Tag Archives: recipes

More, please! Meals at our Madurai Site

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India, bustling and beautiful, offers countless historical and cultural experiences. Colourful clothing, rich history, and new connections are just some of the amazing things you’ll discover as a visitor. One of the most important, captivating, and diverse things about India is it’s incredible cuisine.

Characterized by regional ingredients and rich flavours, Indian cuisine is a highlight to locals and visitors alike. Dishes vary regionally due to the availability of ingredients, customs, and preference.

Our Madurai site is located in the region of Tamil Nadu, India. Locals hold the historical belief that serving food to others is an important service to humanity.

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Rice, legumes, and lentils are common staples throughout Tamil Nadu, and nearly every meal is served with a side of rice. Vegetarian and meat-based dishes are both equally as common. Some of the most popular meats are chicken and fish, while tamarind and coconut are used to flavour to vegetarian dishes. Some meals are traditionally served on banana leaf to add flavour and visual appeal, especially for special occasions. There’s so many unique dishes and variations- much too many to list!

Masala (a spice blend) is commonly used to add a fiery, complex flavour to dishes. Masala contains a variety of spices such as coriander, curry, cumin, ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, and nutmeg. Masala in the Tamil Nadu region is always freshly ground. There’s no one recipe for masala- usually, it’s an individual household secret!

On a visit to our Madurai Sponsor site, we got the incredible chance to sample their cuisine first-hand. Families at St. Theresa’s Primary School held a food fair, where they prepared their favourite dishes for the elementary school’s staff and Canadian visitors. They were excited to share, and we were equally as excited to taste!

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Families proudly hung colourful posters with names and explanations so visitors could learn more about the dishes. Some of the most popular dishes were biryani (spicy rice,) dosas (savory pancakes,) sambar (a thick, lentil based stew,) Meen Kozhambu (hot and sour fish stew,)  and Masala Vada (crispy fritters.) You could feel the pride and effort that went into preparing the food in every bite.

No meal is complete without dessert. We finished the food fair with a traditional pairing of tea and other desserts, including Boorelu (sweet, deep fried balls flavoured with coconut and cardamom.)

Want to try your hand at a few of these delicious dishes? We’ve gathered some simple recipes you can make in your own home (to find some of the more uncommon ingredients, check the international section of your local grocery store):

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Traditional Kenyan Stew

 

Cook with Chalice brings traditional recipes from our sponsor sites around the world to you. Learn authentic recipes rooted in history that you can make in your own home.

On a mission trip, our videographer, Kate, had the opportunity to watch the preparation of a hearty, traditional Kenyan stew. This simple, filling lunch is easy to prepare and is a staple in many Kenyan diets. Kenyan stew is usually made with what’s on hand, so feel free to add some of the optional ingredients if you have them in your pantry.

Traditional Kenyan Stew

1/2 kg beef or goat meat, cut into bite sizes

4 tbsp vegetable oil                 

1 large red onion, diced

3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced

2 cups of soup stock or water

Salt, to taste

1 cup white or brown rice, prepared separately

Greens to saute, prepared separately

Optional:

  • * ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • * 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • *  1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • * 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

Directions  

  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat
  2. Saute meat in oil over medium heat until lightly browned
  3. Dice red onion and fry with meat for 5-7 minutes until tender, stirring frequently
  4. Dice tomatoes and add to the stew, stirring well
  5. Season stew liberally with salt (for less sodium, 1/2 tbsp)
  6. Slowly add soup stock or water
  7. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until desired consistency

Separately:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rice to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.
  • In a small frying pan, saute fresh greens (kale, spinach) and other desired vegetables with 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.

Serve Traditional Kenyan Stew over plain rice and with a side of sauteed greens. Enjoy!

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