7 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can Make ...

It’s good to know some recipes for easy exotic meals. Incorporating recipes from different cultures in your diet is the opportunity to try wonderfully different and new ingredients that continue to get easier to buy. When you know some easy exotic meals, it opens you up to adventure and testing your palate so you may even find yourself in search of more complicated recipes involving unusual or uncommon ingredients.

1. Easy Lentil Dahl

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This is one of the easy exotic meals that tastes so much better than you can ever imagine. For anyone who claims to not like lentils, I advise them to give this a try. You never knew lentils could taste so good. Delicious with some naan bread as a main or as a side with protein.

Ingredients to serve 4
• 8 oz red lentils
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 onion
• 1 tbsp sunflower oil
• ¼ tsp salt
• Coriander (optional)

Bring the lentils to boil in 800 ml of water (no more!). A few minutes after it starts to boil, skim off any scum then add turmeric and salt. Turn down the heat and cook on low for 15 minutes until the lentils have the consistency of a thick soup. In a skillet, heat the oil and add the cumin. Leave on a very low heat while you peel and finely chop the onion. Then add the onion to the skillet and cook until golden brown. Add the onions to the lentils but do not stir. Cover lentil pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir and serve. Chop fresh coriander to sprinkle on as a garnish.

2. Summer Rolls

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Summer rolls are the perfect warm weather meal either at home or on a picnic and are fun to make too. Once you get the hang of this easy recipe and the rolling, you can start with your own combinations. You can ramp these up quite simply with some fresh shrimp or shredded chicken or pork.
Ingredients for 10 rolls
• ½ packet rice or glass noodles, cooked as per instructions
• 12 rice paper wrappers
• 10 Bibb lettuce leaves
• 10 fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup finely shredded carrot
• 1 cup cucumber cut into thin strips (Persian cuces are best)
• 1 cup bean sprouts
Put 1 inch of warm water in a large shallow bowl. Dip 1 sheet of rice paper into the water until it is soft and moist (5-10 seconds). Put the sheet onto a chopping board. Put 1 lettuce leaf and 1 basil leaf in the center of the sheet, followed by one-tenth of each the noodles, bean sprouts, carrot and cucumber (now is the point to add any extras). To make the roll, first fold the edge closest to you over the filling. Fold over the 2 sides so the only open side is the one away from you. Now roll tightly from the front to close the roll. Press seam down and seal with some warm water if necessary. Put aside and cover (lightly damp kitchen paper is good.) Repeat until you have 10 rolls. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

3. Chawan Mushi

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Not many easy exotic recipes are found in Japanese cook books. Despite their simplistic looks, Japanese dishes rely on complex flavoring. A nice easy one packed with flavor however, is Chawan Mushi
Ingredients to serve 4
• 2 cups water (warm)
• 2 tsp instant dashi powder
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped salted and roasted cashew nuts
• 4oz lump crab meat
• 4 shitake mushrooms
• 1 scallion
• 3 eggs
• Steamer basket
Firstly remove the caps from the mushrooms then slice them very thinly. Cut the scallion into thin matchsticks. Dissolve the dashi powder in the warm water in a bowl, whisking until it is dissolved. Allow the sediment to settle and then pour the clear dashi through a tea strainer into a jug. Crack the eggs into a bowl and blend the whites and yolks together with a pair of chopsticks. Add the dashi and stir and transfer the mix back to the jug, again through a tea strainer (or fine sieve). Share the cashews between 4 shallow bowls followed by ¼ of the dashi mix. Wrap each bowl in plastic. Sit gently in the steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 14-18 minutes until the mix is set. Remove from steamer and put in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. When ready to serve, take the plastic wrap off, and divide the crab, mushrooms and scallion between the 4 bowls. Serve.

4. Fish Teriyaki

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Teriyaki is the perfect glaze for a salmon fillet or a chunky piece of cod or any meaty flaky white fish.
Ingredients to serve 4
• ¼ cup light brown sugar
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• 1½ tbsp cornstarch
• 3 tbsp rice vinegar
• 4 chunky fish fillets
Preheat the broiler. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of cold water. Put the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and dissolved cornstarch into a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil whisking until the mixture thickens to form a glossy glaze (about 2 mins). Dip each fillet in the glaze so it gets a good coating. Put each fillet on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put the fish under the broiler until it is cooked through, basting with extra glaze 2-3 times. When cooked, transfer to plates and drizzle with any remaining glaze. Serve as you like!

5. Curried Pear Slaw

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If you want an interesting and tasty side dish to go with a grilled, lean protein, you can’t go wrong with this. It’s such a sexy alternative to standard slaw! I like to use a bright red pear with skin on.
Ingredients to serve 4
• 1tsp sugar
• 2 tsp curry powder
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup sour cream
• ½ head Napa cabbage
• 1 firm crisp pear,
• 1 carrot
• ¼ medium red onion
• ¼ cup chopped fresh flat parsley
First make the dressing by combining together the vinegar, sugar and curry powder in a bowl. Then add the sour cream and mix. Next prepare the slaw mix. Shred the cabbage, thinly slice the onion and julienne (cut into thin strips) the carrot and the pear. Toss together in a bowl with the parsley. Pour on the dressing just before serving and toss to coat. Season with rock salt to taste and serve.

6. Lychee and Cucumber Salad

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This is one of my favorite easy exotic recipes – it’s perfect for summer and hot days. And I just love lychees. I often replace the cilantro with fresh mint, but not too much as it overpowers the delicate lychees and cucumber.
Ingredients to serve 4
• 2 cups fresh lychees
• 1 English cucumber
• 2 red chilies
• 3 springs cilantro
• 2 limes
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• Kosher salt
Deseed and chop the chilies. Peel the lychees, pit them and cut in half. Pick the leaves off the cilantro and finely chop the stems. Zest and juice the limes. Cut the cucumber in half along its length. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon then cut into ¼ inch chunks. Put cucumber in a bowl with lychees, chilies and cilantro stems. Add the vinegar, lime zest, lime juice sugar and a good pinch of salt to the bowl and toss to combine. When ready to serve, garnish with the cilantro leaves.

7. Chickpea Curry

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Packed full of nutrients but rather bland in flavor on their own, you can really zjoosh up chickpeas with curry seasonings. And you can go as hot as you like with the curry.
Ingredients to serve 4
• 19 oz can chickpeas
• 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
• 1 tsp sunflower oil
• ½ onion
• 1 carrot
• 1 garlic clove
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 4 fresh plum tomatoes
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp sugar
• Salt
Peel and chop the carrot and the onion. Finely chop the garlic clove. Chop up the tomatoes. Put the oil in a sauté pan on a medium heat then add the onion and sweat until translucent. Add the garlic and the carrot to the pan and stir. After 2-3 minutes add the curry powder and mix well. Add just a splash of the stock to deglaze the pan and then add the tomatoes and the chickpeas. Stir together and then add the rest of the stock. Bring the pan to a simmer and then cover. Cook for 10 minutes until the peas are tender. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Serve.

I hope you give these simple recipes a try. Do come back and tell us how you got on.

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