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Main: Nasi Lemak
Dessert: Mango with Sticky Rice

Nasi Lemak is an ethnic Malay favourite, with Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore all laying claim to its origin. Spicy anchovy sambal with Crispy Fried Turmeric Chicken and Coconut Rice, served on banana leaves. With a lack of fresh banana leaves in supermarkets, I’ve started harvesting banana leaves myself. Firstly at neighbours’ places but now from trees growing in (semi) public areas.

I used this Mango with Sticky Rice recipe for dessert.

Next Up: Bulgaria.

Main: Churrasco, Creamy Aji Verde, Potato salad, Chimichurri and Smokey Tomato Capsicum Sale with Pão De Queijo

Dessert: Quindim

I was pretty excited to take on Brazil. Decided to go all in with a Churrasco BBQ featuring a two day marinated beef, three sauces, potato salad and Pão De Queijo, which is a tapioca flour cheese bread. A lot of effort but worth every morsel. The cheese bread is the bomb, eaten straight out of the oven, it is soft and squishy and the perfect accompaniment to the BBQ.

For dessert I decided to make Quindim, which is a crazy yellow baked coconut custard. Almost totally bombed it as the recipe below said 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Turns out after checking other recipes it should have said 40 minutes so I decided to try and rebake it rather than start again and luckily it set, although not as well as I would have preferred. The trade off though was some amazing caramelisation of the base, an unexpected side effect of double cooking it.

Next up: The extremely challenging Brunei.

Pumpkin Soup recipe from Botswana

The national dish of Botswana is Seswaa, a shredded beef stew. But we had beef yesterday and tomorrow I have a Brazilian BBQ planned so I decided to go vegetarian for tonight’s meal.

I found this really complex Botswanan Pumpkin Soup recipe to try. When I say complex, it has three times the ingredients of any pumpkin soup I have ever made. Sweet potato, potatoes, apples, mushrooms, cumin, paprika, sage, thyme, cinnamon, etc. I served it in the pumpkin shell from which I made the soup. The whole family loved it. Christopher smashed the leftovers.

Main: Burek and Feta Salad

Desert: Tufahije

Burek is the Bosnian version of a meat pie. It involved layers of filo pastry which gave me a chance to reuse the skills I learned cooking Austrian studel. No idea why I thought making filo from scratch was so intimidating as I’ve really started enjoying it. The meat and potato filling is rolled in layers of paper thin pastry.

I decided to do a dessert tonight as well, and Tufahije was the bomb. Apples stuffed with walnuts and cooked in a vanilla sugar syrup. Devine!

Next up: Botswana

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