Watching Euro Cup 2024? Try 7 European Dishes In A Desi Kitchen
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Not all European dishes need exotic ingredients or specialised equipment. Cooking European dishes in Indian kitchens can be an exciting culinary adventure that combines the best of both worlds. Indian kitchens today are well-equipped to handle vibrant and varied European flavours. Ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, commonly used in European dishes, are readily available in Indian markets. Additionally, Indian kitchens are typically stocked with versatile spices and seasonings that can enhance European recipes.

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Indian cooks sometimes adapt European recipes by substituting locally available ingredients. For instance, paneer can replace feta in Greek salads, and local vegetables can stand in for their European counterparts in dishes such as ratatouille. While the taste of a dish may be altered by the freshness and quality of the produce it’s not impossible to recreate the flavours here. Basic kitchen tools such as pots, pans, and ovens are sufficient to prepare most European dishes.

The adaptability of European cuisine also allows for creative fusion dishes, blending Indian spices with European techniques. For example, adding a touch of garam masala to a traditional Italian pasta sauce can create a unique and delicious fusion dish. The key to success is balancing flavours and being open to experimenting with ingredients and methods. Here are some European dishes definitely worth trying in your kitchen.

Italian Pesto Pasta

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The pasta is cooked with a fresh sauce which is full of flavour and made with fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The bright green pesto sauce clings beautifully to the pasta, offering a burst of flavour in every bite. The dish is typically garnished with extra Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, adding a delightful crunch and nutty aroma. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed warm or cold and is often enhanced with additions such as cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, or vegetables, all of which are available in India.

Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)

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This Spanish version of an omelette is made with two key ingredients- potatoes and eggs. Thinly slice the potatoes and onions. Fry them in olive oil until soft and golden. In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt. Combine the potatoes and onions with the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on low heat until the eggs are set. Flip carefully to cook both sides evenly. Quite different from the Indian omelette, this can be an interesting twist to an otherwise regular dish.

French Ratatouille

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This  colourful vegetable stew from Provence is cooked with eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil and herbs such as thyme and basil. Just dice all vegetables uniformly. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until they are translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook them until they turn tender. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Ratatouille is easy to make and can be served hot or cold, as a side dish or even as a main course.

Greek Salad

This is a refreshing and healthy salad that is quick to prepare. All you need is tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, feta cheese, olives, olive oil and oregano. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Combine in a bowl and add crumbled feta cheese and olives. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Toss gently and serve immediately.

German Potato Salad

This salad is made with potatoes, bacon, onions, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and  parsley. You can drop the bacon if you like or substitute the parsley with fresh coriander. Boil potatoes till they are cooked and then slice them. Cook the bacon separately until it is crispy and remove it from the frying pan. Let some of the fat stay in the pan and sauté onions in the bacon fat. Then add vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to create a dressing. Combine the potatoes, bacon, and dressing, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Hungarian Goulash

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This classic, rich and flavorful stew is perfect for a comforting meal especially in the rainy season and the winter. Traditionally, beef, onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, paprika, caraway seeds, beef broth and potatoes are used to make this dish. You can also cook this dish with chicken and chicken broth. Brown the meat in a pot and then set it aside. Sauté onions and garlic until they are soft. Add diced bell peppers and tomatoes and continue cooking until they break down. Stir in paprika and caraway seeds, then return the meat to the pot. Add broth and diced potatoes. Simmer it until the meat and potatoes are tender.

Swedish Meatballs

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This dish is very popular across the globe and is easy to make. The ingredients required to make this dish are ground beef or minced mutton, onions, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper, butter, flour, broth and cream. Combine the meat, finely chopped onions, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, eggs, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper to form meatballs. Fry them until they are brown enough and cooked through. In the same pan, make a roux with butter and flour, then add the broth and cream to create a sauce. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer until the sauce thickens.