10 Amazing Dishes to Make Now, Inspired by Cuisines Around the World

As people begin to hunker down, practice social distancing, and stop traveling, many of us are ready to start cooking at home more—especially as many restaurants close down for the time being. With that in mind, why not take a virtual food tour around the world by cooking international dishes from across the globe? From Indian to Thai to Peruvian to West African, here are some of the best dishes to make that are inspired by cuisines from around the world. 

01 of 10

Polish Potato Pierogi

Eating traditional Polish dumplings Pierogi with fork
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Pierogi Ruski, pierogi dumplings filled with potato, are among the most popular type of pierogis made in Poland. Ruski refers to Ruthenians, people from around the northern Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine, eastern Slovakia, and southern Poland. While pierogi is a bit labor- and time-intensive due to making the dough and filling separately and then crafting the pierogis themselves (it takes about 100 minutes total), it makes a great cooking project—and they are easy to freeze. The ingredients are fairly simple: flour, egg, and water to make the dough and potatoes, onions, and farmers or ricotta cheese for the filling.

02 of 10

Indian Masoor Dal

Lentils with tomato masoor dal recipe

The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

Food in India differs from region to region, but regions across the country have some version of dal, or lentils. Masoor Dal translates to "red lentils," and while dal literally means “lentil,” in Indian cooking it usually means some kind of stew or soup made with lentils. This Bengali version, calls for red lentils, cilantro, tomatoes, turmeric, cumin seeds, and ghee (clarified butter). To make it vegan, just replace the ghee with oil. This zesty dish only takes about 30 minutes to make, ensuring an easy lunch or dinner.

03 of 10

West African Peanut Butter Soup

Homemade peanut cream soup close-up. horizontal
ALLEKO / Getty Images

This hearty soup (sometimes called groundnut soup) is a staple in West Africa and is said to have originated from the Mandinka people of Mali, where it is called maafe. In Ghana, it is often served alongside fufu (a type of dough). There are many different versions of peanut butter soup and while the traditional version contains chicken, it can easily be made vegan. Gather together peanut butter, onions, tomatoes, okra, eggplant, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, bay leaves, a whole chicken, and chicken stock, and set aside 20 minutes for prep and an hour of cooking time.

04 of 10

Middle Eastern Malabi

Malabi rosewater milk pudding recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii 

Many Middle Eastern countries lay claim to malabi (or "muhallabia" in Arabic) and it is popular throughout the region, from Lebanon to Palestine to Turkey to Israel. It’s a silky milk pudding that uses rice flour or cornstarch as a thickener, sugar as a sweetener, and rose water for a gentle floral flavor. It can be topped with syrup, shredded coconut, or nuts. To make it vegan, substitute a milk alternative for the cow’s milk. The best part? It only takes about 15 minutes to make.

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05 of 10

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Thai Green Curry
Kittikun Prayoonrat / Getty Images

So many cuisines have a version of curry and Thailand has several great options. Thai curries come from a curry paste made from chilis, onions, garlic, ginger lemongrass, and spices and herbs like coriander and cumin. What makes it green versus red? The color of the chiles, as well as basil and kaffir lime leaves that are absent from red curries. Other ingredients include coconut milk, bell pepper, and zucchini (or really any vegetable you want to have in your curry) and chicken—or leave it out to keep it vegetarian.

06 of 10

Chinese Sichuan Green Beans With Pork

Szechuan Stir Fried Green Beans with ground pork in a skillet
from_my_point_of_view / Getty Images

The Sichuan region of China is known for its love of spice so if you can handle it, these spicy, zesty green beans with minced pork make a great meal with varied textures. To make it authentic, ensure you char the green beans and use either Sichuan peppercorn or Sichuan preserved vegetables (which can be found canned in Asian food markets). This dish, which also includes ground pork, soy sauce, ginger, and chicken broth, comes together quickly, making it an easy weeknight dinner. If you have a wok, now is the time to use it!

07 of 10

Spanish Ham Croquettes

Spanish Homemade ham croquettes
Alf / Getty Images

Spanish tapas are a huge part of the culture in Spain. Tapas bars serving a variety of snacks and appetizers dot the streets of Barcelona, Madrid, and beyond, but it’s easy to make a tapas spread at home. Simple items like olives can be paired with more complex bites, like these croquetas de jamón (that’s Spanish for ham croquettes). They do take time (3 hours and 40 minutes total) because the béchamel mixture needs to be refrigerated before fried, but the ingredient list is small: oil, chicken broth, flour, milk, eggs, ham, nutmeg, and breadcrumbs. The trick is to make a béchamel sauce first, add the chopped ham, and then let it cool in a refrigerator until it’s solid enough to coat in breadcrumbs and fry. Buen provecho! 

08 of 10

Mexican Mole Poblano

Mole poblano de guajolote on white plate
sbossert / Getty Images

While tacos might be the most familiar Mexican food for many Americans, mole sauce is a favorite of many Mexicans and is said to be the national dish in Mexico. There are many varieties of mole, but mole poblano comes from the state of Puebla and differentiates itself by the use of chocolate. And while nearly every Mexican mother and grandmother will have her own recipe, this mole version features Ancho and Pasilla chiles, raisins, pistachios, pepitas, sesame seeds, Mexican chocolate, cocoa powder, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, and tortilla and masa (as thickeners), While it has a long list of ingredients and takes more than an hour to make, the results are a complex sauce that's delicious on chicken, beef, tortillas, vegetables, and more.

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09 of 10

Japanese Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi, Deep Fried, Tofu with Ground Ginger , Scallion and Soy Sauce
4kodiak / Getty Images

A popular order in Japanese restaurants, agedashi tofu is tofu that’s coated in katakuriko (potato starch) and deep-fried until crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. It can be topped with things like grated daikon, katsuobushi (bonito flakes), scallion, nori, or grated ginger, as well as a savory dashi broth. For this recipe, you'll need about 30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cook time and you’ll need soft tofu, dashi, soy sauce, mirin, potato starch, oil, and ginger. And remember, the oil needs to be fresh and extremely hot.

10 of 10

Peruvian Chicha Morada

Chicha morada recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

The iconic Peruvian drink chicha morada, with Andean origins, is made from dried purple corn, and the drink itself is a gorgeous dark purple color. In Peru, it’s easy to find this drink all over, from market stalls to restaurants to people’s homes, and there are even bottled and powder versions out there. The ingredients include purple corn, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. The whole process takes a little more than an hour, but is well worth the effort.