As we sit at home, self-isolating ourselves from the outside world, it feels like the future of traveling is uncertain right now. Although we can’t step out, it doesn’t mean we cannot continue to fuel our passion for travel.
You can certainly use this time indoors to learn a new language that you always admired, cook a new recipe that you never got around to, read the book that you love or simply binge-watch your favorite travel movies.
Speaking of food, food is a big part of traveling as it has a way of bringing out the good memories associated with a place that had captured your heart. It can often be the reason you visit a place multiple times or can inspire you to go to a place you haven’t heard of before.
In this post, I want to share a few of my favorite International dishes that I came across while traveling and love to cook at home from time to time. I will add simple recipes for you guys to try at home which will transport you to that place with just a bite.
Mauritius holds a special place in my heart as it is where my husband and I went for our honeymoon. I can still vividly remember all the incredible places we visited on the island and the food is just to die for (we both love to eat seafood).
China, Europe, and India have a huge influence on the cuisine of Mauritius. Most of the dishes and culinary practices are inspired by the former slaves, Indian workers and Chinese migrants arriving during the 19th century.
Rougaille – a rich tomato-based dish is one of the classic Mauritian dishes that everyone on the island loves. Since this recipe is passed down from generation to generation, there are quite a few variations of spices involved and every person adds their own touch to the recipe.
Once you have the base sauce ready, you can add anything to it: meat, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables or tofu, making this dish versatile and unique to your style. My favorite is King prawn Rougaille.
King Prawn Rougaille
1/2 large onion (sliced)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3 tomatoes (pureed)
3 green chili
1 tbsp vegetable oil
15 king prawns or any kind of prawns will work (deveined)
1 tsp salt
Step 1: Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat and add the sliced onions to it. After a while, add the ginger-garlic paste and the green chilies to the mix and fry them for 15 minutes. Add salt as per taste.
Step 2: Add the tomato puree to the mix and cook it under medium heat till it becomes a homogeneous mixture.
Step 3: Add the prawns in the mix and let them cook in the sauce. You could add a bit of coriander as a garnish and serve this hot with bread or rice.
Back in December of 2018, my family and I visited Sri Lanka to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve together. We had an amazing time exploring the cities, its culture and heritage and of course the cuisine of Sri Lanka, making memories that will last a lifetime.
Despite the Sri Lankan cuisine have strong links with that of South Indian cuisine, it distinguishes itself by the intricacy and lightness of its flavors, as well as the generous use of coconut milk.
One of my favorite Sri Lankan dishes is the Parippu Curry that is served at just about every meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The word ‘Parippu’ in Sinhalese and Tamil means lentils. It is a great vegan dish, very light on your stomach and brings a Sri Lankan twist to your everyday dhal.
8 oz. red lentils (masoor dal)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 onions (chopped)
4 curry leaves
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp chili powder
1 cup of coconut milk
1¼ cup of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
Step 1: Wash the lentils well by changing the water at least a couple of times. Boil them in the water with the chili powder, turmeric, and curry leaves.
Step2: After about 15 minutes, when the color of the lentils changes to yellow, remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard, fenugreek, and cumin seeds and fry for 20 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and mix well for 20 seconds.
Step 4: Add the boiled lentils and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add the coconut milk and salt as per taste. Cook until the curry begins to boil.
Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or bread.
My husband and I visited Bhutan in 2019’s October and instantly fell in love with the country. The memories from that trip are fresh in my mind.
Bhutanese food is unlike any other food you will ever eat. Most of their dishes have cheese and (green or dry red) chilies as the main ingredients. Culinary experts say that perhaps the reason for chilies’ predominance in the Bhutanese cuisine is due to the sensation of heat they provide during the harsh cold winters.
My favorite Bhutanese dish is Jasha Paa which has the chicken as the main ingredient along with the chilies. One of the things I love so much about this dish is the mild taste of ginger that shines through the spices and gives this dish its essence. All the Bhutanese dishes are enjoyed with a plate of steamed red rice.
Jasha Paa (Chicken dish)
1 chicken (chopped into big pieces)
1 onion (sliced)
1 tomato (sliced)
1/4 tsp ginger (chopped)
4 dried chilies
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
Step 1: Boil the chopped chicken with salt for about 15 minutes or until it is cooked.
Step 2: Add the oil to a wok and add the onion and ginger to shallow fry. Then add the chilies, tomato to the mix and fry them.
Step 3: Finally, add the chicken and cook until all the water evaporates. Mix well and the dish is ready to be served with some steamed rice.
I hope these dishes will bring a change into your routine meal and make you feel like you are in abroad.
Tell me in the comments, which dishes you like to cook at home that you picked up while traveling. If you like this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends stuck at home.