Ready, steady, cook: Around the world in 12 recipes

As a student, one is always looking for the nearly impossible combination of good food that is easy to make and light on pocket. But miracles do happen. Below is a list of mouth-watering meals from around the world which you can easily cook in your student dorm to enjoy the taste of globalisation.
[Photo: on Unsplash.]

Ratatouille - France


Sauté chopped onions, garlic, and bell peppers in olive oil; add salt, pepper, chopped tomatoes and basil and cook until it all turns into a smooth paste. Slice eggplants, zucchinis and tomatoes and layer them alternatively on top of the tomato paste in a baking pan. Bake for one hour and eat while hot.   

Pulao - Pakistan/India

Marinate chicken in yogurt, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste for one hour. Sauté cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon stick, green and black cardamom and bay leaf in a pot; then add fried onions and marinated chicken. Mix a little and add soaked basmati rice. Add water and cook until the rice and chicken are cooked.  

Pizza - Italy

Use readymade dough or make your own (mix flour, salt, yeast and  water into dough and leave it overnight) for the crust. Mix tomato paste, parmesan cheese, seasonings of your preference and a splash of maple syrup to make the first layer on top of your crust. Add any topping you like - from sliced mushrooms, sausages to bell peppers - and finish it off with cheese. Bake it for 10 minutes and enjoy your heart out.

Shepherd's pie - British

Sauté chopped onions and carrots in olive oil. Add minced meat, tomato puree, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and Worcester sauce and cook until the meat is tender. Transfer this into a baking pan and put a layer of mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes till the top is slightly golden and crispy.

Chicken Fajita - Mexico

Season chicken breasts with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Put them in a slow cooker (or a non-stick pan) along with sliced bell peppers, onions, chopped garlic, tomatoes and lemon juice and let them cook on slow heat for 3 hours. Take the chicken out and shred the meat; mix it back with the vegetables and then wrap in tortillas.

Chicken corn soup - China

Boil chicken (preferably parts with bones) for a few hours to make stock. Take chicken out and remove the meat; throw the bones and add the meat to the stock. Lightly blend canned corn and add to the stock along with salt and pepper. Thicken the soup with cornstarch and add beaten egg while constantly mixing the soup. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and enjoy.  

Hummus - Middle East

Mix chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and seasonings in a blender. While blending, slowly add olive oil and water until hummus is creamy and smooth. Garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy it with flatbread or fresh vegetables.   

Kumpir - Turkey

Find the biggest potato and bake it for an hour. Cut it into half, scoop out the inside and mix it with salt and parmesan cheese. Stuff it back into the potato skin and top it with assortments of your choice - peas, olives, sausages or corn.

Beef Goulash - Hungary

Sauté cubed beef in a pan until they turn nice golden brown. Move the meat to another dish and sauté chopped onions and green bell peppers in the pan. Add the beef again and mix everything with salt, paprika, tomatoes and oregano. Cook for two hours until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick. Eat it with boiled rice or baked potatoes.

Tortilla de Patatas - Spain

Deep fry thinly sliced onions till they are slightly caramalised and potatoes until they are fully cooked. Break eggs in a bowl and add the fried onions, potatoes and salt to it. Mix (not whisk) everything together slowly and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Put the mixture in a pan on low heat and cook until the side turns light brown. Turn it and cook the other side the same way.

Poutine - Canada

Fry or bake potatoes to make french fries. Season them with salt and pepper when hot. Make gravy by cooking stock of your choice with butter and flour for thickening. Put fries in a pan, add cheese curd (or mozzarella cheese) and drizzle the gravy on top.

Jollof Rice - Nigeria (and many West African countries)

Blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers (if available) and onions into a paste. In a separate pan, fry chopped onions and tomato puree until it is cooked nicely. Add the tomato-pepper paste to the pan as well as bay leaves, dried thyme, salt and chicken stock cubes. Cook for 15 minutes and then add rice (washed several times to get rid of the starch). Add water, cover and cook until the rice are fully cooked.


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