Moroccan Dish

Be your own MasterChef with these 4 international recipes

You’ve cleaned your house ten times over, you’ve categorised all of your books and you’ve hand-picked all of your crazy, “what-was-I-thinking” holiday outfits to give to charity, but now what? Why not become your own MasterChef? Now, this may sound daunting, especially if you’re no culinary wonder in the kitchen, but you’ll be surprised that with the right tools and the right recipes at hand, you can create delicious meals, “a-la-lockdown” that are bound to impress your bubble of guests. We’ve hand-picked a couple of our all-time favourite recipes from around the world that will definitely give your next dinner party that extra pizazz.


Life’s a peach in Croatia

BreskviceBreskvice

Croatian cuisine is a scrumptious blend of Mediterranean and Central European traditions. With Venetian, Napoleonic, Slav, Habsburg and Yugoslav empires all laying their claim to this tiny country over the past couple of centuries, you can still see the influence they’ve had over Croatia’s most loved dishes. From catch of the day fire-grilled sea bass smothered in olive oil and salt in Dalmatia to stodgy, paprika laden meat stews in Slavonia, each region in Croatia, including their 1,200 different islands proudly showcases their own unique specialities. But one common denominator you’ll find across Croatia and its outlying islands is “Breskvice” loosely translated to, “little peach cakes”.

Although the ‘national’ dish is viska pogaca, a flan of salted anchovies, topped with tomatoes, onion, capers and olives and a dough made with olive oil, you’ll soon find that Breskvice is just as popular among the locals. Breskvice are among the most popular Croatian festive cookies. Even when the Christmas festivities are long over but Easter has not yet arrived, these arresting buttery bites still find their way to every Croatian table. Be it a birthday party, wedding, baby shower or anniversary, anyone who has a sweet tooth will absolutely love these little peach cakes so, be sure to keep this recipe close at hand as you can use it year-round.

In the marble carved alleyways of Dubrovnik to the Riva Harbor of Split, you can find a quaint Kavana (café) where you can nurse your coffee for hours and have Breskvice with a side of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Packed into a deliciously light, peach replica, watch as the rich chocolate filling melts away in your mouth with every bite, while the tartness of the plum marmalade offers a perfect balance for this sweet cake.

Try and whip it up here, or taste it from a local Kavana for yourself on our Cycles and Scenery in Croatia trip.


A thousand and one nights of Lamb Tagine

Although originally a Berber dish, the lamb tagine has evolved with history as waves of Moorish refugees from Andalusia, Arab and Ottoman invaders and French colonialists have left their mark this traditional Berber staple.

Dating back to when Harun al Rashid ruled the Islamic empire in the late 8th Century, the tagine-style dish first made an appearance in the famous, Thousand and One Nights – a collection of West and South Asian short stories transcribed in Arabic during the Islamic golden age. Today the lamb tagine stew classically incorporates savoury and sweet ingredients to make a complex dish with a richly spiced sauce, that’s sure to be an all-round crowd-pleaser.

You’ll find that the dried prunes, honey and aromatic spices such as cinnamon and ginger topped with a garnish of buttery roasted almonds provide the sweetness, while the tender lamb, saffron, red pepper, and sprinkle of nutty coriander make this North African dish the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. And don’t worry, you won’t need a traditional wooden fire and ceramic tagine to whip up this delicious Moroccan dish for yourself, sometimes us modern-day chefs need to improvise.

Check out how to make this delicious traditional dish here, with a refreshing Moroccan mint tea or save your cravings for an epic rooftop dinner at Nomad overlooking Marrakech’s ancient medina on our Summit and Spices in Morocco trip.


Phenomenal pho from Vietnam

PhoPho

The true origins of pho, the beloved noodle soup of Vietnamese locals, are surprisingly thought to have been an adaptation of “pot au feu”, “pot of fire” that the French brought over during the French colonial period in the late 1800s. Pho, Vietnam’s unofficial national dish at first, may just look like your run-of-the-mill, flavourless and dull noodle soup. But you’ll soon see that its noodles are packed with rich, fresh flavours and history that are as fascinatingly complex as the country itself.

Today you’ll find their phenomenal pho at every neighbourhood food street stall, local restaurant and fancy franchised bistros all across Vietnam, serving everyone from school children, trendy professionals and OAPs alike – and why not, it’s a meal that can be eaten and enjoyed from sunup to sundown. “Pho is like the soul of our people. It is our heritage,” explains Nguyen Thanh Van, the executive sous chef at the Hanoi Metropole Hotel, and the locals can’t help but agree.

On a rainy summer’s day why not try to recreate this steaming cup of Vietnamese noodles for yourself. Add in star anise, cardamom, fresh ginger and chopped onions to the frying pan before they are added to flavour the broth. A variety of other spices become part of the mix, including shredded coriander leaves, basil sprigs, papaya, and a dash of fish sauce. The icing on top of the Pho is the sliced lime, fresh red chillies, chopped peanuts and spring onion curls. Chilli sauce condiments are usually served on the side depending on how spicy you and your friends want to make it.

Tuck into this steaming broth of goodness after a Tai Chi and Laughing Yoga session in Hanoi on our Pho, Fun and Sun trip, or try and cook this famous noodle broth for yourself with our local recipe, here.


Bobotie in the Cape

Babotie

Bobotie

Due in part to its location on the coast and its history of settlement and colonisation, you’ll find that South-African cuisine is influenced by the Dutch, French, Malaysian, and indigenous cultures. Bobotie, pronounced 'ba-boor-tea', is considered to be the national dish of South Africa and a firm favourite with the locals. Bobotie may sometimes be likened to moussaka, but bobotie is usually much less creamy and has a spicier kick than the traditional Greek recipe. And when you’re in Cape Town, rest assured there’s no shortage of places to try bobotie.

This all-time favourite sweet and spicy dinner staple consists of spiced mince, and egg-based milk topping with white breadcrumbs that are added to the mixture. The dish has a sweet taste, a Cape Malay influence, and it includes curry paste, ground coriander, turmeric, traditionally served with rice and tangy mango chutney.

Reuben Riffel, one of South Africa's most lauded chefs and a Western Cape native, explains that bobotie is a nostalgic dish from his childhood. "This was always the most comforting dish for me growing up," he says. "It represents the love of my mother. There is nothing as thoughtful and special as when someone gives you something that they know very well you love, especially when it's food, and time is spent to make it as delicious as possible."

Make this sweet and spicy dish for you and your friends here, or tuck into it on our Cabernet and Capers in South Africa after an active morning sandboarding down the Atlantis Dunes.

 

If these delicious recipes have inspired you, why not try the real thing for yourself on one of our Exodus Edits trips.

Trips You Might Like

Pho, Fun & Sun in Vietnam

Invigorate your senses on a jaunt around the cities and countryside of Vietnam.

Suitable for:
Age 30s and 40s
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
10 Days from £1,349
Guided
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