3 June 2020
5 delicious recipes to try from around the world
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. (Acts 2:46b)
When we decided on the title of this blog post back in January, we had no idea what the world would be like today. In many ways, ‘5 delicious recipes to try from around the world’ is the perfect title for right now. Whilst travel is restricted, it’s great to be able to have a window into the rich culture of other countries. And whilst we’re spending more time indoors, it’s great to be able to experiment in the kitchen and try something new. We hope you enjoy reading and testing out some (or all!) of these delicious recipes. Some are simple and others more complex, but hopefully you can find one to suit your tastes and abilities. Big thanks go to our ministry partners for sharing their recipes with us - we hope you feel more connected with them, despite being many miles apart. If you do make any of these dishes, we’d love to know! Tag us in a social media post or email us a photo to email@example.com.
1. Speca te Mbushur - Albania
This recipe was recommended to us by one of the leaders of our ministry partner in Albania, Shelly. She told us that stuffed peppers are a very typical dish of the area they are based in. Peppers are grown all over Albania and this way of eating them is particularly popular as they can be enjoyed hot or cold. Most Mediterranean countries cook a version of this recipe - Albanian cuisine is influenced by Greek, Italian and Turkish cuisine. This specific recipe makes 4 stuffed peppers. It can be served on its own or with salad.
- 4 peppers
- 250g of mince beef
- 2 onions, diced
- 50g of cooked rice (~20g of uncooked rice)
- 25g of tomato puree
- ½ tablespoon of basil
- ½ tablespoon of rosemary
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- To create the filling, brown the onions for 2 minutes in some olive oil on a medium heat before adding the mince beef.
- Once the beef has browned, add the rosemary, basil, salt, pepper and tomato puree.
Leave on a medium heat with the lid on for 10 minutes. Then, turn off and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
While the filling is cooling, take out the stalks of the peppers and scoop out the seeds. You can keep the tops to put on as lids after filled if you want.
Once the filling mixture is cooled, stir in the cooked rice.
Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture ensuring you push some all the way down and they are completely full. As each one is done, place into a baking dish. If there is any mixture left, place into the dish around the stuffed peppers.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour, turning occasionally if desired. Enjoy!
2. Soup Joumou - Haiti
This recipe was sent to us by Wendy, leader of our ministry partner Haiti Christian Schools. She gave us the following background information:
During the fight for Haitian Independence in the early 1800‘s, the French forces would not allow the slaves to eat pumpkin soup because it was considered too sophisticated a delicacy for the slaves’ pedestrian palates. So, when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti a free republic in January of 1804 (making them the world’s first black-led free republic), pumpkin soup became a symbol of Haitian freedom from oppression. Now, every year Haitians make this delicious pumpkin soup recipe in January in celebration of Haitian Independence Day!
No two Haitian cooks make their soup the same and when they go to visit family and friends on the first day of January, they take a little soup with them and share it with their friends who puts the soup in the pot with their own soup and which makes the soup become a very blended and wonderful tasting treat!
- 450g of fresh or frozen pumpkin, or 1 tin of canned pumpkin
- 2 litres of water
- 450g of stew meat, cubed
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 cloves
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 potatoes, cubed
- ¼ small cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1 scotch bonnet/hot chilli (optional)
- 115g of spaghetti, broken into pieces
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- Peel and coarsely chop the fresh pumpkin into cubes.
- Add to a large pan along with the water, meat, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, cloves, celery and onion.
- Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
- Remove the pumpkin with a little of the broth and puree in a blender.
- Return the pumpkin to the pan and add the potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsley and hot chilli (be careful not to break the skin of the chilli as it is very hot). If using frozen or canned pumpkin, add at this time.
- Add the spaghetti and the lime juice. Bring to a boil again and cook until the spaghetti is done, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the chilli and adjust seasoning to taste. For a festive touch, serve inside the empty pumpkin shell. Enjoy!
3. Dal Bhat - Nepal
This recipe was actually given to us by our CEO Alan Butler, who lived and worked in Nepal for 12 years, but we do also have a ministry partner based there: Good Friends of Nepal. Dal Bhat (lentils and rice) and curried vegetables are eaten twice a day in Nepal - mid morning and early evening. No two Nepalis seem to include the same elements, but the lentils and rice remain the constant. It is actually a vegan recipe and is particularly warming and comforting, perfect for chillier days. The recipe says that the rice serves: “3-4 nepalis or 4-5 expats”!
- 200g of lentils
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2cm piece of ginger, crushed
- ½ teaspoon of tumeric
- 1½ teaspoons of salt, according to taste
- 400g of rice
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Wash the lentils and soak for up to 1 hour. Soaking is not essential but soaked lentils cook faster.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until it’s golden brown.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the pan with the garlic, ginger, tumeric and salt. Stir to mix well. Add enough water to cover the lentils and cook until they are soft and like a soup. Check as the lentils are cooking and add more water as necessary to make the soup the desired consistency. Nepalis prefer a fairly thick soup about the consistency of pancake mixture.
- While the lentils are cooking, rinse the rice in a heavy bottomed pan until the water runs clean. Add boiling water - the level of the water should be 2½ cm above the surface of the rice. Add the salt, more or less according to taste.
- Bring to the boil and boil rapidly uncovered, until water dissapears from the surface of the rice.
- Turn the heat down very low and cover the pan with a lid. Continue cooking on a low heat until the rice is cooked (normally 15-25 minutes).
- Serve with the lentils and enjoy!
4. Rellenitos de platano - Guatemala
This is a very authentic Guatemalan dessert, kindly sent to us by Monica who works for Potter’s House. Rellenitos de platano are mashed plantain balls stuffed with sweet black beans. What makes them so popular is the fact that they are very easy to make and everybody in Guatemala has plantain and black beans at home. People also buy rellenitos in the markets - they are considered a tasty snack. Here in the UK, you can buy plantain from international corner shops or markets… or from Waitrose! You can find tins or pouches of refried beans in any supermarket, normally located with the Mexican food. This recipe makes 12 rellenitos.
- 4 ripe (yellow) plantains
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tin of black refried beans
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- Wash the plantain. Cut off the ends and discard. Cut the rest of the plantain into 4 parts, leaving the skin on.
- Put the plantain in a pan, add water until it covers them and add the cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil on a medium heat. If the plantain is ripe enough and sweet, don’t add sugar, but if needed add 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until the plantain is cooked and feels soft. Make sure not to overcook it as you don’t want it falling apart.
- Drain and peel the plantain. Remove the veins with the black seeds. Mash them into a smooth paste, making sure there are no lumps. Let it cool.
- In a pan, heat the refried beans with 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Mix well until they form a soft paste, add more water if needed. Don’t make it runny.
- Take a lime sized ball of plantain paste and flatten it in your hand. Form a little bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the chocolate/bean mixture and close the bowl so it forms an egg-shaped ball with the chocolate/bean mixture inside. Make sure there are no holes or gaps so the filling can’t leak out.
- Heat sufficient oil in a large frying pan. Fry the stuffed plantain balls until they have a light golden-brown colour, turning them a few times so they are uniformly cooked.
- Sprinkle with additional sugar before serving. You can also serve them with whipped cream or with additional chocolate/bean sauce (just add more water to the chocolate/bean paste until it reaches the desired consistency). Enjoy!
5. Frituli - North Macedonia
This recipe was forwarded to us by Mircho, the ministry leader of the Evangelical Church in North Macedonia. He said “Unfortunately the kitchen is an unknown territory for me. But here is a recipe from one of our pastors, Marino Mojtikj. He is good in the kitchen!” This recipe uses sour/fermented milk. A traditional North Macedonian meal without a serving of sour milk is not a North Macedonian meal! As we presume not everyone has sour milk in their cupboard, we have opted to make it by adding vinegar to milk.
- 200ml milk
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- Vegetable oil
- 12 tablespoons of plain flour
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 1 grated apple
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Rum - 1 or 2 teaspoons
- 50g of raisins
- 50g of chopped nuts
- Stir the vinegar into the milk in a jug and leave to stand for 5 minutes (creating sour milk).
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, including the sour milk.
- Gently heat vegetable oil (about an inch deep) in a large saucepan so that it is warm but not boiling.
- Scoop a tablespoon of batter from the bowl. Scrape it off using another spoon into the oil.
- Constantly scoop oil and pour over the side that is not in the oil. Flip when it’s golden underneath.
- When it’s golden in colour all the way round, it’s ready to take out – place it onto kitchen roll.
- Repeat until all the batter is gone. Enjoy!
Collated by Emily Hobbs, WorldShare’s Marketing Communications Assistant.