You’ve recently moved abroad but feeling a little homesick, so you’ve decided to prepare one of your favourite dishes from back home. Except there’s a problem – there’s a key ingredient that isn’t available, so what do you do?
Luckily we’ve come to the rescue: check out our selection of affordable alternatives for exotic foods:
1. Berbere. A central ingredient to many Ethiopian dishes, berbere is a hot spice blend that works best when sprinkled over barbecued meats. Used primarily to season slow-cooked wats (stews), it is known as the key condiment to one of the most famous dishes in African cuisine, Ethiopian Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew. An easy and affordable way to replicate berbere is to use cayenne pepper.
2. Achiote paste. This traditional Mexican paste has a tangy and somewhat bittersweet taste, found commonly in Central American and Mexican food. What’s interesting is the fact that achiote paste contains an essential ingredient which is pretty hard to find – and that’s annatto seeds. They can usually be bought in Chinese food shops, but if you want to substitute achiote paste then simply mix together 1 ½ tablespoons of paprika, ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin, ¾ teaspoon of dried oregano, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one minced garlic clove.