doro wett
Photo By: CIA/Keith Ferris

Quenching Nostalgia: Authentic Recipes From Around the World


For travelers who long for authentic cultural experiences, it is often the meals shared with people we meet along the way that we cherish the most. When we cannot be on the road, it is sometimes the re-creation of these food experiences that can comfort our nostalgia and continue to spark a thirst to see the world. We hope that these recipes from around the world (or at least the ingredients and flavors) transport you back to those fond experiences and inspire you to keep traveling. 

doro wett
Photo By: CIA/Keith Ferris

Ethiopia: Doro Wett (Chicken Stew)


  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup Spiced Butter (or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • One 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Berbere or chili powder
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • One 4-to 5-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces, wings reserved for another use
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled


Combine the onions, a pinch of salt, and half of the spiced butter in a Dutch oven or other large deep pot over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter, the cardamom, black pepper, cloves, garlic, ginger, and berbere and cook until the onions soften and take on the color of the spices, about 10 minutes.

Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and the chicken legs and thighs, bring to simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock and the wine, bring back to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and simmer for 20 minutes.

Gently stir in the lime juice and eggs and simmer for another 5 minutes. The sauce will be loose and soupy. Season with salt to taste.

(Source: Epicurious by Marcus Samuelsson)


HorchataGuatemala: Horchata


  • 1 lb. rice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • l can evaporated milk
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Put the rice in a large bowl and add enough water to completely cover it, letting it soak overnight.
  2. The next day, blend it with enough water to completely grind the rice and add the can of milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Serve ice cold.

(Source: The Foodies Kitchen)


vegetable kormaIndia: Vegetable Korma

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • ½ small white onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 ½ Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. garam masala or curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. plus â…› tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbs. golden raisins
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables, such as green beans, cauliflower, carrots, lima beans, and zucchini (12 oz.)
  • 1 7-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (¾ cup), optional
  • 1 can of coconut milk

Cook rice according to package directions. Purée tomatoes, onion, and ginger to paste in food processor or blender. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add garam masala and cardamom, and cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add tomato purée and raisins. Simmer 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in vegetables; chickpeas, if using; and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 6 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with almonds, if using.

(This recipe was inspired by the Vegetarian Times. I modified the ingredients to give it more of a Kerala-inspired flare)


pasta capreseItaly: Pasta Caprese

5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced.***To do this, cut a shallow “X” on the bottom of each tomato.  Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and place the tomatoes in the water for about 15 seconds or so.  Immediately remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place into an ice water bath.  This will stop the tomatoes from cooking.  At this point, the skins should be easy to remove, and the tomatoes can be easily de-seeded and diced at this point.


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or cubed as desired
  • Approximately 15-20 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded



1. Place the peeled and diced tomatoes in a colander for about 15 minutes to remove excess juices.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the drained tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.  Mix the ingredients well and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
4.  Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
6. Add the tomato mixture, mozzarella, and basil.  Toss gently, and serve immediately.

(Source: The Curvy Carrot)



japanese greensJapan: Japanese Greens with Sesame Sticky Rice


  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 140g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds , toasted
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 250g long-stemmed broccoli , such as Tenderstem or purple sprouting
  • 90g pack baby pak choi , each halved lengthways
  • 6 spring onions , halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp brown miso paste
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 red chilli , deseeded and diced

For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp brown miso paste
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 red chilli , deseeded and diced


Stir together all the sauce ingredients with 1 tbsp water. Set aside. Bring a large pan of water to the boil with the caster sugar and ½ tsp salt. Add the rice and boil for 15 mins (or following pack instructions) until just cooked. Drain well and return to the pan. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and sesame oil, then cover and set aside to keep warm. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok until very hot, then toss in the broccoli and stir-fry for 2-3 mins until almost tender, adding splashes of water occasionally to create steam. Add the pak choi and spring onions, and stir-fry for 30 secs, then stir in the sauce and cook for a further 1-2 mins, stirring constantly. Spread the rice over 2 plates, divide over the stir-fry and serve straight away.

(Source: BBC Good Food)


Toast Box SingaporeSingapore: Kaya Toast


Coconut Jam:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks

Kaya Toast Plate Assembly:

  • 2 slices dense white bread, such as pain de mie or pullman, toasted on 1 side
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shaved salted butter
  • 1 soft boiled egg, peeled or 1 soft fried egg “sunny side up”
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • Dash ground white pepper

In a small saucepot, mix together the coconut milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the pandan leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat, keeping the pandan submerged in the milk as the leaves cook and soften. When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.

Remove the pandan leaves from the milk, squeezing any excess liquid from the leaves into the milk. Discard the leaves.

In a medium stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk mixture to form a custard base.

Place the stainless steel bowl over a medium pot of lightly simmering water. Gently cook the custard, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. The final texture should have a thick custard consistency (a trail of the spatula should remain on the surface of the custard for more than 10 seconds).

Immediately remove from the heat and strain into a medium bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water. Stir until the custard cools, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 2 cups coconut jam, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The jam will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.

Spread 2 tablespoons coconut jam evenly over both slices of the bread on the untoasted side. Then place a layer of shaved butter over the jam. Place one slice of bread over the other to form a sandwich.

Halve the sandwich, and then cut each half into thirds to form 6 even wedges.

To soft boil the egg, add the egg to boiling water. Cook for 6 minutes, remove and ice.

Pour the dark soy sauce over the egg and dash with the pepper. Serve the egg alongside the sandwich wedges.

(Source: Food Network)


Pad Thai
Adapted from The Best of Regional Thai Cuisine by Chat Mingkwan

Thailand: Pad Thai

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 7 ounces (1/2-inch-wide) dried rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp , shelled and deveined
  • 4 ounces baked or fried tofu , cut into 1/4″ x 1″ squares (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large eggs , lightly beaten, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts , plus additional for garnish
  • 3 cups bean sprouts , plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper
  • 1 lime , cut into wedges

Stir together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, soak the noodles in warm water to cover, about 30 minutes or until softened; drain.

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring, about 20 seconds, just until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, until pink and not quite cooked through. Stir in the noodles until coated with the oil.

Add the sauce to the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed; add water if necessary to soften the noodles. Stir in the tofu.

If using the eggs, create a well in the center of the wok by pulling the noodles to the side. Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until firm. Stir in the scallions, peanuts and bean sprouts; blend well and heat through. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter and garnish with the red pepper, bean sprouts, peanuts and lime.

For a healthier version: Reduce the fish sauce and brown sugar to 2 tablespoons each. Cut the vegetable oil to 1 tablespoon, and use only baked tofu. If using eggs, substitute one egg white for one of the eggs. Use dry roasted peanuts, and reduce to 1/4 cup.

(Source: Oprah)

Featured photo by Rene S


seven mile miracle oahu
The Culture-ist