Part two of the meals I would love to try in their true homeland will focus on some well known national dishes. I can't guarantee that I'll love them but I know I am willing to try each at least once.
Borscht - is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color. In some countries, tomato is used as the main ingredient, while beetroot acts as a secondary ingredient.
Kabsa- is a family of rice dishes that are served mostly in Saudi Arabia — where it is commonly regarded as a national dish — and the other Arab states of the Gulf.
These dishes are mainly made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually long-grain basmati), meat and vegetables. There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it. Pre-mixed kabsa spices are now available under several brand names. These reduce preparation time but may have a flavour distinct from traditional kabsa. The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste; these are generally black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves andnutmeg. The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat, such as chicken, goat, lamb, camel, or sometimes beef, fish, and shrimp. In chicken machbūs, a whole chicken is used. The spices, rice and meat may be augmented with almonds, pine nuts, onions and raisins.
Meat for kabsa can be cooked in various ways. A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. Another way of preparing and serving meat for kabsa is mathbi, where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. A third technique, madghūt, involves cooking the meat in a Pressure cooker.
Moussaka - Most versions are based primarily on sautéed eggplant (aubergine) and tomato, usually with minced meat. The Greek version includes layers of meat and aubergine topped with a white sauce/Béchamel sauce and baked. Turkish musakka, on the other hand, is not layered. Instead, it is prepared with sautéed aubergines, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and minced meat. It is eaten with cacık and pilaf. There are also variants with zucchini, carrots and potatoes. It has three layers: a bottom layer of sauteed aubergine slices; a middle layer of cooked ground beef cooked with onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, herbs, and spices (cinnamon, allspice and black pepper); and a top layer of béchamel sauce or egg custard. The composed dish is baked until the top layer is browned. Moussaka is usually served lukewarm
Tom Yum - literally, the words "tom yum" are derived from two Tai words: "tom" and "yam". "Tom" refers to boiling process (soup, in this case). "Yam" refers to a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad. Thus, "tom yum" is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Indeed, tom yum is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers.
Jollof Rice - The dish consists of easy cook or basmati rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, onion, salt, spices (such as nutmeg, ginger, Scotch bonnet (pepper), cumin) and chili pepper, to which optional ingredients can be added such as vegetables, meats and fish.
The cooking method for Jollof rice begins with using oil to fry finely-chopped onions, tomatoes and ground pepper (plus any other optional seasoning); adding stock; and then cooking the rice in this mixture so it takes up all the liquid. The rice takes on a characteristic orange colour from the mixture. It can be served with cooked meat, chicken, fish,or vegetables separately on the plate or they can be stirred in at the end. It is often served with fried plantain and salad.
Optional ingredients can include garlic, peas, thyme, African nutmeg, tea-bush leaves, partminger (an herb of the basil family), and/or curry powder
As many countries as there are there are meals I would love to try. This is by no means the final installation in this series... keep your suggestions and comments coming please.