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Local Food – Main Dishes, Part 2

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VEGETARIAN DISHES.

Chicken Cafreal, Goa, India

Contributed by Ashok Doshi (whl.travel Goa)

A favourite dishes in Goa is chicken cafreal, a spicy chicken made with onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, chilli, mace and fresh coriander leaves

One of my favourite dishes in Goa is chicken cafreal, a spicy chicken preparation consumed widely in Goa. The dish originated in the Portuguese colonies in the African continent and was then introduced into the Goan cuisine by the Portuguese. Ingredients include onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, chilli, mace and fresh coriander leaves.

Recipe for Chicken Xacuti
1 kg chicken
1 tsp. salt
20 flakes garlic
5 inches ginger
½ bunch coriander leaves
4 green chillies
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 large coconut, grated
4 large onions, sliced
oil
8 Kashmiri chillies
3 cinnamon sticks
2 cardamoms, peeled
1 poppy flower (dagarful), remove seeds
½ nutmeg
2 tbsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp. aniseed (baddixep)
1tsp. poppy seeds (coscos)
1 mace (potri)
2 tbsp. ghee
4 large onions, chopped
10 flakes garlic, chopped
2 tsp. peppercorns
20 cloves
6 tomatoes, cut into quarters

Clean the chicken and cut it into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Grind the next five ingredients and sprinkle over the chicken.
Take a frying pan and roast the grated coconut along with the sliced onions until light brown. Grind to a thick paste and keep aside.
Heat one tablespoon of oil and roast the chillies lightly. Transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, lightly roast the next six spices. Mix with the roasted chillies.
Next, if necessary, sprinkle a little oil in the pan and lightly roast the coriander seeds, mace, aniseed and poppy seeds.
Grind all the roasted spices together to a fine paste.
Take a large pan and then melt the ghee, fried onions and garlic until tender.
Add the marinated chicken, cover the pan and cook until tender.
Mix the spice paste and coconut paste into the meat. Cook for about 10 minutes. 
Add tomato quarters and simmer for five minutes.
Serve with lemon slices

Learn more about food and cuisine in Goa, India.

Maito de Tilapia in Quito, Ecuador

Contributed by Hugh Yarbrough (whl.travel Quito)

A popular local dish is maito de tilapia, which is tilapia (a freshwater fish) wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked over an open fire

A popular local dish is maito de tilapia, which is tilapia (a freshwater fish) wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked over an open fire.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Quito, Ecuador.

Pad Thai in Bangkok, Thailand

Contibuted by Jub Yata (Bangkok Urban Adventures)

Pad thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes. It is stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, and any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken or tofu, all garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments.

Pad thai is one of Thailand's national dishes

There are two different styles of pad thai: the dry, light version sold on the streets of Thailand, and the version commonly found in restaurants in the West, which is heavier and oilier.

Pad thai literally means ‘Thai-style stir-fried noodles’ and, for a dish to be so named in its own country, clearly suggests an origin that isn’t Thai. Indeed, noodle cookery in most Southeast Asian countries was introduced by the wave of immigrants from southern China that settled in the region last century. They brought with them rice noodles and their ways of cooking them. During the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Field Marshall Pibul, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy, looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the operation of noodle shops.

Detailed instructions on how to make the noodles and recipes were printed and distributed all around the country. From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country and have since become a widespread staple food. Pad thai is now one of the world’s favourite noodle dishes, and luckily it’s easy to make at home with these delicious pad thai recipes. Choose from chicken pad thai to shrimp or vegetarian pad thai. They’re all chewy-sticky wonderful.

Recipe for Pad Thai
1 (6.75-ounce) package dried rice vermicelli
3 cups ketchup
½ cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. smooth peanut butter
hot chilli paste (optional)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups bean sprouts
2 green bell peppers, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts, chopped

Soak rice noodles in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ketchup, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, curry powder, peanut butter and chilli paste. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for about five minutes, or until juices run clear.
Add the green peppers and sauté for a minute.
Move the chicken and pepper to one side of the pan and pour in the eggs. Cook eggs, stirring constantly until firm and scrambled. Then stir in the chicken and peppers.
Add shrimp and pour in ¼ of the ketchup mixture, along with bean sprouts and noodles.
Mix and cook for a few minutes until the shrimp are pink.
Add the remaining sauce and cook until heated through.
Garnish with green onions and chopped peanuts, and serve.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Bangkok, Thailand.

Assorted Dishes in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia

Contributed by Jo Crisp (Phnom Penh Urban Adventures & Siem Reap Urban Adventures)

Local favourites include:

+ Cambodian curry, which is often served with chicken, but always extremely tasty and generally not too spicy;
+ Beef Lok Lak, thinly sliced barbecued beef with pepper sauce, sometimes served with a fried egg on top;
+ Barbecued dishes where strips of meat are cooked on a small dome-shaped barbecue on your table while your vegetables and noodles simmer away below.

Beef Lok Lak is thinly sliced barbecued beef with pepper sauce, sometimes served with a fried egg on top

Cambodian people often visit a hammock bar at the weekend with their family to relax, drink and eat, and sometimes to listen to local music or to sing karaoke songs. Cold drinks, tasty local food, a hammock to snooze in and usually a great view are all part of the experience.

To find these local gems in Siem Reap, you can head out toward Tonle Sap Lake, where these bamboo platforms stand high above the rice fields. In Phnom Penh there are also a number of them lining the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Whether you find peace and tranquillity or join in a local party you are guaranteed to have an interesting and very different experience.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Cambodia.

Cochinita Pibil in Yucatan, Mexico

Contributed by Lindy Coberly

This is a traditional Yucatecan slow-roasted pork dish

This is a traditional Yucatecan slow-roasted pork dish. To make it, you marinate the meat in citrus juice and annatto seed, wrap it all in banana leaves and roast it in a grill in the ground. You can choose to roast the entire pig this way or just use certain parts, the best meat or the skin from the animal.

There are also bars found all over Mexico that serve ‘free’ food as long as you are purchasing drinks. Called botanas, they are usually not enough for a meal. Here in the Yucatan, botanas are small tacos, chips with salsa and beans, flautas or other small, traditional dishes with each beer or cocktail purchased.

Lampuka in Malta

Contributed by Marco Attard (whl.travel Malta)

The lampuka is Malta’s most popular autumn fish, with its delicate and coveted meat ready to be prepared in a variety of ways. The lampuka season, which starts at the end of August and runs well into November, brings out early-morning hawkers with their typical cry of “lampuki Ħajjin” (which means ‘lampuki alive’), plying their fresh wares to the Maltese housewives.

The lampuka is Malta’s most popular autumn fish, with its delicate and coveted meat ready to be prepared in a variety of ways

This particular fish, also known as the dorado or mahi-mahi, migrates past Malta and Gozo during the late summer and autumn. The local fishing technique used is rather particular. Palm fronds are cut and woven into flat rafts, which are then taken out to sea by the fishermen aboard their luzzu boats. The raft is put into position and left a while. Once the sun is high in the sky, the frond rafts create a lovely shaded area, which the lampuki find hard to resist. Sheltering under it in large shoals, the lampuki are then quickly caught with surrounding nets, to be then sold early next morning on the Maltese market. This method, known as kannizzati, has changed little over the past two millennia.

Lampuki make an excellent dish, whether fried, made into soup, baked into pies or simply grilled. Each method brings out a truly delectable taste of this versatile fish. A great place for buying some freshly caught lampuki is during the early morning market in Marsaxlokk or from the numerous street hawkers that roam the localities across Malta and Gozo.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Malta.

Cuy al Horno in Cusco, Peru

Contributed by Fernando Carrasco (whl.travel Cusco)

Peruvians eat approximately 65 million of these cuddly guinea pigs each year.

One of the most popular dishes in the Andes is baked or fried guinea pig (cuy al horno). Research carried out at the archaeological sites of Machu Picchu and Pisaq shows that guinea pigs have been an ingredient in special dishes for festivities since Incan times. Actually, cuy (as local people call this animal) is very popular throughout the Andes and can be eaten baked or fried, and served with Andean potatoes and fried stuffed Andean chilli, as in the picture.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Cusco, Peru.

Chicken with Figs and Lemon in Corfu, Greece

Contributed by Sandra Broedner (whl.travel Corfu)

Chicken with figs and lemon in Corfu, Greece

This is my favourite local Corfiot food and here is the recipe:

Recipe for Chicken with Figs and Lemon
1 chicken, cut into pieces
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. thyme
1 tbsp. ground cumin
salt, fresh pepper
1 big onion, cut in small slices
olive oil
1 cup dried (or better fresh) figs (or even more…)
2 cups Port wine (or even more…)
1 cup large pecan pieces
grated zest and 2 spoons of fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Warm up the olive oil in a pan. While that heats up, flavour the chicken parts with salt and pepper, and then brown the chicken parts for about 3-5 minutes per side. Don’t put too many chicken pieces in the pan, otherwise the chicken will be steamed.
Put the nicely browned and crusted chicken into a roasting tray and add the spices.
Put the onion slices and figs between the chicken pieces. Pour in the Port wine.
Cover the roasting tray and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the cover and bake it for another 20 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces and bake it again for 20 min.
Mix the lemon zest and juice in the pan juice and bake it, covered, for another 5 minutes or until the chicken meat is very soft.
Before serving, sprinkle the chicken pieces with the pecans.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Corfu, Greece.

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+ THIS IS PAGE 2 OF THE MAIN DISHES SECTION. CLICK HERE FOR PAGE 1.
+ GO TO THE
LOCAL FOOD MAIN PAGE.
+ GO TO THE NEXT ‘LOCAL FOOD’ SECTION:
VEGETARIAN DISHES.