Stir-fried potatoes (gam-ja-bok-kum)
These are not your ordinary potato chips you often eat when you drink beer. Instead a healthier version of potato dish and a popular banchan (side dish) with Korean meals. This shredded and sauteed potato dish can retain a firm texture with a slight crunch when well prepared. Green onions, chilli and garlic may also be added. More importantly, it hasn’t got a strong spicy flavour like other Korean dishes.
Katsu-don is an amalgamation of the Japanese words for pork cutlet (tonkatsu) and rice bowl (donburi). This popular dish is so much more than the sum of its parts. Served with a crisp green salad or sauteed vegetables, it's perfect for a mid-week dinner.
Chicken kadai curry
“Curry has become a national dish in the UK, and in Manchester there is a street named a ‘Curry Mile’. I went into one of the most popular Indian restaurants on that strip, Mughli, to learn how to make a true British curry. I was told it was best to cook this curry in a solid wok-like pan, which is where the kadai gets its name. A combination of chicken thigh and breast meat works best, but you can use one or the other if you prefer. If you like a slightly less spicy curry, add the green…
Food Safari japchae
Japchae is a dish of deliciously chewy cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch. The noodles are tossed with julienned vegetables and sometimes meat (this recipe includes marinated beef), and each component is separately stir-fried. It’s a popular Korean dish for parties and can be served hot or cold. Vary the vegetables in the recipe as you please – others to consider are green beans and spinach, or make a mushroom japchae with a selection of Asian mushrooms.
Meatballs with almond, onion and saffron sauce (albondigas en salsa de alemendras y azafran)
This Catalan dish is often served as a tapas, but can easily morph into a main course with the addition of some steamed potatoes and a green salad. “Albondigas” comes from the Arab word for ball and versions of this meatball dish are wildly popular all over Spain. Spanish food expert Penelope Casas in her fantastic book 'Delicioso' says some cookbooks in Spain devote entire chapters to their preparation. Make these with beef, veal or even chicken mince if you prefer.
Chickpea masala (chana masala)
This popular Indian chickpea dish is flavoured with black tea, tamarind and a heady mix of garam masala and cumin. It’s great on its own, or served as part of a banquet. Be sure to accompany the masala with steamed rice and roti and scatter with sliced green chillies and coriander. Soak the chickpeas overnight, changing the water every two hours, if possible!
Prawns with freshly grated coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds (Chingri daab)
This is a popular dish in Bengal, where of course both prawns and coconut abound. It’s normally served in a whole green coconut there, but that’s a bridge too far for us. I would suggest serving it, as in Bengal, as a little course in its own right, but it’s also delicious with some rice and flatbreads.
Pasta with fresh beans and potatoes (pasta e fagioli fresche con patate)
Originating from Casa La Rooca in Calibria, South Italy, this dish is not to be mistaken with a popular Italian soup of a similar name which features cannellini or borlotti beans and short pasta. It is also not to be confused with the classic Genovese dish of spaghetti, pesto, green beans and potatoes. Pasta e fagioli fresche con patate is all about fresh ingredients, no canned vegetables allowed.
Saganaki cheese | Saganaki refers to various Greek dishes prepared in a small frying pan called a 'saganaki'. Saganaki cheese is one of the most popular appetisers cooked in this way. There are various types of cheese that can be used Kefalograevria is one of the most popular - fried and eaten hot while it is still soft it is a real treat!
Currant, honey and walnut pancakes (tiganites)
Some Greeks believe the popular breakfast dish tiganites was the first documented pancake in the world. True or not, with 2,500 years of culinary history, you can be sure they’re delicious.
Caramel baklava ice-cream
Baklava is a popular Greek and Middle Eastern sweet pastry dish, made with layers of crisp filo pastry and lots of chopped nuts. Here, it's built into a rich caramel ice-cream dessert.