Nov 17, 2021

Toss Out the Turkey: 5 Cultural Holiday Dishes to Try This Year

Thanksgiving is a holiday for any food lover, regardless of national origin. The holiday is a significant part of American culture, and thankfully, it’s a marvelous excuse to gain several pounds in one sitting. Your typical modern-day Thanksgiving feast might include turkey, ham, corn, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and a heavenly pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Since Travisso is mainly inhabited by people from all across the world, it only makes sense that we also indulge in enticing international holiday dishes on our Thanksgiving plates.

Need an idea for dishes to be added? Travisso’s got you covered – here are 5 diverse holiday dish ideas that your family or guests are sure to enjoy.

5 International Holiday Dishes & Recipes

international holiday dishes

1. Doro Watt

Spelled in many different ways, Doro watt is a chicken stew that will warm up even the coldest Thanksgiving days. Although it’s a traditional Ethiopian dish, this stew is a great way to ease people into African cooking as it closely resembles many Americanized stews in terms of texture and appearance. However, it’s spicier and includes whole hard-boiled eggs.

Generally, the recipe for Doro watt requires chicken, lime juice, hard-boiled eggs, chicken stock, dry red wine, ginger, cardamom, spiced or unsalted butter, and berbere or chili powder. It’s often served on top of injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread, which soaks up a lot of the stew’s juices. This alternative recipe included below will be sure to have the entire table feasting.

Doro Watt Recipe

Ingredients:
– 3 lbs chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces, or 3 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 2 tbsp niter kibbeh
– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 3 cups minced yellow onions
– 3 tbsp butter
– 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
– 1 tbsp finely minced ginger
– 1/4 cup Ethiopian berbere
– 1 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup Tej Ethiopian honey wine or white wine mixed with 1 tsp honey
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 4 hard-boiled eggs pierced all over with fork about 1/4 inch deep
Instructions:
1. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour lemon juice over. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat the niter kibbeh or butter along with the olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and saute, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon butter and continue to saute, covered, for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the berbere and the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter and saute, covered, over low heat for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the chicken, broth, salt and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Adjust the seasonings, adding more berbere according to heat preference. Add the boiled eggs and simmer on low heat, covered, for another 15 minutes.
7. Half or quarter the eggs and arrange on the plates with the stew. Serve hot with injera, bread or rice
Add this holiday dish to your table

2. Tandori Chicken

Wildly popular in India and parts of Asia, tandoori chicken is a great way to add some extra zing to your Thanksgiving meal. Plus, it’s a great alternative to Turkey since you don’t have to constantly baste it. Tandoori chicken is a tad spicier but less saucy than turkey, and its flavor comes from a light marinade applied to the meat’s surface.

To cook top-grade tender, spicy tandoori chicken, you’ll need plain yogurt, onions, garlic, and a smattering of herbs and spices typically used in Indian cuisine, such as cilantro, turmeric, cumin, and ginger. If you’re interested in shaving down calories and fat from the meal for your guests, you can always use non-fat yogurt a well.

Tandori Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
– 2 lbs chicken thighs
– 3 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
– 1.5 tsp Coriander powder
– 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
– ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
– ½ tsp Fresh Black pepper
– Salt to taste
– ¼ cup Mustard oil
– ¼ cup Thick yogurt
– 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 2 tbsp butter
Instructions:
1. Using a sharp knife, make 2-3 slits.
2. Heat oil. It should be medium hot, not smoking hot. If the oil is too hot, it will burn the spices instantly.
3. In a bowl add all dry spices, stir in hot oil and mix. Let it sit for 5 mins, for the flavors to infuse.
4. Add yogurt, ginger-garlic paste and lemon juice. Whisk everything well.
5. Add chicken pieces to the yogurt mixture, rub the marination well, cover and let it marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
6. Take marinated chicken out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking it.
To Cook in Oven:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F (180 C).
2. Prepare a baking tray lined with foil. Place a grill rack on top.
3. Shake off extra marination from the chicken, Arrange on prepared rack.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or Until done.
5. After 20 minutes, take it out of the oven, brush with melted butter. Put it on the top rack and broil it for 5 minutes at 400 F or until charred mark appears.
To Cook on Grill:
1. Preheat a grill to 425 degrees. Clean grill grates.
2. Grill chicken for about 10-12 minutes. Flip the chicken, brush with melted butter. Cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the center of thickest part registers 165.
To Cook on Stovetop:
1. Heat a grill pan or cast iron pan on the stovetop. Grease the pan lightly with a brush.
2. Arrange the chicken ( First topside / Skin side) down. Cook it for 10 minutes on medium heat.
3. Flip, brush with melted butter and cook for another 15 minutes or clear juice run down from the sides.
Try other holiday dishes

3. Latkes

During the holidays, latkes are one of several delicious holiday dishes on most dinner plates. Also known as Levi Vogt In Hebrew, this dish is fried in hot oil; if you’re looking for a simple but mouth-watering addition to your Thanksgiving palette, that’s a perfect choice. Made of the simplest ingredients, you can make latkes with shredded potato and onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, or matzo. Deep fry it in hot oil, and you have yourself some delicious latkes.

Latkes Recipe

Ingredients:
– 2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut lengthwise into quarters
– 1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and cut into quarters
– 2 large eggs
– ½ cup all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
– 1 tsp baking powder
– ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  – Safflower or other oil, for frying
Instructions:
1. Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel and squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible.
2. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
3. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, pour in about 1/4 inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), use a heaping tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot pan, cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flatten and shape the drops into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
holiday dishes from around the world

4. Lasagna

No matter what part of the world you’re in, it’s no secret that Italian cooking is wildly popular. This is particularly true in the U.S., where there seems to be an Italian eatery on every corner, thriving the pizza business. One of Italy’s most famous dishes, lasagna, is an excellent addition to any Thanksgiving table, regardless of the eaters’ national origin. Even people who are picky when it comes to ethnic cuisine aren’t likely to turn down a fresh pan of lasagna.

Be sure to pick up lasagna noodles, ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, Italian sausage or ground beef, the makings for homemade tomato sauce, and a genuinely authentic recipe to turn out the best lasagna possible. Cooking this dish will not only enhance your typical Thanksgiving menu, but it’ll also help you learn about other cultures. 

Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients:
– 1 lbs sweet Italian sausage
– ¾ lbs lean ground beef 
– ½ cup minced onion 
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed
– 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
– 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
– 2 (6.5 oz) cans canned tomato sauce
– ½ cup water
– 2 tbsp white sugar
– 1 ½ tsp dried basil leaves
– ½ tsp fennel seeds
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– 1 ½ tsp salt, divided, or to taste
– ¼ tsp ground black pepper
– 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
– 12 lasagna noodles
– 16 oz. ricotta cheese
– 1 egg 
– ¾ lbs mozzarella cheese, sliced
– ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Instructions:
1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one-half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
other holiday dishes to try

5. Baklava

Last but not least, Baklava is a Mediterranean treat that will complement anything on your Thanksgiving dessert menu. Its flavor is enjoyable but definitely not too overpowering. It’s made with layers of phyllo pastry soaked in butter, chopped nuts, and mouth-watering spices. The sticky concoction is baked and drenched in sweet syrup, which fills every layer of the pastry. A general recipe for baklava includes nuts, butter, phyllo pastry, sugar, and honey. However, it might be the most challenging dish to create out of this list. Of course, you can also pick some up from a specialty bakery.

From savory main dishes to sweet desserts, each of these cultural dishes brings a unique twist to this wonderful season. With the holidays also just around the corner, make sure to print out the recipe for each of these holiday dishes to enjoy with your family!

Baklava Recipe

Ingredients:
For the baklava-
– 25–30 sheets of phyllo dough
– 17 oz. walnuts, chopped (or a mix of walnuts, pistachios and almonds)
– 2 tsp cinnamon powder
– 2 tsp grounded clove
– 10 oz butter, melted
– some whole cloves for garnish (optional)
For the syrup-
– 20 oz sugar
– 14 oz water
– 2.8 oz honey or glucose
– zest of 1 lemon or orange
– 1 cinnamon stick
Instructions:
1. To prepare this Greek baklava recipe, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat, being careful not to burn it. Use a cooking brush to butter the bottom and sides of a baking pan. (For this baklava recipe you will need a large baking pan approx. 15×12 inch. Begin by layering the sheets of phyllo on the bottom of the baking dish to form the base. Layer the sheets one at a time, making sure to sprinkle each one with melted butter. Use about 10-12 layers for the base.
2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped nuts, the cinnamon and grounded clove. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the phyllo base and continue forming the top of the baklava. Top the nuts with the rest phyllo sheets (10-15 of them), sprinkling each one with melted butter and brush the top of the baklava with enough butter. You could also try adding some of the filling in between layers of filo.
3. Place the baklava in the fridge for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut into pieces. Remove from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut all the way down into pieces. If you fancy the taste of clove, place one whole clove into the middle of each baklava piece and sprinkle the top with some cold water.
4. Place the baklava in preheated oven at 300F on the lower rack (both top and bottom heating elements on) and bake for about 1 1/2- 2 hours, until all the phyllo layers are crisp and golden.
5. Prepare the syrup. Into a small pot mix all the ingredients for the syrup (except honey) and bring to the boil. Boil for about 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Take it off the heat and stir in the honey. Let the syrup cool down. You can also put the syrup in the fridge. As soon as the baklava is ready, ladle slowly the cold syrup over the hot baklava, until it is fully absorbed.
6. Let the baklava cool down completely and serve after the syrup has soaked throughput.