Trying local cuisine on vacation is an ideal way to immerse yourself in a destination’s food and culture. It also opens your tastebuds up to new flavors and cravings that last long after you’ve returned home. But let’s be honest, real life doesn’t always allow for us to simply pick up and go to Thailand every time we want some Pad Thai. So what’s a hungry jetsetter to do?
While you may not be able to catch a flight for your favorite international dish, there is still a way to feel like you’re half way across the world, right from the comfort of your home. These three international recipes will not only satisfy your wanderlust itch, but your hunger pains too, and have you feeling like a top chef in your own kitchen.
1 of 3 Photo Credit: Alica Ramkirpal-Senhouse
Though the spice might be best known in India and the Caribbean, the history of curry connects countries and cultures around the globe. In Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town, South Africa, the Malay people make a dish many might be familiar with, chicken curry. Next time you're in the area, sign up for a culinary class with local Malay restaurant legend Zainie, but until then enjoy curry with a South African Malay twist, right at home. Ingredients: Cooking oil, 2 medium onions chopped, 1 medium red tomato chopped, 4 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters, 2lbs of chicken (skinned and cut into portions), 3 teaspoons each of tumeric, cumin and red masala, 2 teaspoons each of ground coriander and fennel, 6 teaspoons garlic and ginger paste, 6-7 fresh curry leaves, 6-7 sprigs of fresh coriander, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt to taste. Method: Heat a little oil in pot. Add onions and saute until light brown. Add chicken and stir well. Then add spices, ginger and garlic paste, lemon and sugar, salt and tomato. Add 1/2 cup of water. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Cover. Add potatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer on low heat until potatoes are soft. Add curry leaves and coriander. Stir gently.
2 of 3 Photo Credit: Chef Alexandre Griche
In Indonesia, Nasi Goreng, Indonesian style fried rice, is a food staple. Depending on where you are in the country, you can find many twists on this simple dish. At Nihi Resort on Sumba Island, Executive Chef Alexandre Griche teaches a classic version in the resort's cooking class that you can whip up in no time, and add your own personal preferences to, like grilled shrimp. Ingredients: 2 cups steamed rice (cold), 1/4 cup carrot diced, 1/4 cup cabbage, diced, 1/4 cup green peas, 1 spring onion, sliced thinly, 1 red chili sliced, 1 celery leaf, chopped, 3 pieces of chopped garlic, 1 fresh egg (optional), salad oil. Sauce: 2 teaspoons of sweet soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salty soy sauce, 2 teaspoons chili paste (optional), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper powder. Method: Heat a pan or wok until medium heat. Pour oil into pan and sauté garlic. Add egg and stir quickly. Add the vegetable and stir for a while. Add rice and sauce. Keep cooking on medium heat. Mix well, adjust seasoning
3 of 3 Photo Credit: The Old Curiosity Shop
One thing you'll learn quickly when you visit Turkey is, they love their desserts! From Baklava to Turkish Delights, sweet treats can be found almost anywhere. Cookistan is a great culinary class to take if you ever find yourself hungry in Istanbul. One Turkish treat you can make at home is Turkish Sponge Cake - Revani. This dessert is so sweet, it's almost sinful, and guaranteed to please. Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour sieved 1 cup semolina, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup thick yoghurt, 1/2 lemon finely grated peel of 1 bags vanilla sugar, 1 bags baking soda, 2 eggs, 2 1⁄2 cup sugar, 2 1⁄2 cup water, 1 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice. Method: Make the syrup: In large bowl combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to boil and gently simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the syrup just begins to thicken - you still want it very-very runny. Set the syrup aside to cool down completely before using. Pre-heat the oven to 340F. Mix all the ingredients well, then transfer the batter into a large greased tray and place in the oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown. Assemble the cake: As you take the cake out of the oven immediately pour the cooled down syrup over the top making sure the syrup spreads evenly. Set aside for at least 30 minutes so the cake can soak in all of the syrup and cool down before serving.
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