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AFGHANISTAN

The central emblem is the classical emblem of Afghanistan with a mosque with its mihrab facing Mecca. Interestingly, Afghanistan has had the most changes to its national flag in the 20th century than any other country in the world.
COUNTRYAfghanistan 
DishesBolani, Pulao 
Time 3 hours 
Effort 7/10
Rough cost £8 (not including spices + oil) *but most of stuff you will have 
COUNTRY Afghanistan 
Capital Kabul 
Population 32, 225, 560 (44th largest) 
Land mass 652,230 km2 (40th largest)
Languages Pashtun (60%), Dari (40%)
ReligionsMuslim (99.7%)

HISTORY

Kabuli Pulao was created by the upper class in Kabul, as they could afford caramelised carrots, raisins and nuts in their rice. However, overtime this dish has become one of the commonly cooked in Afghanistan, and so the name has changed to Qabili Pulao. Qabili means ‘accomplished’.

Bolani is a traditional celebration bread eaten at birthdays, weddings and festivals. It can be made via many different methods and with many different fillings. Each family will have their own traditional Bolani recipe. Other fillings include: lentils, pumpkin or leeks.

NOTES

It is important to remember that, as with all home cooking, these dishes vary enormously from home to home and from season to season. Do not be put off making the dishes if you are missing a couple of spices or have different vegetables. Just go ahead and use what you have handy. Making a dish your own is the essence of celebratory cooking!We cooked the rice on its own as we were making a vegan supper. You will find lots of recipes online where the rice is cooked with lamb and this will give a delicious flavour, but requires a slightly different technique.

BOLANI

Ingredients

DoughFilling
2 cups plain flour 
1 ½ cups of wholemeal flour 
1 ½ tsp dried yeast 
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp warm water
½ tsp salt
3 potatoes, boiled + grated 
3 spring onions 
3 cloves garlic, grated
Salt + Pepper (to taste)
Spices: ground ginger, ground cumin,
ground coriander, paprika, turmeric (to taste)

Method

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. The only tricky bit with bread and it comes with practice, is getting the moisture level right. Too dry or too wet and the dough will not rise properly. It should be dry enough to knead the dough easily but wet enough to stick a bit to your hands and the counter. Different flours absorb different amounts of liquid and so a recipe is not the be all and end all here. As you start to knead the dough you may have to add water or flour to get the right consistency.
  2. Knead until the dough is soft and pliable and springs back when you poke it or pull it – 5 to 10 minutes. If you have never made bread before, YouTube will have some useful tutorials.
  3. Mix all the filling ingredients together.
  4. When the dough is risen, divide it up and roll it into 15 balls.
  5. On a floured counter, roll the dough ball into a disc.
  6. Put a good tbsp. of filling in the centre of and fold it into a triangle, sealing the edges *see picture
  7. Brush each side with vegetable oil and fry on both sides on a medium heat until the dough is cooked and is a good brown colour. *we had to push down the triangle edges with a spatula and finish them off in the oven for the sake of time.

Mwara’s Tips (a.k.a breadmaster)

These stuffed flatbreads were pretty easy to make and absolutely delicious. We kept the left overs in an airtight container and the made a very good packed lunch the next day.

Making bread is not as difficult or as exact a science as some television chefs would have you believe. People have been making bread at home in pretty basic conditions for thousands of years! Your own, homemade bread may not have the ‘perfect’ structure, but will be really fun to make, smell lovely when it is cooking and taste delicious. No additives, preservatives or other nasty extras, just flour, yeast, water and salt.

If you are used to making bread or have a bread maker, then a standard bread dough with a 1/3 wholemeal to 2/3 white flour mix is perfect here.

Processed with MOLDIV

PULAO

Ingredients

BrothRice
4 cardamom pods, crushed
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
1 onion, peeled + halved 
1 whole head of garlic 
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp paprika
1/2tsp salt
Warm water to cover
Basmati rice for 4 people
4 carrots, in matchsticks 
1 onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
½ cup slivered / flaked almonds
½ cup raisins / sultanas
5 cardamom pods 
Spices: ground ginger, ground cumin,
ground coriander,
chilli powder, turmeric (to taste)

Method

  1. Put all the broth ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the vegetables and pods with a spoon or strainer.
  2. Fry the onions until soft. Then add the carrots and garlic and continue to fry.
  3. Soak and rinse the rice in cold water.
  4. Add all the ingredients (inc. rice) to the broth pan and bring to the boil.
  5. When it reaches boiling point, give it a good stir, shut the lid and turn off the heat but leave the pan on the hob. The rice should soak up all the juices and stay warm.
  6. To finish, fluff up the rice with a fork. You can stir in a bit of butter or oil, sprinkle with fresh toasted almond slices, raisins, shelled toasted pistachios, fresh coriander – it is up to you.
  7. Serve with either a meat (lamb is best) or vegetable stew.

VEGETABLE TAGINE

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of mixed vegetables in big chunks (2cm diced) including squash, sweet potatoes, courgettes, aubergine, leeks, turnips, carrots, swede, parsnip.
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 ginger
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a tbsp. of oil until soft but not browned.
  2. Add the garlic and spices and fry to mix – about 30 seconds.
  3. Add all the vegetables and stir to coat with spices.
  4. Add the chickpeas.
  5. Add enough water to come about ½ way up the pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. You could transfer to the oven at about 1400C to free up the stove top.

SERVING

Traditional the pulao is served with Kabuli, which is a lamb stew. However, Bridget made a vegan tagine with swede, canned tomatoes, canned chickpeas, onion and spices (*see recipe above). We served it all up with chopped coriander, chilli, harissa and oat milk cream.

OUR THOUGHTS

We loved cooking this meal, especially as it was our inaugural dinner! It was really fun making the Bolani and they tasted so good. With this recipe we made enough for 4 people, and lots of left-overs. What we will say, is that is was a bit time-consuming.

Dera manana and see you in Albania! M + B

#pulao #kabuli #bolani #vegan #recipe

IRAN (Persia)

The flag of Iran is also known as the Three-Coloured Flag. It features the national emblem ‘Allah’ .
COUNTRYIRAN
DishesKhoresh Badjeman (vegan), Fesenjan,
Time 1.30 hrs
Effort 6/10
Rough cost £5
COUNTRY IRAN
Capital Tehran
Population 83,183,741 (17th largest)
Land mass 1,648,195 km2 (17th largest)
Languages Persian
ReligionsShia Islam

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Iran, or Persia, is a West Asian country bordered by four other Asian nations, as well as the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Iran is one of the world’s oldest civilisations, recorded to have originated in the 4th millennium BC, and has a very rich history. It is now an Islamic democracy under the rule of the autocratic ‘Supreme Leader’ (Ali Khamenei). This government is viewed as authoritarian based on its abuses against human rights and civil liberties. The country is rich fossil fuel reserves, contributing to its ‘middle power’ status.

The mixture of different ethnic groups and the ancient history of Iran, combines in a cuisine with many diverse influences and flavours. Characteristic flavours are saffron, dried limes (anything sour!), cinnamon, and parsley.

Bridget made Khoresh (stew) Badjeman (aubergine) which is a soft aubergine stew in thick tomato sauce. This dish is traditionally made with chunks of beef but feel free to leave these out for a tasty vegan version! The dish incorporates lemon juice; A classic flavour of Iranian cooking, which tends to feature tart or sour flavours. Mwara made Tahdig, which is a crispy rice dish meaning ‘bottom of the pot’ which has strong saffron flavours and a delicious texture. She also made Kuku Sabzi , a festive herb omelette, and Fesenjan, a pomegranate-chicken-walnut stew.

RECIPES

Khoresh Badjeman (vegan)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • SERVE: chopped parsley

METHOD

  1. Prepare the aubergines by peeling them and slicing them into long matchsticks. Place the sticks in a bowl of salted water and let them soak for 20 minutes. Now cube the sticks into nice bite-sized chunks.
  2. Next heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and tumeric and stir. Add the aubergine chunks and fry everything together for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add into the pan the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and water. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 15-20 minutes.
  4. When the aubergine is soft and cooked, serve up the stew with some fresh saffron rice and parsley on top. YUM!

Tahdig (Persian scorched rice)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 3 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 tbsp butter

METHOD

  1. Mix the saffron into 1 cup of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes so the saffron can release its flavor.
  2. Prepare the rice by rinsing it under cold water. Then put 8 cups of water and some salt in a large pot and bring it to a boil over a medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes. Then drain and set aside. 
  3. Oil the bottom of a 10-inch lidded nonstick pot and press the tortilla down evenly on the bottom.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cooked rice, the veg oil, the butter and 3 tbsp of the saffron water. At this stage, you can add in some extra ingredients such as dried cherries, cinnamon, and orange zest.
  5. Spread the rice mixture evenly over the tortilla. Finish by dotting the top with a bit more butter and then pour the rest of the saffron water on top.
  6. Wrap the pot in a tea-towel and cook on the hob (or in the oven) on a medium heat for 30 minutes until the rice is crispy at the edges. Be careful not to burn the rice though!
  7. Once its cooked, invert the pan over a large plate and flip the dish upside down so that the crispy tortilla is on top!

Kuku Sabzi (herb omlette)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large bunches of coriander
  • 3 large bunches of parsley
  • 1 large bunch of dill
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cos lettuce heart
  • 3 tbsp + 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 large eggs

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and prepare your dish by lining either an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment and oiling the whole pan generously with olive oil.
  2. In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, dill, onion, leeks, lettuce and 3 tbsp of olive oil until everything is finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the tumeric, salt, pepper, fenugreek, dried dill and baking powder. Then add in 2 of the eggs and whisk until blended, before adding in the rest of the eggs and whisking until just combined. Now fold in the herb-veg mixture into the eggs and pour this into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake in in the pre-heated oven until the center of the omelette is firm (20 – 25 minutes). Set the omelette aside to cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges to loosen the kuku. Then invert onto a plate and remove the parchment from bottom, before re-inverting it onto your serving plate!

Fesenjan (Persian chicken and walnut stew)

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs
  • 4 cups of walnuts, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp sugar

METHOD

  1. Start by toasting the walnuts in a dry skillet pan on a medium heat, stirring them until lightly toasted.
  2. Next brown off the chicken thighs in a large pot by frying them in 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil on a medium-high heat. Season with salt at this stage and remove from the pan when done.
  3. In the same pan (add more oil if necessary), sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the chicken thighs back to the pan and pour over the chicken stock, simmering this mixture covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Then stir in the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, spices, sugar and saffron. Reduce the heat, cover and cook this for 1 hour, stirring now and then to prevent any sticking or burning.
  5. When the chicken is soft and falling apart, the stew is cooked. You can season with some more salt/pepper/sugar at this point and then enjoy (ideally with some pomegranate seeds and walnuts sprinkled on top)!

and see you in Israel! M + B x

INDONESIA

This flag was first hoisted during the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence in 1945 and again when the Dutch formerly transferred sovereignty back to the Indonesians in 1949.
COUNTRYINDONESIA
DishesNasi Goreng (vegan), Gado Gado salad
Time1 hr
Effort5/10
Rough cost£4
COUNTRYINDONESIA
CapitalJakarta
Population270,203,917 (4th largest)
Land mass1,904,569 km2 (14th largest)
LanguagesIndonesian
Religions86% Islam, 10% Christianity

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Indonesia is a South-east Asian nation consisting of over 17,000 islands which makes it the world’s largest island country. Java is the country’s most populous island and is home to half the population. The nation state of ‘Indonesia’ emerged after the 350-year period of Dutch colonial rule came to an end in the mid 20th century. Today, Indonesia is a middle power in global affairs and has a strong economy.

Indonesian cuisine is one of the most diverse and flavourful cuisines in the world. Due to the vastness of the island nation, there is a lot of unique regional cuisines – each with their own flavour influences. The national dish is called tumpeng, which is this amazing-looking pyramid of rice surrounded by lots of veg side dishes.

Mwara made gado gado salad – a crunchy, spicy, nutty fresh salad – which was absolutley delicious. Bridget made nasi goreng, which is a classic rice stir-fry dish. It traditionally contains prawns and eggs but leaving these out for a vegan version was still delicious!

RECIPES

Gado Gado salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 200g tofu, in small chunks
  • 250g cooked potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g green beans, halved lengthways
  • 250g cabbage (ideally Chinese cabbage), finely shredded
  • 100g beansprouts
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • SERVE: a handful of coriander leaves, a handful of crushed prawn crackers, 4 tbsp crispy onions

For the dressing:

  • 50g peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp kecap manis (substitute with 2.5 tbsp soy sauce + 1/2 tbsp honey)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 150ml coconut milk

METHOD

  1. To start, heat the oil in a large frying pan / wok and boil some water in a small saucepan. Fry the tofu for a few minutes on each side until crispy, and then transfer to a plate. Then do the same to the potatoes, frying for a few minutes until starting to crisp, and then set aside to cool.
  2. Boil the eggs in the water for 7 mins, and then cool them straight away in cold water. Refill the saucepan, bring to the boil and cook the beans for 2-3 mins. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. Make the peanut dressing by mashing up the peanut butter and kecap manis together with a fork until smooth. Then whisk in the remaining ingredients!
  4. To assemble the gado gado, put the tofu, potatoes, beans, cabbage, cucumber, beansprouts, carrot and coriander in a large bowl or arrange on a platter. Drizzle over half the dressing, and keep the rest in a wee jug for people to help themselves. Sprinkle over the prawn crackers and crispy onions, peel and quarter the eggs and place on top. Toss everything together just before serving and ENJOY!

Nasi Goreng *vegan

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g long-grain rice
  • 3 tbsp veg oil
  • 100g green beans, cut in half
  • 200g shallots, thinly sliced (or 1 large onion)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (substitute with soy sauce + honey)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 8 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • SERVE: 1/2 sliced cucumber, crispy onions, peanuts

METHOD

  1. Cook the rice as you wish and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the beans into a pan of boiling salted water for 3 mins until just tender and cool under cold water.
  3. Then heat 1 tbsp veg oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add in the shallots / onions, chillies, garlic, and carrots, and stir-fry for 2 mins until the carrot is just tender. Add the tomato purée, kecap manis, cooked rice and green beans, and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 mins. Next add the soy sauce, spring onions and and mix everything together. Finally, squeeze over the juice of the lime and mix in.
  4. SERVE: spoon the nasi goreng onto the plates, garnish with cucumber, spring onions, crispy fried onions and peanuts!
Terima kasih and see you in Iran! M + B x

INDIA

The flag of India is called the Tiranga meaning Tricolour. In the centre is the Asoka Chakra – a 24-spoke wheel
COUNTRYINDIA
Disheschana masala, lentil dahl, onion bhajis *all vegan
Time 1.30 hrs
Effort 5/10
Rough cost £6
COUNTRY INDIA
Capital New Delhi
Population 1,352,642,280 km2 (2nd largest)
Land mass 3,287,263 km2 (7th largest)
Languages Hindi, English
Religions80% Hinduism, 15% Islam

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

India is a vast country in South Asia with coastlines on the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. It is the second-most populous country in the world and is a fast-growing major political economy. This large nation has a rich history spanning back 55,000 years ago with many different religions and their influence dominating the records.

Indian cuisine is world famous for its complex flavour profile and regional diversity. Spices are a staple feature of Indian cooking, which serves delicious flavours as well as delicate aromas. There are so many amazing recipes to get stuck into!

Indian cuisine features so many delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes, so we served up a vegan proper feast – onion bhajis, chana masala, and lentil dahl. Indian food is meant to be eaten socially until everyone is stuffed – and this is exactly what we did! Bhajis are a staple Indian side dish with different regions using their own main ingredient and recipe. Dahl and masala are two classic, easy meals. This assortment was all served up with fresh rice, coop naan breads, a mango chutney – yogurt dip and chilli flakes! It was absolutely delicious and the best thing was….loads of leftovers.

RECIPES

Lentil Dahl

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, for frying
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 3 cups veg stock
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • salt + pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. In a large saucepan heat the oil on a medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft for about 5 minutes. Then add the spices and stir for a further minute.
  2. Prepare the lentils by rinsing them under cold water. Put them into the saucepan, add the veg stock and mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 or so minutes until the lentils have absorbed most of their liquid.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes until the lentils are nice and tender (#BIMINI).
  4. Season with some salt and pepper and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve up with (again) fresh rice and chopped coriander!

Chana Masala

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tins of chickpeas 
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 3 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp dairy free butter / coconut oil
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • TO SERVE: 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander + fresh white rice

METHOD

  1. Firstly, heat the butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan. Fry the prepared vegetables (onions, garlic, ginger + chillies) for 10 or so minutes.
  2. Stir in all the spices with a splash of water, and fry for a further 3 mins.
  3. Then add in the tomatoes with an extra splash of water and cook for 5 mins. Mix in the chickpeas and another 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 10 mins on a medium heat until everything is well cooked. Season with salt + pepper to taste and serve on fresh rice with fresh coriander sprinkled over the top.

Onion Bhaji

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup gram/chickpea flour (or plain at a push)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 chillies, chopped 
  • 6 tbsp water
  • veg oil, for frying

METHOD

  1. To start, in a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cumin and turmeric together until combined.
  2. Next mix in the chilli, coriander, lemon juice and water until a thick batter forms. 
  3. Add in the sliced onions and mix until all of them are fully coated (use your hands!).
  4. In a large frying pan, heat a good inch of veg oil over medium heat.
  5. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully drop big tablespoonfuls of batter into the oil. Cook each bhaji for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. 
  6. Remove each bhaji with a slotted spoon or spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack with a bit of tissue paper underneath. Repeat until all the batter is gone!
धन्यवाद and see you in Indonesia! M + B x

ICELAND

The flag of Iceland was adopted in 1944 on the day that Iceland became a republic. The flag features the classic Nordic cross.
COUNTRYICELAND
DishesIcelandic fish with white sauce
Time 1 hr
Effort 5/10
COUNTRY ICELAND
Capital Reykjavik
Population 371,580 (179th largest)
Land mass 102,775 km2 (106th largest)
Languages Icelandic
Religions75% Christianity

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The first of the I’s: Iceland! Iceland is a Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic, and is the most sparsely (not dense) populated country in Europe. The central volcanic plateau of Iceland is erupting almost constantly and much of the mountainious island is composed of glaciers, glacial rivers, and even lava fields. Civilisation on Iceland was first recorded in 874 AD in Viking times. The present day Iceland ranks very highly on measures of social, economic, and sustainable welfare. In 2020, Iceland ranked 1st on the Global Peace Index and 4th on the Human Development Index.

As a family, we travelled to Iceland in 2017 and did find the cuisine very different to what we were used to. There was a lot of fish and starches, and other dishes typical of Scandi countries. Due to Iceland’s climate, fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs / spices are not widely used in traditional cuisine. With this in mind, Bee was not able to find a good vegan recipe, but Mwara made an Icelandic inspired dish: roasted Icelandic cod with white onion sauce, boiled potatoes, and cabbage. There are lot of great recipes to try out though, so we will definitely be revisiting Iceland in our kitchen soon!

RECIPES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large white onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 1 fresh cod fillet per person
  • 1/2 kg potatoes, diced
  • 1 cabbage, roughly sliced
  • salt + pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Prepare all your ingredients: fry the cod and freshen with lemon juice, boil the potatoes, boil the cabbage and prep the onions.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat and soften the chopped onions. Then add in the flour and milk and stir to thicken into a smooth sauce.
  3. Serve up the fresh fish with the boiled potatoes and cabbage on the side. Pour the white onion sauce over the dish and ENJOY!
Þakka þér fyrir and see you in India! M + B x

HUNGARY

This flag became the official flag of Hungary in 1957. The colours are taken from the Middle Ages, with the flag itself representing the national republic movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.
COUNTRYHUNGARY
DishesGoulash: traditional + vegan
Time 1.5 hrs
Effort 6/10
Rough cost £5
COUNTRY HUNGARY
Capital Budapest
Population 9,730,000 (91st largest)
Land mass 93,030 km2 (108th largest)
Languages Hungarian
Religions54% Christianity

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Hungary is a land-locked Central European country composed mainly of ethnic Hungarians and a Romani minority. The nation has a rich historical past dating back to the 9th century AD and the Christian kingdom of that time. In the 20th century, Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union and suffered turmoil during the years of conflict. Now Hungary is developed country with a ‘very high’ HDI and a high-income economy.

15.8 million international tourists are drawn to Hungary every year, and the cuisine definitely plays a part in the attraction. Hungarian food is often deliciously flavoured with paprika, and contains staple ingredients like meat, cream, dumplings, pepper, wine, and fruits. To note, Hungary also has a massive wine scene, which produces some amazing vintages!

We cooked one of the most classic Hungarian dishes, Goulash – a delicious one-pot wonder! Cooking it on an open-fire (ideally in a traditional Eastern European cooking pot ‘kotlich’) was such a fun thing to do and the goulash was delicious. Bee made a vegan version full of meaty-red-wine flavours, which was just as good. Serve the goulash with csipetke (small dumplings) or fresh bread / grains.

RECIPES

Classic Hungarian Goulash

INGREDIENTS

  • 600g beef shin/ shoulder cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp ground caraway
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • water to gauge

METHOD

  1. On your open fire pit, get a good strong fire going and then let it die a bit. Put a heavy bottomed pan in the centre of the hot coals and add a little oil into the bottom.
  2. Brown the onions and add in the paprika, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the beef, garlic, and caraway, mixing all the while. Add the bay leaves and enough water to cover the beef. Put the lid on and leave the meat to cook for an hour and a half or so.
  3. At this stage, give everything a good mix and add in the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Taste the mixture and season with salt + pepper. If the mixture is a bit thick, add some more water at this stage.
  4. Put the lid back on and cook for an extra 30 mins. Take the lid off, stir, and cook for a little longer until the potatoes are fully soft.
  5. Take the pot out of the fire carefully and allow it cool slightly. Then serve with csipteke which are little dumplings cooked in the sauce 5 minutes before eating the goulash – and ENJOY!

Vegan Goulash

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups veg broth
  • 4 tbsp Hungarian Paprika
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 60 mls red wine
  • 8 small potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, for SPICE (optional)

METHOD

  1. Heat some oil in a large pan on a medium heat and add the onion, peppers, garlic, 1 cup of broth and 1/2 tsp of salt. When the liquid begins to bubble, cook for a further 8 minutes until the veggies are tender. Most of the broth should have evaporated by now.
  2. Add in the wine and paprika and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then add in the potatoes, tomatoes, pepper, another 1/2 tsp of salt and the another 1 1/2 cup of broth. Stir it well and turn up the heat to high. When the pot boils, cover with the lid and lower the heat to medium. Cook for a further 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. ENJOY!
Köszönöm and see you in Iceland! M + B x

HOLY SEE

The flag of Vatican City was adopted in 1929 upon the signing of the Lateran Treaty with Italy.
COUNTRYHOLY SEE
DishesAlfajores
Time 1 hour
Effort 5/10
Rough cost £3
COUNTRY HOLY SEE
Capital Vatican City
Population n/a
Land mass n/a
Languages Italian
ReligionsCatholic Church

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The Holy See, a.k.a. Vatican City, is a sovereign entity under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, a.k.a. the Pope. The Holy See is governed by the Roman Curia which is the central government of the Catholic Church. The diplomatic status of the Holy See is facilitated by the vast network of international charities ran by the Catholic Church out of the Vatican. Indeed, this nation has diplomatic relations with 183 sovereign states around the globe.

The recipe which we chose is not necessarily a Vatican classic, however, these biscuits are a favourite of the current Bishop of Rome – Pope Francis! The biscuits are called Argentinian Alfajores which are sweet, crumbly biscuits sandwiched with dulce de leche. Mwara cooked up a batch of these in an hour or so and they were delicious but warning – they are VERY SUGARY!

RECIPES

Alfajores

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarb
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 jar of Dulce De Leche 
  • desiccated coconut, for decorating

METHOD

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Set
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Then add the egg yolks and combine well. 
  • Add the vanilla, water and lemon zest and mix until just combined. 
  • Slowly add in the dry flour mixture, mixing on low speed. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the baking sheets with baking paper. 
  • Remove dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough with a 2 inch cookie cutter. Then place the cookies on the prepared sheet, leaving space for spreading.
  • Bake the cookies for around 9 minutes until they are firm and the edges are pale golden. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. 
  • Once the cookies have cooled, spread 1 tbsp of dulce de leche onto the back of half the cookies. Then place a second cookie on top to form a sandwich and gently press. Roll the sides with desiccated coconut and REPEAT!

Grazie and see you in Hungary! M + B x

HONDURAS

The national flag of Honduras was adopted in 1866 and is based on the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America.
COUNTRYHONDURAS
DishesBaleadas, Homemade Refried beans, Ponche de Pina, Mango Avocado Salsa (all vegan)
Time 1.30 hrs
Effort 6/10
Rough cost £10
COUNTRY HONDURAS
Capital Tegucigalpa
Population 9,587,522 (95th largest)
Land mass 112,492 km2 (101st largest)
Languages Spanish
Religions87% Christianity

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Honduras is a Central American country bordered to the north by a large section of the Caribbean sea. The region has ancient roots of important Mesoamerican cultures, like the Maya. However, such indigenous people were colonised by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Honduras gained back its independence in 1821 but was left to suffer from a poor economy and political instability since.

Honduras does have a rich material output which includes items such as coffee, tropical fruit, sugar cane, and textiles. Its cuisine features some of these staples and is a rich mix of Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisine.

We made refried beans, which is traditionally made with a special type of Honduran red kidney bean, however, this recipe was delicious just with red kidney beans from wherever you can get them! We then used these beans to make baleadas, which are a classic North Honduran street food. These were delicious and we served them with a fresh salsa and ponche de Pina – a warm alcoholic Pina colada punch!

RECIPES

Homemade Refried Beans

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups dried red kidney / pinto beans, dry (soaked in water for 3-6 hours or overnight*) OR 2 tins of the same beans
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp sunflower / veg oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin

METHOD

  • Step 1 is to cook the dried beans, if you are using them.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry off the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
  • In a food processor, blend the beans into a chunky paste. Then add in all the other ingredients and the onion – garlic oil and blend the mixture to a nice smooth consistency.
  • Heat your pan back up and transfer the beans to the pan. Allow the bean paste to cook on one side for a few minutes until a little crispy at the edges and then ‘flip’ the mixture as best you can.
  • Serve as it is, with rice OR in your baleadas!

Baleadas

INGREDIENTS

Flour Tortillas

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 – 1 ¼ cup milk or water (bit of both) 
  • ¼ cups butter / oil, softened

Baleadas

  • Tortilla
  • Sour cream *dairy-free
  • Refried beans (homemade)
  • Grated cheese *dairy-free
  • Coriander
  • Avocado
  • ETC.

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Then mix in ½ cup of milk or water. Work this into a dough with your fingers, adding a little water or milk as needed.
  2. Then turn the dough out onto a floured worktop and knead for 5-10 minutes, until it is soft and smooth, but not sticky. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 mins – 1 hour. 
  3. To cook the tortillas, heat an un-greased griddle or skillet on a medium heat. 
  4. Cut the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Then roll each ball into an 8 ½ inch round, ¼ inch thick.
  5. Place the raw tortillas onto the skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side, until lightly golden-brown in spots and slightly puffy. 
  6. When the tortillas are cooked, you can get cracking with your baleadas!
  7. ASSEMBLY: spread re-fried beans onto the tortilla as a base, then fill with toppings and fold up + ENJOY!

Honduran Mango Avocado Salsa

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, finely diced
  • lime juice
  • salt + pepper (+ a bit of chilli flakes if you fancy)

METHOD

  1. Prepare everything and then whack it in a bowl. Let it sit for about 30 mins before serving to allow the flavours to develop!

Ponche de Poni

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pineapples, blended to juice (or pineapple juice)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • optional: 50 mls light rum

METHOD

  • If you are using fresh pineapple, blitz up the fruit and let it stand in water overnight. Or, as we did, just use pineapple juice.
  • Then put the pineapple liquid into a large saucepan with the coconut milk and all the spices. Boil it for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the drink hot, adding rum if you fancy!

Muchos gracias and see you in Hungary!

HAITI

Flag of Haiti - Wikipedia
The national flag of Haiti is a bicolour flag depicting the national coat of arms, symbolising unity and independence, first designed in 1806.
COUNTRYHAITI
DishesMayi Moulen, Pain de Mais
Time 
Effort 
Rough cost 
COUNTRY HAITI
Capital Port-au-Prince
Population 11,439,646 (85th largest)
Land mass 27,750 km2 (143rd largest)
Languages French + Haitian Creole (official)
Religions86.9% Christianity

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The first of the H’s is Haiti, a country located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago. Haiti takes up 3/8 of this island, which it shares with the Dominican Republic (see link below for our blog post). Haiti is the most populated nation in the Caribbean and is the third largest Caribbean country by area. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taino people, Haiti suffered multiple colonial invasions by the British, Spanish and French. However, Haiti won back its freedom in 1804 from Napoleon’s Empire, making it the first Latin American / Caribbean nation to gain back its independence and abolish slavery.

https://wordpress.com/post/internoshnalgrubtrotters.com/842

Haitian cuisine reflects the mixture of cultures which have existed upon the island nation’s soil.

Mayi Moulen is a Haitian comfort food classic dish consisting of warm polenta full of vegetables and oil that can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner. It was easy to make, totally delicious and versatile.

But that bag of cornmeal doesn’t need to sit on your larder shelf, reserved only for savoury recipes – OH NO SIR! We also used cornmeal to cook up a delicious Haitian pudding. Pain de Mais is a variation on the classic Caribbean sweet-bread, which each country puts their own unique spin on. The Haitian version has a pudding-like consistency, thanks to the mashed banana and coconut milk. It is traditionally served hot but I have to say that we were loving its gooey, dense texture when ate cold. In fact, we were pretty much obsessed with this cake!

RECIPES

MAYI MOULEN

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp veg oil
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced or finely diced
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme + parsley
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups cornmeal (the coarse yellow variety ideally)
  • 4 tsp butter or dairy-free alternative
  • TO SERVE: grated cheese + sliced avocado!

METHOD

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the veg oil on a medium heat. Add into the pan the tomatoes, onions, garlic powder, thyme, parsley and pepper. Stir well and fry for a few minutes.
  2. Then stir in the water, tomato paste and water. Reduce the heat slightly and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Now add in the cornmeal and stir well. Cook this mixture uncovered until the water has been absorbed and the cornmeal is a nice thick consistency.
  4. Reduce the heat further and stir in the butter. Then leave the mayi moulen to cook for a further 15 or so minutes. THE FINAL STEP is to enjoy the dish – with grated cheese and slices of fresh avo on top!

PAIN de MAIS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp ground star anise
  • 1 cup butter or dairy-free alternative, slightly softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs or vegan egg substitute
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 can evaporated milk (or the vegan alternative)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp rum

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 180’C and grease a rectangular baking tray with butter.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, coconut, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and star anise.
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the butter, salt and sugar together until they are creamy.
  • Then add the vanilla extract and the eggs into the bowl with the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until properly combined. Then mix in the bananas, evaporated milk, coconut milk and rum.
  • Transfer the wet ingredients into the dry bit-by-bit, mixing well after each addition.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared dish and bake for 1 hour. You will know the cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Serve hot with custard or cream and/or store in the fridge for later!

Merci beaucoup and see you in Holy Sea! M + B x

GUYANA

The national flag known as the ‘Golden Arrowhead’ was instated as the flag of Guyana in 1966 when the country gained back their independence from the British colonial empire.
COUNTRYGUYANA
DishesGun Oil
Time 1 hr
Effort 3/10
Rough cost £4
COUNTRY GUYANA
Capital Georgetown
Population 743,700 (164th largest)
Land mass 214,970 km2 (83rd largest)
Languages English (official), Guyanese Creole (vernacular language)
Religions62.7% Christianity, 24.8% Hinduism

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The FINAL ‘G’! Guyana is a small northern nation in South America bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela. Nine indigenous tribes have inhabited Guyana for centuries past, but sadly the Guyanese people suffered under Dutch and British colonial rule for around 200 years. Since winning back its independence, Guyana has remained a stable, happy and fairly prosperous nation thanks to the abundance of minerals, oil and sugar. It remains, however, the only South American country in which homosexual sex is still illegal.

Bridget made gun oil, which is a traditional Guyanese dish of coconut milk – stewed corn cobs. Apparently, it is thought to improve the fertility of men?! To note, there are different ways of preparing this dish so we recommend that you check a few recipes out! Regardless of its symbolism, the dish was super tasty. We left it over-night to stew, just by coincidence, but it meant that the flavours got really rich and strong. A great recipe for using up late-summer corn!

RECIPES

Gun Oil

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 corn cobs (serves 4 people)
  • 3 cups of greens (traditionally eddo leaves)
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, kept whole
  • 1 veg stock cube (Maggi)
  • 1 cup of hot water (for the stock)
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • veg oil (for frying)

METHOD

  1. Blanch the corn cobs by boiling them for 5 minutes in a pan of boiling salted water.
  2. Heat some veg oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Fry the onion until golden for about 8 minutes. Then add in the garlic and chilli and mix for a few minutes.
  3. Mix the stock cube into the hot water in a mug and then pour it into the pan, along with the greens. Mix this well and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  4. Then add in the tin of coconut milk and season to taste with salt + pepper. At this point, add in the par-boiled corn cobs and pop the lid on.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer the gun oil for about 30 minutes. Serve the gun oil straight up with some fresh bread to dip in the sauce or some mashed grains. YUM!

Thank you and see you in Haiti! M + B x

GUINEA-BISSAU

This flag was adopted in 1973 when Guinea-Bissau gained independence from colonial Portugal. The flag uses the classic colours of the Pan-African movement and the black star represents the unity of Africa.
COUNTRYGUINEA-BISSAU
DishesAbacate Recheado Com Atum (vegan option)
Time 20 mins
Effort 3/10
Rough cost £3
COUNTRY GUINEA-BISSAU
Capital Bissau
Population 1,874,303 (148th largest)
Land mass 36,125 km2 (134th largest)
Languages Portuguese (official), Creole (national + much more widely spoken)
Religions45% Islam

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Guinea-Bissau is a West African country bordering Senegal and Guinea. In ancient times, it was part of the Mali Empire before falling under Portuguese colonial rule in the 19th century. The nation gained back its independence in 1974 and a period of political instability has ensued. There is a diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups in Guinea-Bissau, which is reflected in the culture and cuisine of the country.

Bridget made Abacate Recheado Com Atum, which is essentially avocado skins filled with a spicy – coconutty – fishy (vegan or not) guacamole! These were so good and take no time at all to make. The vegan chickpea-tuna was super good also and the nori gives it a great fishy flavour. We will 100% be making this filling again just for putting in sandwiches!

RECIPES

Abacate Recheado Com Atum

INGREDIENTS

  • vegan ‘tuna’ option: 1 tin chickpeas + lemon juice + 1 nori sheet + salt + pepper
  • non-vegan option: 1 tin tuna
  • 3 avocados
  • 5 tsp tabasco / sriracha
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut (or dried if you can’t get fresh)
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1/2 cup cream / creme fraiche / yogurt / mayo (whatever you want)
  • salt + pepper + to taste
  • chilli flakes + grated coconut for topping!

METHOD

  1. Halve the avocados and scrape out the flesh carefully so that the skins remain intact.
  2. Prep the filling by mashing the avocado flesh with either the tinned tuna or vegan tuna fillings, and all the other ingredients until you reach a nice consistency.
  3. Spoon the filling back into the avocado boats and top with more coconut + chilli flakes!

Obrigada and see you in Guyana! M + B x