As lockdown across the world persists, the itch for travelling continues. But in place of traveling, many people have made their way to their own kitchens for a little comfort cooking. From sourdough bread to TikTok’s very own ‘dalgona coffee’, we couldn’t seem to keep away from our ovens and stoves for very long. And although taking on these projects can be fulfilling in their own way, they don’t really help satisfy our craving for travelling. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of recipes that will take you around the world without having to even leave the comfort of your own home. And as the chilly weather starts sweeping through the northern hemisphere, we’ve specifically picked out recipes that are hearty and comforting; like a warm, fluffy blanket on a plate.
Suitable for vegetarians | Difficulty Level: 5/10 | Recipe
First on the list is Greece’s take on spinach pie. Just the idea of it sounds comforting; warm spinach and feta cheese encased in flaky, freshly baked phyllo pastry. The ingredients are quite simple, which gives you plenty of leeway to find good quality sources for each ingredient to really make your rendition pop. This recipe also just happens to be a well loved family recipe from Suzy of ‘The Mediterranean Dish’, which is a good sign already. But don’t take our word for it, give it a try with a simple salad on the side and have your mind blown at how simple yet amazing this dish is.
Valencian Arroz Al Horno
Suitable for gluten free diets | Difficulty Level: 6/10 | Recipe
This Spanish-Valencian dish is paella’s cousin on steroids. The main differences between this and paella is that Arroz Al Horno is typically baked in the oven using a clay casserole. The ingredients used in this dish are also much more varied and include different cuts of pork, beans or chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, rice, and potatoes. This recipe by Natacha Sanz Caballero is one that her mother used to cook for her when she was growing up, which is a pretty good indicator for deliciousness. And the whole process is as easy as frying everything up, simmering everything down, chucking it in the oven and enjoying the waft of smells floating through your home. Once it’s done, you can easily serve up this one pot meal in whatever dish you cooked it in. Honestly, serving dinner doesn’t get much easier than this.
Suitable for Gluten Free diets | Difficulty Level: 6/10 | Recipe
To call this hearty Indonesian dish a curry would be an oversimplification. Rendang is one of the many iconic dishes found in the world’s largest island country. You can find other versions with different meats such as chicken and even water buffalo, but a classic version such as this one will utilise beef. It’s slowly cooked in a mixture of creamy coconut cream and an abundance of herbs and spices. This particular recipe also uses toasted unsweetened grated coconut to add just that extra layer of flavour that’ll bring this dish to a whole other level. Rendang is usually served with a side of rice and your choice of vegetables.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
Suitable for Gluten Free diets | Difficulty Level: 4/10 | Recipe
Tagine is one of the first things that pops into people’s heads when they think of Morocco. It is actually named after the vessel it is traditionally cooked in. Tagine is a slow cooked stew made with your choice of meat, vegetables, and fruit. In this case, Felicity Cloake’s recipe uses lamb shoulder to create what she thinks is her version of the perfect lamb tagine. She also uses dates, dried apricots, and almonds to give it an extra kick of sweetness and texture. This tagine is once again one of those dishes that will make you feel all warm inside, both literally and figuratively.
French Cherry Clafoutis
Suitable for vegetarians | Difficulty Level: 7/10 | Recipe
Nobody does desserts like the French, and it’ll be pretty hard to be more French than to enjoy a warm clafoutis during a nice, cool evening. Although cherry season might have passed, you can easily replace fresh cherries with frozen ones. Or replace the cherries with a whole other fruit altogether. Sure, it might be breaking some rules but we promise we won’t tell anyone. This recipe – by one of the world’s most renowned French chefs, Raymond Blanc – will help you finish up any meal on a sugar high. And if you somehow manage to hold back and leave some leftovers, just heat them up for a sweet start to your mornings.
The world may seem bleak right now, and we might not be back to travelling the way we used to anytime soon. We can’t promise you that these recipes can fully satisfy your itch for travelling, but we can tell you that they’re guaranteed to be delicious, hearty, and full of pure comfort. So give these a try and you never know, maybe if you close your eyes and imagine hard enough you can start feeling the warm summer sun wash through you.