Week Two- A taste of Germany

Karttofelpuffer with gurkensalat, topped with berry sauce

Karttofelpuffer with gurkensalat, topped with berry sauce.

This week I decided to pay homage to my heritage by attempting to create a German meal. I don’t have an affinity for schnitzel or bratwurst so  I chose a simple recipe from home: gurkensalat (cucumber salad) with karttofelpuffer (potato cakes).

Having been to Germany, I can attest to the fact that potatoes are used in almost everything. Coming from a German household, i grew up accustomed to eating German meals quite often. German meals are typically very hearty and consist of few fruits due to the country’s climate. Pork, beef, and poultry are most commonly consumed and meats like rabbit can also be found in certain regions of the country. In the north, certain species of fish are also commonly eaten such as pike and carp. In my opinion, mustard is probably the only “spice” you’ll ever get out of German food, usually dishes are fairly mild.

Ingredients for karttofelpuffer:

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • pure canola oil

Directions for karttofelpuffer:

  • Chop potatoes and onion into tiny pieces, set aside
  • Combine eggs, flour, and salt in a small bowl, stir
  • Pour oil into frying pan over medium heat
  • Mix potato/onion mixture with egg/flour/salt mixture
  • Using a 1/2 measuring cup, scoop some potato onion mixture into frying pan and flatten it into a pancake
  • Cook the cakes for 1.5 minutes on both side taking care not to separate the mixture
  • Remove from stove and serve immediately

Ingredients for gurkensalat:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • a sprinkle of pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

Directions for gurkensalat:

  • Slice cucumber thinly
  • Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and sour cream
  • Mix cucumber and vinegar mixture until watery
  • Marinate for about 15 minutes
  • Drain liquid
  • Sprinkle pepper over cucumbers and serve

Some other German dishes you may want to try:

  • Apfelstrudel
  • Eintopf
  • Kasespatzle
  • Rote grutze
  • Sauerbraten
  • Brezel
  • Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte
  • Schnitzel
  • Wurst

http://www.expatica.com/de/essentials_moving_to/country_facts/German-cuisine_17759.html

Week One- Revisiting India/ Welcome!

Welcome to Around The World in 80 dishes! I’ll be making a dish once per  week for eight weeks; the dishes will be from various parts of the globe giving you all a taste of the world. Stay tuned for more dishes, but for now here is my first!

Curry chicken over a bed of white rice, garnished with banana.

Curry chicken over a bed of white rice, garnished with banana.

I’ve never considered myself domestic by any means; up until today I had never independently cooked something that didn’t have the words “Ready to Eat in 3 Minutes or Less” emblazoned across the package.

For my first endeavor, I decided to try making Indian cuisine, a personal favorite.

A dish that requires little prep time and minimal cooking experience, Curry Chicken is actually much easier to make than one might expect. My roommates approve.

In 2013 I spent the majority of my summer traveling through India. From my experience, the cuisine of India is vast and unlike that of any other country. Not only does Indian food vary by region, it also varies according to culture and religion. As cows are considered sacred to their religion, many Hindu Indians are vegetarians, however it is not uncommon to come across an Indian who will eat chicken. In southern parts of India dishes are filled with spices such as curry and ginger. As you travel further north you will realize that dishes become more hearty. The harsh climate of Northern India requires many food ingredients to be storable for long periods of time. Lentils are extremely common, as well as Naan bread, which requires few ingredients and little preparation. Rice is served at every meal in most parts of India.

My ingredients:

  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup of white rice (I would have secretly preferred basmati rice)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

Directions:

  • Cook rice according to package directions and place aside
  • Heat oil in small pan over medium heat, add onions and cook for 7 minutes
  • Pour in curry powder and stir for 1 minute
  • Lower stove temperature and add cream, yogurt, tomato, and salt.  Simmer for 3 minutes
  • Serve chicken, rice, and sauce together.

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-curry-hurry-10000001586856/

Some other Indian dishes you may find worth trying:

  •  Butter Chicken – Chicken marinated overnight in yogurt and spice mixture, cooked with a special Makhani sauce made of Butter, tomato puree and various spices.
  •  Palak paneer – A popular vegetarian dish consisting of Palak (spinach) and Paneer (cottage cheese) in a curry sauce.
  • Chole-Bhature – Is a combination of Chole (spicy chick peas) and fried Indian bread called Bhatoora (made of maida flour).
  • Dal makhani –Lentils and beans traditionally cooked in a tangy masala with dollops of fresh cream added to give the rich finishing touch. My personal favorite.
  • Aloo gobi– Is a dry Indian dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices.
  • Biryani ( veg & non Veg) – A set of rice based food made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables.
  • VindalooA gravy curry dish of Lamb goat or other meats.
  • IdliDosaVada– Indian breakfast made of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice accompanied with sambar (a vegetable stew or chowder based made with toor dal and tamarind).
  • Malai Kofta – Malai refers to cream and the kofta are deep fried veggie balls together blend in a creamy Indian saucy curry.