Taste travelling

THE BOOK: Street Food, published by Ryland Peters & Small.
THE BOOK: Street Food, published by Ryland Peters & Small.
While international travel is not an option for us at the moment, there is still the chance to experience the flavours of the world through food.

Street Food features recipes of dishes you could pick up in markets, street-side cafes or foodie festivals anywhere in the world.

The flavours and aromas of different foods attract people and provide an insight into the food traditions of the country.

This book enables the cook to plan a foodie adventure of their own, creating some of their favourite and authentic ready-to-eat or portable snacks, treats and lunchtime bites from various parts of the world.

There are recipes from the Americas (Mexico for a tasty fish taco or New York for hot chicken wings), Europe (Greek filo rolls, Spanish paella, Italian pizza), Africa and the Middle East (baklava from Turkey, tagine from Morocco, falafel from the east) and Asia (Japanese ramen, pad thai from Thailand, bao buns from China and samosa from India).

 

PHOTO: SUPPLIED
PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Jollof rice

An African classic, this tasty one-pot of rice, tomatoes and chicken is an example of hearty comfort food that’s making its way across the world street food scene.

Serves 6

450g tomatoes

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

4 chicken breast fillets, chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

½ red (bell) pepper, chopped

1½ cups long-grain rice, rinsed

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 cup green beans, topped, tailed and sliced

2 Tbsp tomato puree/paste

1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chilli, finely chopped

350ml chicken or vegetable stock

a pinch of salt

To garnish

chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

Begin by scalding the tomatoes. Pour boiling water over them in a heatproof bowl. Set aside for 1 minute, then drain and gently peel the skin using a sharp knife. Roughly chop, reserving any juices, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish set over a medium heat. Add the chicken and fry, stirring, for a few minutes until lightly browned on all sides; season with a little salt and remove with a slotted spoon.

Put the remaining oil in the casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic and (bell) pepper and fry, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juices, cover, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and then.

Add the fried chicken, rice, carrot and green beans and mix in the tomato puree/paste. Add the Scotch bonnet or habanero chilli, pour in the stock and season with salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 25-30 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.

 

PHOTO: SUPPLIED
PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Sizzling crepes with pork and prawns 

This dish is a street food favourite of many Vietnamese - it is a light savoury crepe made with rice flour and coconut milk, to be eaten as it’s being cooked. it is served with an abundance of salad leaves and herbs.

Everything should be prepped in advance so the crepes can be eaten as soon as they are done.

Makes 12

Dipping sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

5 Tbsp fish sauce

3 Tbsp sugar

Crepes

1½ cups rice flour

2 tsp ground turmeric

400ml coconut milk

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

a pinch of sea salt

a pinch of sugar

cooking oil, for frying

4 shallots, chopped

200g pork belly, thinly sliced

400g king prawns/jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined

3½ cups bean sprouts

sea salt and black pepper

Garnishes

lettuce leaves

spring onions, cut into short lengths

coriander/cilantro

Thai sweet basil garden or hot mint

Equipment

a 20cm non-stick frying pan with a lid

For the dipping sauce

Mix together the garlic, chillies and vinegar in a bowl. Set aside for 2 minutes.This cooks the garlic. Now add the fish sauce, sugar and 400ml water.

To make the crepes

Mix together the flour, turmeric, coconut milk, 400ml water, spring onions, salt and sugar in a bowl, making sure it is smooth and free of lumps.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the frying pan over medium heat and fry 1 teaspoon of the chopped spring onions until browned. Season the pork belly and prawns/shrimp with salt and pepper and add a few pieces to the pan until cooked through.

Using a shallow ladle, pour in a thin layer of the crepe batter, add a handful of bean sprouts and cover the pan with the lid. Let cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional minute, making sure the crepe is crispy and brown.

Fold in half and set aside. Repeat with the remaining spring onions, batter and other ingredients to make several more crepes.

To eat: Break a piece of crepe on to a lettuce leaf, add the spring onions and herbs, roll it all up and dip in the sauce.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED
PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Kofta masala

Koftas have many names depending on what they are made from. When it comes to a street food trailer, the name will also depend on where they are being served — the festival trend is for puns these days, so there’s every chance you’ll be asked ‘‘dude, where’s my kofta?’’

Serves 4-6

Kofta masala

1 cup cashew nuts

2 bottle gourds, peeled and grated

3 cups gram flour

2 large red chillies

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

a large handful of fresh coriander/cilantro

1 tsp chaat masala

1 tsp salt, or to taste

vegetable oil, for shallow-frying

To serve

steamed basmati rice

Masala sauce

2 aubergines, roughly chopped

1 tsp salt, or to taste

2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra to grease

2 onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp ginger paste

1 Tbsp garlic paste

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or ½ tsp chilli powder and 1½ tsp paprika)

4 small green chillies, finely chopped

2 400g cans chopped tomatoes

1 tsp garam masala

1 heaped Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (or ½ bunch of fresh leaves, roughly chopped)

Equipment

a baking sheet, greased

Method

Toast the cashew nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Put the grated gourds in a colander and drain the excess liquid, squeezing to remove as much water as possible. Put the flour in a bowl and add the chillies, cashews, ginger and garlic pastes, fresh coriander/cilantro, chaat masala and salt. Add 1-1½ cups of water to form a thick paste. Taste the paste and add more salt, if necessary.

Half-fill a frying pan with oil and place over medium heat. Wet your hands and form the mixture into 16-18 balls each about the size of a golf ball. In batches, gently drop the koftas into the oil and fry until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen/paper towels.

Heat the oven to 220degC.

To make the masala sauce

Put the aubergines on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle over the salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes until browned. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ginger, garlic, spices and fresh chillies, then fry for 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and garam masala. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until thickened.

Add the aubergines and simmer for 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Add the fenugreek and stir well. Season with more salt, if needed. Add the koftas and simmer gently, being careful not to break the koftas. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

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