A traditional tagine is a North African dish named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It’s a slow-cooked stew that typically includes a combination of meat, vegetables, dried fruits, and a mix of aromatic spices. I first ate this in Paris when I was a student. The accompanying sauce was the spiciest I had eaten at that point in my life.Since then, I have been to North Africa, with trips to Egypt, Somaliland, Tunisia and Morocco. It was in Morocco where I had my best tagines, which is why this recipe has a Morrocan flavour. We […]
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Batu Ferringhi is a beach resort northwest of George Town on Malaysia’s Penang Island. It is known for water sports and seafood restaurants. We ate steamed fish in a seafood restaurant offering a choice of live seafood from its aquariums. After choosing a live fish from a tank, we waited for it to be cooked, knowing that it could not be fresher. After dinner, we visited the night market.This steamed fish dish is commonly known in Malaysia as “Ikan Siakap Tiga Rasa.” “Ikan” means fish, “Siakap” refers to the type of fish (often snapper or sea bass), and “Tiga […]
Eight months before my son was born, I was working on a project in Colombia. One evening, my local host took me and the team to a Parrillada in the hills overlooking Bogata. The meat was awesome, but the salsas that accompanied the meat were mind-blowing. This is one of those salsas.Here’s a recipe for Hogao, as commonly prepared in the Bogota region of Colombia:
In South American cuisine, aji is the name for both a variety of chilli peppers and fresh salsa made with these peppers. This Colombian recipe is known as salsa de aji picante, and it features two jalapeno peppers, making it pretty spicy. Eight months before my son was born, I was working on a project in Colombia. One evening, my local host took me and the team to a Parrillada in the hills overlooking Bogata. The meat was awesome, but the salsas that accompanied the meat were mind-blowing. This is one of those salas.
Chengdu Kung Pao chicken, also transcribed Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, garlic, peanuts, vegetables and chilli peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan province of southwestern China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. The first time I enjoyed this dish in Chengdu was in 1987; it consisted of cubes of chicken, whole garlic cloves, peanuts, and red chillis stir-fried together in more or less equal quantities. I had arrived in Chengdu after a 63-hour train journey from Guangzhou. After having to eat the good but plain food served on the train, this was an assault on my senses. After […]
Taking the train from Bangkok in 1987, my good friend Nitza and I travelled down to Penang, in Malaysia. The journey took us through a verdant landscape dotted with small villages surrounded by paddy fields. One of the most memorable aspects of the journey was the Thai Blue Swimmer crab curry served in the buffet car – spicy, delicious and a million miles away from the ubiquitous stale British Rail cheese sandwich. Cooked in a huge wok in the tiny galley next to the buffet car, this was a symphony of flavours in every bite, with the sweet, spicy, and […]
Somaliland, a self-declared independent state, is known for its rich culinary traditions, often incorporating locally available ingredients such as camel meat, which is a staple in many dishes. One of the popular dishes featuring camel meat is “Hilib Ari,” a traditional Somali grilled camel meat recipe. My visit in December 2019 also taught me not to try camel milk before a long journey. My hosts suggested it would have had a laxative effect. When we got back from the long drive from Hargeisa to Berbera (and back), I tried camel milk tea and noticed no particular ‘side effects’.
My good friend Nitza introduced me to Mexican food in San Diego in 1988. Compared with Mexican food I had tried in Europe, it was delicious. This is my take on the ‘San Diego fish taco’.
Penang steamed fish is a delightful dish that is not only healthy but also bursting with flavors. Penang is a state in northwest Malaysia, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is comprised of two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city of George Town is located, and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula. Known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” Penang is famous for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant culinary scene, and beautiful landscapes.The state is renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, which reflects a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Some of […]