Cameroon is Africa’s beating heart, a beautifull country with active volcanoes, white sand beaches, thick rainforest and memorable parched landscapes broken up by the bizarre rock formations of the Sahel. So Cameroon has basically everything you expect Africa to have. There are both French and English regions in Cameroon, btw have I mentioned the rest of the 230 local languages they in Cameroon! In contrast with it’s neighbours Cameroon enjoys stability. The infrastrucuture is great, so traveling in Cameroon is safer and easier then in many other parts of Africa.
Here are some fun facts about Cameroon
- Masks of people there carrying different messages are a very important part of their culture.
- Cameroon is the first African country to reach the quarter-final in soccer world cup.
- Cameroon is home to the second wettest place in the world, Debuncha at the foot of the Cameroon mountains records annual rainfalls of 400 inches (10,000mm), this is about 20 times the annual rainfall recorded in England. (and here I was thinking I lived in a rainy country)
- The name Cameroon (also Cameroun in French) is derived from Rio de Camarões (the River of Prawns) the name given to River Wouri by Portuguese Explorers in the 15th century due to its abundance of prawns and crayfish.
So this week I made Kati Kati or African Grilled Chicken! It was a delicious weeknight meal and I served it with spinach.
Ingredients: 3-4 pounds of chicken, skin- on cut up into desired pieces, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon bouillon powder (you may replace with salt),
Ingredients sauce: 2 fresh tomatoes, , ½ cup water or more as needed, chicken bouillon to taste
Manu Dibango is one of Cameroon’s most renown musicians.
Exactly 1 year ago I started this blog!!!!! Not my Around The World project but the blog itself is 1 year old! You can’t see it in the archives because I switched I have been looking forward to this for soo long! I absolutely love Brazil and not just because I have some really really awesome friends living there. Who I met during my gap year in Spain. I went to Brazil when I was 14 with an international summer camp called CISV. I immediately fell in love with Brazil: I love the language, I love the vibe on the street, I love the music, I love the people, I love the weather and I love the food! Eventhough I have only been to 1 city Brasilia, I still loved it! Okay enough about me loving Brazil! Here are some reasons why you should totally visit Brazil!
- The world’s best beach – according to TripAdvisor – is Baia do Sancho, in Brazil. Here, 21 islands form a marine park that draws divers from far and wide to see green and hawksbill turtles, whales, lemon and reef sharks, clownfish, anemones and parrotfish.
- Tours of Brazil’s favelas, have become popular in recent years. Among the most famous is colourful Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro.
- With 82 per cent of its population tracing their ancestry back to the days of slavery, Salvador is described as “the biggest African city outside Africa”.
- The amazing Amazone rainforest is located in Brazil!!! The biggest rainforest in the world.
- Fishermen in Laguna, in the southeast of Brazil, are able to use dolphins to help them catch dinner. The animals will herd fish towards waiting nets, even flicking their head to indicate that the trap has been set.
So because of the anniversary of my blog I made these delicious pao de queijo! I have been dreaming about them since the first time I tasted them! So here is how you make them! The texture of pao de queijo is chewy. Chewy, cheesy and delicious.
This recipe makes 16-24 cheese breads.
Ingredients: 1 large egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2/3 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cup of tapioca flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin (this makes about 16-24 little breads so if you don’t have a muffin tin large enough, you can just make separate batches after the first ones come out). In a blender, combine the egg, oil, milk, flour and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender once or twice. Add the cheese and process for just a short bit, 5-10 seconds or a few short pulses, until the cheese is in small bits all throughout the batter. Give the batter a good stir to get any solids off the bottom and pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin filling the cups nearly to the top. Bake the pao de queijo until very lightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown on the bottom or they will be too crusty and not as chewy. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for just a minute or two. They are best eaten warm! Don’t worry if the cute little puffs fall a bit in the middle – that’s completely normal.
So recipe number 2 I made coxinhas they are little chicken croquets chapped in a tear because they are so good that they make you cry! The salsa I made to accompany the coxinhas is to die for! My dad now eats it on toast because he loves it that much! The salsa recipe make a lot of salsa because I use it for other food aswell! I got this recipe from sorted food by the way!
Ingredients salsa: 8 tomatoes, 1 red chili, 1/2 red onion, 5 sprigs fresh parsley, 5 sprigs of fresh coriander, 1 pinch of sugar (I used stevia), 1 pinch of salt, 1 shot of white wine vinegar.
Grab a saucepan and place the chicken breasts in. Cover with the chicken stock and heat to a boil. Reduce the temperature and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked. Remove the chicken to cool slightly and boil the stock to reduce by half, then strain the stock to save for later. Strip the chicken into very fine strips and mix with the cream cheese, juice of the lime and plenty of finely chopped coriander. Season the chicken mixture well and leave to one side. Heat 250ml of the chicken stock in a pan and add in the flour, stirring continually and beating well until it thickens and is smooth. (This will be very stiff) Cook over a heat for a minute, then transfer to a bowl to cool. Mould a golf-ball sized piece of the dough into a flat, very thin disc in your hand. Spoon a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into the middle and carefully bring the dough up around the chicken to form a dome. Pinch the top to seal the chicken in and remove any excessive build up of dough at the top. Dunk the tear-drop shapes into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs to coat. Leave the coxinhas to set for an hour if you have time. Heat some oil to 170°C in a fryer or a half-filled pan, but never leave it unattended. Fry them for 3-4 minutes until golden all over. Blitz the tomatoes, de-seeded pepper, onion, coriander, parsley, salt, sugar and vinegar up in a food processor to form a course salsa. Adjust the salsa to taste and serve alongside the golden coxinhas. Makes 12
So the 3th recipe is FEIJOADA obviously! it is the national dish of Brazil!
Ingredients: 450 g of dry black beans (I apparently took red beans, they were so dark that they looked black, but it tasted good anyway so no problem!), 4 tbsp olive oil, 450 g pork shoulder cut into chunks, 2 large onions sliced, 5 cloves of garlic, 3 fresh sausages, 3 smoked sausages, 3-4 bayleaves, water, 1 can crushed tomatoes, salt.
Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit overnight. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes. Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half. Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours. Serve with rice and veggies.
And now for the dessert
Ingredients: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons butter, chocolate sprinkles
In a small sauce pot combine the sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and shiny and starts to pull away from bottom and side of sauce pot. The mixture is going to get thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth. Pop the pot into the fridge for at least a half an hour to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, place the sprinkles in a shallow bowl. Rub some softened butter onto your hands and scoop out rounded teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place on a platter.
Makes 2 or 3 dozen brigadeiros, depending on how big you make them.
Bangladesh a country where the difference between rich and poor is incredibly large. Apart from that Bangladesh also has a lot of positive things.
Here are some things you didn’t know about Bangladesh:
- The worlds largest beach is located in Bangladesh
- It is immature to smile a lot. Hence the Bangladeshis tend not to smile much. (This would not be a country for me)
- Women love to be as colorful and shiny as possible! It is their everyday life to wear colorful saree or saluar khamiz with matching shining earrings, necklaces, bracelets, make up and shoes. Yes, everyday! Whenever you step out your home, you need to look as good as possible, because others are looking at you, you know?
- There are two typical questions that people ask each other every day: “What did you eat? Did you take a shower?” Here everything is about eating! (I can relate to this, the first question my little brother used to ask in the morning was: Mom what’s for dinner tonight?) They eat a lot and in every meal there are lots of items on a table. And because it’s hot here, people sweat, so personal hygiene is very important.
I already love curry but this was extreme!
Ingredients: 1 kg chicken pieces, washed, 2 large onions, finely chopped, 1 1/2 tbsps ginger garlic paste, 1 large tomato, chopped, 1 tsp red chilli pwd, 1/4 tsp turmeric pwd1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste, 2-3 tbsps oil, chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Dry roast: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1″ cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 5 tbsp grated fresh coconut, 8 cashew nuts, 1 tbsp roasted chickpeas
Roast: (in 2 tsps oil for 5 mts) 6-8 curry leaves, 8-10 shallots/sambar onions, 4 green chills, 3 tbsps chopped coriander leaves, 15 mint leaves
Make a paste of ingredients under ‘dry roast’ and ‘roast’ by adding a few tbsps of water and keep aside. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add curry leaves and saute for few moments. Add the chopped onions and fry till transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3 mts. Add red chilli pwd, turmeric pwd and salt and combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 mts. Add the ground paste and cook over medium heat for 7-8 mts. Add lemon juice and the chicken pieces and combine. Cook without lid for 5-6 mts. Add 3 cups of water and cook with lid on simmer till the chicken is tender and the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Turn off heat. Serve with rice
Bahrain is know as the island of one million palmtrees, ancient sights lead the eye to the modern skyline filled with skyscrapers nowadays. It is a land of contrast. The name Bahrain comes means 2 water probably because the sea around Bahrain is so special, fresh water bubbles up from underground springs straight into the sea. A lot of ancient legendes are about the mysterious water springs.
and the first country in the Middle East to discover oil in 1932.
Here are some more facts about Bahrain:
- Many people believe that Bahrain is the Garden of Eden from the Bible (You know the place where Adam & Eve lived)
- Four-fifths of the population lives in cities, the majority in Manama which is the capital and the largest urban center. That city stands on a seabed, parts of which were recently reclaimed from the water.
- Only 1 percent of the land is fertile, the country is unable to produce enough food for its population and relies almost entirely on import
- Political parties are prohibited, but there are several small underground leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups.
- While arranged marriage is still common, the bride and groom often have a chance to meet before they marry. While it was traditional for girls to be married at twelve or thirteen years of age, they now tend to wait until they have finished their education and have a job. Upon marriage, a sum of money is paid to the bride by the groom’s family. (Well a least they are trying).
Ingredients: 2 large onions, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 1/2 table spoon baharat (ingredients and recipe below), 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, combination of chicken thighs, legs and breasts, 1 hot green chile, seeded and diced1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced, 5 large cloves or garlic thinly sliced, 2 large roma tomatoes diced, 2 or 3 limes sliced, 5 cardamon pods, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2½ teaspoons salt, 2½ cups chicken stock, 2 cups basmati rice (soaked for at least 15 minutes, then rinsed and drained), 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Ingredients Baharat (you can buy baharat in a jar, but I had everything so I just made it myself): 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, ¼ teaspoon green cardamon seeds, 1 tablespoon paprika powder, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Set the paprika and nutmeg powders aside. Place all remaining ingredients (whole seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves) in a small frying pan and dry roast over medium-high heat, tossing regularly to prevent scorching, for 3-4 minutes or until very fragrant. Transfer to a spicegrinder and let cool. Add the paprika and nutmeg and grind all the ingredients to a fine powder. Store left over baharat in an airtight jar.
Recipe Chicken Machboos
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and fry the chicken pieces on both sides until the skin is brown and crispy. Transfer the chicken to a plate and leave the remaining oil in the Dutch oven. Add the ghee (or butter), reduce the heat to medium, and fry the onions until starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chile pepper and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the baharat and turmeric and cook for another minute. Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven along with the tomatoes, limes, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour. Add the cilantro, parsley and drained rice and stir to combine. Return it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the rice is done and has absorbed the liquid. Transfer the chicken and rice to a serving dish (either leave the chicken pieces tossed in with the rice, or place the chicken on top of the rice)
1. Afghanistan: Rice Pilav with Lamb, Carrots, Raisins and Chicken kebabs with Cilanto Garlic Yoghurt Sauce
The first country mentioned in my book is Afghanistan. To be honest I don’t really know anything about Afghanistan except for the obvious things that show up on the news.
- So I looked up some fun facts about Afghanistan!
- Poetry is a big part of Afghans’culture and it has been for centuries. In the city of Herat, women, men and children gather on Thursday night to share verses from old and new poetry.
- Afghanistan’s national sport is Buzkashi (no idea how it is pronounced), or in other words, goat-grabbing. It’s a sport where the players in two teams try to catch a goat while riding on a horse. They have been playing it for centuries. Nowadays there even are sponsors involved.
- The main income of the local people in Afghanistan is from the agricultural sector. Many people plant their farm with rice, fruit, veggies and nuts. Some of their crops are exported too.
I had no idea what the Afghan kitchen entailed. My starting point was Google (obviously). It quickly became clear that Pilaf is their national dish but that everyone makes it in their own way, so I tried to combine all of them. I was at my parents house when I made this, and my family loved this dish. When I told them that I was going to cook Afghan food they were a little worried. But fortunately they were pleasantly surprised when this came to the table! If anyone has any suggestions, opinions, critisisms or maybe you make this dish in a different way (or maybe i’m doing it completly wrong) please let me know, because I want to learn how to do it the right way! I found all the recipes on!
Rice Pilaf with Lamb Carrots and Raisins (for 7 people) Ingredients:3 cups of basmati rice, 1 medium onion, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 cups of water, 2 large carrots, 1 1/2 pounds of boneless lamb shank cut into thumb size pieces, raisins to taste. Wash rice in several changes of cold water until the water becomes almost clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 1 hour, then drain well in a sieve. While the rice soaks, fry un onion in oil in a large casserole pan. Pat the lamb dry and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of salt. Add to the onion and brown on all sides about 8 minutes total. Add 1 cup of water and bring to simmer. Cover pot and reduce heat to ,ow, then braise lamb stirring occasionally, until meat is tender about. 15 minutes. Stir in the drained rice, carrots, raisins and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add enough water to cover the mixture by 1 inch and bing to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat, until rice is tender and liquid about 20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer pilaf to a large platter. Chicken Kebabs Ingredients: 1/4 cup of greek yoghurt, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 6 garlic cloves minced, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 3 chickenbreasts. Equipment: Metal skewers Whisk together yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add the chicken, stirring to coat. Marinate, covered and chilled at least 4 hours ( the recipe said 8, but I didn’t have the time, so I marinated them as long as possible). Thread pieces onto the skewers. and put them on BBQ or grill pan. Cilantro Garlic Yoghurt Sauce (for the chicken kebabs) Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of greek yoghurt, 3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, 4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Stir together all ingredients with 1 teaspoon of salt, then chill, covered at leaf 30 minutes (for flavors to blend)
Great movie about Afghanistan: The Kiterunner (2007)