Belarus - Draniki
Recipe from https://www.babushkacooking.com/draniki-potato-pancakes/
Draniki (translated as "shredded") are shallow fried potato fritters, which would be fairly described as the Belarusian cousin of hash browns, latkes or rosti. The recipe for them is very simple, just shredded potato, bound with egg and seasoned with salt, then fried in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Some recipes call for the addition of garlic, which I added here, though this is very much a to taste thing. Eaten as a side dish or regularly as breakfast, they are commonly paired with sour cream and herbs (I had some leftover dill which I used here). I served with sausages, fried onions and carrots (as per suggestion from https://www.belarus.by/en/about-belarus/cuisine/draniki).
Namibia - Pap
Rcipe from https://www.cheroldinecooks.com/post/pap-and-wors
Namibia's national dish is pap, which is hydrated and cooked cornmeal, which in this case was cooked to a stiff, polenta like consistency. As this doesn't make for a particularly exciting meal on its own, I followed a recipe for "Pap and wors", ie pap and sausage, cooked in a homemade tomato sauce with a bit of a chili kick. Unfortunately the dish was not much of a looker outside of the tin I cooked it in, but was an incredibly indulgent and tasty dish.
Recipe from https://thewoksoflife.com/pork-larb/
A sttrong contender for my favourite dish so far, Laos's larb is another pretty simple, but very tasty dish. Larb is ground pork cooked with various flavours typical of south east Asia: lime, chilli, fish sauce, sugar, shallot, spring onion, coriander and mint. As with many dishes of nearby regions, it is a fairly complex balancing act between sweet, sour, salty and umami, but when done correctly is absolutely delicious. I served with coconut sticky rice and garnished with mint.
Chile - Pastel de Choclo
Chile's Pastel de Choclo was a dish that honestly confused and slightly scared me when I first read about it. This is a dish that contains
Hard boiled eggs
That's a lot of flavours. The corn is roughly blended up along with cornmeal, butter, milk and basil to create a topping for the beef mince underneath, which is cooked up with the spices and onions and then mixed through with the other additions. The topping is then sprinkled with sugar to encourage caramelisation. The result of all this is a very interesting flavour profile, and one that is undeniably quite sweet due to the corn and raisins. I think this is a dish I'd really like to try an authentic version of, as I'm not entirely sure I did it justice.
South Sudan - Ful Medames
Recipe from https://tasteofsouthsudan.com/ful-medames-sudanese-fava-beans/
Fava beans, or as we call them in the UK, broad beans, are cooked until soft and mashed to make South Sudan's national dish of Ful Medames. The beans are seasoned with cumin and topped, according to the recipe I followed, with tomato, red onion, feta, rocket and optional hard-boiled eggs. The toppings made this a very fresh and vibrant dinner, which I think offset the very filling beans really well.