Ready to try some new flavors? My kids have been protesting turkey as a holiday main dish this year. That’s all well and good. But what to do instead? Let’s broaden our culinary horizons with holiday recipes from around the world!
In the past, our family has hosted holiday meals for international friends. But we’ve always been focused on sharing OUR traditional holiday foods. That’s been fun, but this year we’re planning on having a potluck instead. We want to invite our guests to bring foods that are beloved in their home countries and introduce us Americans to new flavors, spices and textures.
Here’s some recipes from around the world to get you (and us) started:
From the Congo: Muamba Nsusu by arousingappetites
More than just recipe, this blogger shared an in-depth look at the history BEHIND this holiday recipe. It’s a great read to get a better understanding of some of the issues that have led to today’s refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And the Moambe Sauce. That’s something you can’t buy at your local grocery store…
At the heart of this chicken, peanut and palm oil stew is the moambe or mwambe sauce. The sauce is made with palm oil and serves as the basis for a multitude of West African dishes. Muamba nsusu is a recipe that leverages this moambe sauce to create a more stewy soup or curry also flavored with peanuts, chickens and various vegetables.
Get the full recipe at the arousingappetites blog.
Pe-Ni-Lay Kyar-Zan Hin-Cho (Red Lentil Soup) from Burmalicious by Suu
I absolutely love lentil soups. Taking this healthy classic and giving it a Burmese twist is a perfect way to get an easy introduction into the amazing flavors of Burmese cuisine. Those bean thread noodles are a whole new level of texture & flavor in this holiday recipe!
Crispy curry leaves and garlic chips are much more than garnishes here; they instill great warmth, essence and character to the soup through a method of tempering, which is a final flavoring magic at the end of cooking.
From Afghanistan: Afghani Pulao from Munatycooking
Walnuts, raisins, carrots, garam masala and chicken combine in this festive Afghani dish! Muna explains that it’s usually reserved for special occasions in Afghanistan. I’m so glad she’s sharing it with us. Just looking at the combination of spices confirms that this is a mouth-watering recipe:
Walnuts are a delicious and versatile ingredient that added flavor, crunch and depth to this dish. Having walnuts as garnish has made this Afghani delight come to life…
Get the full recipe over at Muna’s cooking blog
From Nepal: Peda Milk Cakes by Boss Nepal
Now it’s time for dessert. Let’s head to Nepal for a unique sweet that doesn’t have to be so, well, sweet. This traditional Nepali dessert uses easy to find ingredients – other than ghee, which has a substitute – so what about bringing this holiday recipe to the next cookie exchange? Boss Nepal shares a bit of the history of the Peda:
Originally, it was made purely out of khuwa (milk solid) and used very less or absolutely no sugar, however, these days, people mix sugar to make it sweet, sometime too sweet which results in losing its authentic taste.
Get the full Peda recipe at Boss Nepal
That’s a small round-up. We’d love to hear some of your favorite world recipes too! The more unusual (at least for Americans) the better. And if you want to decorate your kitchen or table with world textiles that reflect several of these cultures, head to our Journey Home Kitchen Collection for products made by and/or supporting refugee women in North Carolina.