and the bottom turns golden brown.

Flip the chilla and cook the other side until golden brown and crisp.

Repeat with the remaining batter.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with chutney or yogurt.

Include Serving Suggestions

Adding serving suggestions helps readers envision how to enjoy the dish and makes the recipe more complete.

Serving Suggestions for Matar Paneer:

Serve Matar Paneer hot with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice.

Pair it with a side of cucumber raita and fresh green salad for a balanced meal.

Accompany it with a glass of buttermilk or lassi for a traditional touch.

Serving Suggestions for Besan Chilla:

Serve Besan Chilla with a side of green chutney, tamarind chutney, or plain yogurt.

Enjoy it with a hot cup of masala chai for a hearty breakfast or evening snack.

Add a dollop of butter or a sprinkle of chaat masala on top for extra flavor.

Provide Additional Tips

Offering additional tips helps readers achieve the best results, troubleshoot potential issues, and customize the recipe to their liking. Here are more detailed tips for making Matar Paneer and Besan Chilla.

Additional Tips for Matar Paneer

Paneer Preparation:

Homemade vs. Store-bought: Fresh homemade paneer tends to be softer and creamier. To make it at home, boil milk and add lemon juice or vinegar to curdle it, then strain through a muslin cloth.

Paneer Frying: For a different texture, you can lightly fry the paneer cubes in a little oil until they are golden brown before adding them to the curry. This helps them retain their shape and adds a bit of crispiness.

Gravy Consistency:

Adjusting Thickness: If the gravy is too thick, add a little water or milk to reach your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, cook it uncovered to let some of the liquid evaporate.

Smooth Gravy: For a smoother texture, blend the onion and tomato mixture before adding the peas and paneer. This gives a restaurant-style finish to the curry.

Spicing the Dish:

Customizing Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of green chilies, red chili powder, and garam masala according to your taste preference. For a milder curry, reduce the quantity of these spices.

Enhancing Flavor: Adding a teaspoon of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) towards the end of cooking enhances the flavor. Crush the leaves between your palms before adding them.

Serving Enhancements:

Garnishes: Besides fresh cilantro, you can also garnish with a dollop of butter or a drizzle of cream for a richer finish.

Accompaniments: Serve with Indian pickles and papad for an authentic touch. A side of sliced onions and lemon wedges also complements the dish well.

Additional Tips for Besan Chilla

Batter Preparation:

Sifting the Besan: To avoid lumps, sift the besan (gram flour) before mixing it with water. This ensures a smooth batter.

Consistency Check: The batter should be thick yet pourable, similar to pancake batter. If it’s too thick, add more water a tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thin, add a little more besan.

Cooking Techniques:


Even Cooking: Spread the batter evenly and thinly on the skillet to ensure the chilla cooks through. Cook on medium heat to prevent burning and ensure a crispy texture.

Non-stick Skillet: Using a non-stick skillet makes it easier to cook and flip the chilla without sticking. Make sure the skillet is hot before pouring the batter.

Flavor Variations:

Herbs and Spices: Experiment with adding different herbs and spices like chopped spinach, grated carrot, or even a pinch of ajwain (carom seeds) for a unique flavor.

Cheese and Paneer: For a richer taste, you can add grated cheese or crumbled paneer to the batter.

Serving Suggestions:

Chutney Varieties: Pair Besan Chilla with a variety of chutneys such as mint-coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, or coconut chutney for a burst of flavors.

Healthy Toppings: Top with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of chaat masala or sev (crispy gram flour noodles) for added texture and flavor.

Storage Tips:

Batter Storage: The batter can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Stir well before using, as it may thicken; add a little water if needed.

Reheating Chillas: If you have leftover chillas, reheat them on a skillet over low heat until warm. Avoid microwaving, as they may become soggy.

By incorporating these additional tips, you can enhance the flavor, texture, and overall experience of making and enjoying Matar Paneer and Besan Chilla. These insights help ensure that even novice cooks can achieve great results and enjoy the cooking process.

Additional Tips for Besan Chilla:

Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding more water if needed; it should be pourable but not too runny.

Add grated vegetables like carrot, zucchini, or spinach for added nutrition.

Use a non-stick skillet to avoid the chilla sticking and ensure even cooking.

 Conclude with a Personal Touch

End the recipe with a personal note or story. This connection makes your recipe memorable and encourages readers to try it.

 Matar Paneer: “This Matar Paneer recipe is a beloved staple in my family. It’s the dish we turn to for comforting meals and special occasions alike. I hope it brings as much joy to your table as it does to ours.”

Besan Chilla: “Besan Chilla has been my go-to quick meal for years. It’s versatile, healthy, and perfect for any time of the day. I hope you enjoy making and eating it as much as I do.”

Proofread and Edit

Finally, proofread your recipe for any errors or unclear instructions. Ensure all measurements, ingredients, and steps are correct. A well-edited recipe enhances readability and reliability.

Final Thoughts

Writing a recipe in English involves more than just listing ingredients and steps. It’s about sharing a culinary experience that others can recreate in their kitchens. By following these guidelines, you can write clear, engaging, and user-friendly recipes for dishes like Matar Paneer and Besan Chilla that readers will love.