There’s nothing quite like the excitement of sampling delicious flavours from all around the world. Whether it’s a beautiful steak-frites in France or the amazing Thai restaurant in town, we reckon trying international dishes is one of the greatest joys of life!

While international travel and eating out are not options, there’s a great opportunity for trying new things at home. From Indian to North African, there are plenty of ways to get some of the flavours of international cuisine into your food with just a few tricks – it won’t be as authentic, but it should hit the spot! If you’re stuck in a WFH cooking rut, shake up your midweek mealtimes and give these a go.

1. Get Your Spices Right

A good blend of spices is the key to getting that incredible flavour in Indian-inspired dishes. But not all curry powder is created equal! Experiment with different blends and check the backs of packets to find one that’s right for you. You don’t necessarily need to buy pre-made either – mix up your own blend using coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, ground ginger and pepper. And if you’re making your own, you can make it as hot or as mild as you like.

Try the Cheat’s Chaat from the ‘Streetwise’ Meal Pack!

2. Stock Up Your Store Cupboard

Love Asian food? Well, the good news is that you can achieve similar flavours at home with ingredients that are probably already in your store cupboard! Sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and mirin are great essentials to have on hand for midweek cooking. Soy sauce and mirin are ideal for upping the flavour in your stir fries, marinades and teriyaki sauce, while fish sauce is pretty much obligatory in Thai and Southeast Asian curries. 

Try the Chinese-Inspired Crispy Tofu from the ‘Fakeaway’ Meal Pack!

3. Buy From Speciality Shops

The world food aisle in most big supermarkets will have the key staples for international cooking. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for, try checking out a speciality store instead. Speciality shops are also good for bulk buying spices and frozen items like lemongrass or limes leaves for your curries – they’re as good as fresh and much much cheaper! Plus, you’ll discover new things you’d never find in the supermarket.

4. Pick Up Some Pastes

While we’re all for making our own, there are some amazing pastes out there that’ll really get some international flavours into your cooking. 

  • Love the smoky flavours of North African food? A good harissa paste will help you out. Rub the Tunisian chilli paste on grilled meat and fish, add to roasted vegetables or mix it into tagines.
  • Want some of the sweet, spicy, umami taste of Korean cooking? Try gochujang paste for incredible ribs and stews, or chuck it in cabbage for a quick version of kimchi.
  • Craving the tangy, fresh and fiery kick of Southeast Asian dishes? Grab some Indonesian sambal oelek and whack it in stir fries and noodle dishes, or get it in your marinades, dips and sauces.

Try the Carrot + Chickpea Tagine from the ‘New Directions’ Meal Pack!

5. Get Saucy 

There’s a whole world of amazing sauces out there, and some of them can be easily recreated at home. Spicy curry? Whip up a cooling Indian-style raita with a simple combo of Greek yoghurt, cucumber, mint and spices. Juicy steak? Freshen it up with an Argentinian-inspired chimichurri using fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, chillies and red wine vinegar.

Try the Chimichurri Broccoli + Polenta from the ‘Saucy Classics’ Meal Pack!

Want more fresh recipe ideas?

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