Food is a universal love language, and as a food lover, I enjoy finding out new recipes from all over the world.
I think is fun to be a bit creative and “exotic” in the kitchen. So today I bring you a list of recipes, ingredients, and foods that start with the letter I.
Table of Contents
Ah, the Aussies! Relaxed, fun-loving and quite chill, this country is perfectly represented by the iced vovo – a tea-time snack. This biscuit is an adorable pink, and the shredded coconut and raspberry refresh you right back up. Because it is not found overseas, it’s truly an Aussie goodie!
Ethiopians love their flatbreads because they go so well with their stews that pack a flavourful punch. The injera is not mild flavored or hard, like many others, but has a sour taste and spongy textured. Because it is so popular and loved, this is the national dish of Ethiopia. Now you must try it!
Sometimes condiments steal the show! The iru, eaten by the Edo and Yoruba people of Nigeria, is a condiment made from locust beans, oilseeds, and legumes. Not only is it popular to eat by itself, but it is also used in a variety of other beloved dishes: ogbono soup and ewudu soup!
Nigerian cuisine is known for food globe trotters cannot find anywhere else! The isi ewu is a common dinner meal that is served in practically every restaurant. It is essentially spicy goat head boiled whole. Of course, classic Nigerian spices are used: red palm oil, ehu, and potash!
Who doesn’t love porridge for breakfast? Certainly not the South Africans who have cooked this in the mornings for decades. In classic S. Africa fashion, sour corn flour, liver, curried cabbage, and pumpkin is used to make this omnivore delight. This is highly nutritious and delicious!
This salad dates back to post world war I, Italy, and goes to show that the heartiest things can come out of dire situations if one does not lose hope! The whole salad is uncooked so you can taste the Mediterranean vegetables as they come. This is a delight because the climate produces the juiciest vegetables!
What else defines the Mediterranean if not their assortment of cheeses? They just melt atop your food to elevate everything! In northern Spain, the Carranza and Latxa sheep bask in the warm Sun. The milk they produce is just divine! The cheese produced is somehow smokey!
The Turks often indulge in raki drinking and then wake up with the worst headaches. This soup is famously known as a cure for headaches and upset stomachs because it consists of the best flavors the Mediterranean has to offer: tripe, vinegar, and red pepper! How appetizing!
All cuisines, especially the post-Ottoman cuisine, have that one rice dish they wouldn’t know what to do without. For Turks, this is the sweet rice and currant dish. As usual, rice isn’t just left alone because that wouldn’t be very Mediterranean. No, the rice must be dusted with spices, pine nuts, and the like!
Few sights make foodies gasp the way this beautiful egg dish does. When the whole pan is brought from the kitchen, fried eggs sitting atop a mound of spinach leaves, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, it is a sight to behold. If you love yourself, you will swallow this with some yogurt drink or earthly bread!
Nothing satisfies the appetizes of south-eastern Turks more than the sight of this reddish-hued stuffed meatball. This is commonly eaten as an appetizer, but frankly, this is the night’s showstopper. In this, ground lamb or camel meat is kneaded alongside onions, bulgur, and lemon! What a way to start your meal!
Turkey is the home of flavorsome kebabs where they are served in mezze, or platters, in every restaurant across the region. But the Iskendar kepap takes the cake for it is bursting with Mediterranean flavor. Sliced and grilled lamb is bathed in tomato sauce to make this tangy dish!
Persian cuisine produces some of the heaviest dishes that fill your stomach up fast! However, to balance this, they also produce the most refreshing salads. The Shirazi salad is made from juicy vegetables that are chopped to retain their zest, and sprinkled with mint, sumac, and black pepper!
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South Asian cuisine
The Indian subcontinent is home to all sorts of gluten crops, as flour is a staple of the region. So, the desserts made of flour must have many varieties. The imarti, which is a gorgeous orange color, is shaped like a flower and dipped in a sweet syrup that just hits all the right spots. This dish is sometimes too beautiful to eat but we just can’t resist!
Sri Lanka is also known for producing some of the finest rice. It is also known for its ancient mythology. The Idli, a rice cake, combines both of them! First mentioned in 920 BC (how marvelous!), this sweet dish is prepared when black lentils are fermented, mixed with rice, and the batter steamed!
Ice Cream Sandesh
The Bengalis are known for their sweet tooth and they just cannot resist gifting us with the most wholesome dishes. A Bengali home is not complete if not for Sandesh, a simple dessert of cottage cheese. This has a pastel yellow tone to it that hints at its creaminess and delight.
This dish is considered somewhat holy not just because of its essence but because of the mythology attached to it. Inari is the god of many things: rice, fertility, and foxes! This sweet, fried tofu sushi dish was made to appease the Japanese god, and if they liked it so can you!
Autumn in Japan is a beautiful sight – orange leaves crunch at your feet as your loved ones whip out imoni, a piping hot and indulgent stew that just warms you right up! Eating this alone is great, eating this with loved ones by the banks of the river at the glorious Imoni festival is just divine!
This is by far the most beautiful dish on this list. Salmon roe caviar is a vivid bright red that looks intense! Caviar defines high-end dining and there’s a reason these are pricey! This has a rich piquancy that pops to life in your mouth. The caviar can be served as sushi topping or on other heartier dishes.
Remember Doraemon? If you’re particularly nostalgic, watch through and notice Doraemon’s number-one dessert. It’s a bun filled to the brim with sweet paste. The Imagawayaki is something similar! This poufy dessert is made with batter filled with azuki bean paste! How rich!
The island of Bali, Indonesia is a sight to behold. What with its lush green mountains and deep blue rivers. Each Indonesian island has its style of cooking but Balinese cuisine is quite popular. Why shouldn’t it be when one of the main delights is iga babi, pork ribs coated with herbs and spices to dip your hands into?
Fish is loved throughout the globe for its lightness, as compared to other meats. Nowhere is fish more appreciated than Indonesian, a collection of islands where the best seafood catch is found. Ikan Goreng means fried fish and there are a thousand ways to cook it!
Fish can be steamed, roasted, or grilled. What’s truly great about it is that it never loses its juiciness. The ikan babar is a charcoal roasted fish (if this doesn’t make your mouth water, what will?) that is popular in Indonesia. Roasted and spiced, it has a rusty maroon color!
This Filipino Pinoy recipe is a popular main dish. Fish, as always, is a beloved of coastal countries. Even when made simple, it never fails to delight. The inin-unan is made from fish cooked on a skillet alongside chopped vegetables and then doused generously with spice and vinegar.
Inihaw na liempo
As always, spit-roasted and grilled meat take the cake. Meat is grilled on bamboo skewers which allows it to cook in its fat. Then, as always vinegar and soy sauce enter the equation and make everything burst with flavor!
So there you have! Hope you got a vivid look into the way people across the world celebrate the ritual of eating good old food. We simply can’t do without all the meats, herbs, and spices the world has to offer us.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.