Let’s talk about food: The recipes

Try out some of the favorite recipes of those behind the article “Let’s talk about food” that you find in the current issue of our print magazine Encounter.

Order your copy here: contact-english@encounter-blog.com

© Ashbee Wong


Spiced dark chocolate cream (vegan)

This indulgent dark chocolate dessert with a hint of cardamom will make you forget the darkness of the Berlin winter. Great to prepare for fancy holiday dinners or just as a special treat for yourself and your loved ones. And if you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan, nobody will notice, guaranteed.

makes 6 portions

1 pckg. (300g) silken tofu (this is a special kind of soft and creamy tofu that can be found in bigger supermarkets, organic stores and Asian stores – don’t use the regular blocks of tofu, it doesn’t work!)

1/2 cup (125 g) almond butter (or any kind of nut butter you prefer)

1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder

2/3 cup (180 g) maple syrup (or replace with another vegan liquid sweetener like rice syrup or agave syrup or for a cheap German alternative, “Rübensaft”)

1 tbsp. (12 g) corn starch

1/2 cup (75 g) vegan dark chocolate, melted in a bain-marie (many dark chocolates are “accidentally” vegan, even without the V logo, just check the ingredients for sneaky dairy ingredients)

3 tbsp. plant milk (soy, almond, oat, whatever you like)

2 pinches of salt

2 cardamom pods, the inner seeds crushed into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle (or use two pinches of powdered cardamom, if you don’t have any or don’t like the taste, replace with cinnamon or cloves or do an “unspiced” version)

Add all the ingredients, including the melted chocolate, to a strong blender or food processor for a minute or so, or mix very well with a hand mixer until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture into 6 dessert bowls or little glasses. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve with raspberries, blueberries, chopped hazelnuts, coconut chips or cacao nibs or some coconut whipped cream.



©Ashbee Wong

Rice and Okra

This recipe is for 2 people: 

I always start with the rice:

2 glasses of rice, wash it well. 

Cook 2,5 glasses of water and put 1 spoon of sunflower oil in the water let it cook. 

Leave it until it’s well cooked (the water and the oil) then put the rice in the cooked water and add 1 tbsp of salt and let it on high fire for like 10 mins, then you see that there is no water in the rice anymore then put it on a very low fire (!) for 5 mins. Then it is ready. 

The okra: 

500g okra, wash it. 

Cook 4 glasses of water then add: 

1 spoon of pure tomato sauce, 1 spoon of salt, a spoon of lemon-acid and 2 pieces of garlic (cut it in very small pieces) and wait until it cooks, then put the okra for 30 minutes, let it cook and mix well and when the okra gets soft, you can serve it. 

You prepare and serve the rice and okra separately and mix it on your plate.




For 4 people

Cooking time: 1-2 hours

5 big Aubergines

3 Tomatoes

3 eggs

2 Garlic cloves

Salt & pepper



First roast the aubergines over the fire (you can grill or barbeque them. Important is that they smell smoky) until they are completely cooked and then peel their skins and mash them into a soft cream. (Wonderful is that all Turkish markets in Berlin have this smoky grilled aubergine ready in the store)

Grate the tomatoes and then chop up the garlic cloves and fry them in a pan with oil until it is a bit golden (do not overcook it) then add the curcuma to that. Wait for a second that the curcuma is also a bit cooked and then add the tomatoes and mix. Let the extra water of the tomatoes evaporate (this takes 5 minutes) add the salt and pepper and then add the mashed aubergines to the tomatoes and mix them well. Put the lid on the pan and wait for 5 minutes more. Then move the whole mixture to one side of the pan and break the eggs in the empty area. Note to not stir the eggs until they are cooked, then mix the eggs with the rest. Put the lid on the pan and remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool for 10 minutes. And that’s all! It’s ready to eat. This traditional Iranian food originally comes from Rasht, one of the famous cities in the north of Iran. It is mainly served with bread or rice.



©Ashbee Wong

Chicken Fettah

Ingredients for 6 Pp.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • Aleppo spice mix or Lebanese seven-spice mix
  • 500g plain natural yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

You would need 3 small pitta breads, cut into squares and for decoration chopped parsley and toasted almonds (or pine nuts)

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


Pour the hot water over the chicken so that it is covered. Add a little salt, the spices and the onion. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer the chicken for 45 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the stock but preserve the stock. Once it is cool enough, remove the bones from the chicken meat and discard. If you have used boneless chicken pieces, shred the chicken pieces into large pieces.

For the pitta bread squares you toss the pitta bread in a bowl with some vegetable oil. Then you transfer it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake it at 180°C (355°F) for 10 mins until the pitta squares are a light golden colour.

For the sauce you mix the yoghurt with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a glass bowl. Add some chicken stock to the mix until it’s a bit soft and the stock helps the yoghurt to get warm, if it isn’t warm enough, you can heat the mixture in a microwave for 1 minute until it is warm. Be careful to not overheat it or the yoghurt will curdle.

To serve the dish Syrian style you place the pitta crisps in a deep serving dish (I use a glass baking dish so that the different layers are visible). Using a ladle or large spoon, lightly cover the pitta crisps with some of the warm chicken stock. Place the shredded chicken over the bread and pour the yoghurt sauce over the bread and chicken, spreading it out to ensure the dish is evenly covered with the sauce. Decorate it with toasted almonds or pine nuts and the chopped parsley.



Sajta de Pollo

The Sajta de Pollo is a typical dish from Bolivia, especially in the city of La Paz. The Sajta is served in every family on every occasion possible (special or not). The side dishes served are potatoes, tunta (dried potatoes – white) and tomato and onion salad.

Ingredients (for about. 8 people):

  • 1 chicken oder 8 chicken parts
  • 8 big potatoes
  • Ají Amarillo (ca. 150 gr)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 onions (medium size)
  • salt, pepper, cumin
  • 250 gr Tunta
  • 75 g peanuts (roasted without salt)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 onion
  • Locoto or Chili (chopped)
  • Quirquiña or coriander


  1. Mix the Aji amarillo with some water until you have a creamy consistency.
  2. Wash the chicken and shred it into pieces (8 Portionen).
  3. Chop the onion into fine pieces, put it in a saucepan, then add the garlic and peas with a little salt and let it sweat. Then add the aji amarillo.
  4. Shortly fry the chicken in a pan with a little oil so that the skin is “sealed” and put it in the pot.
  5. Season and cook as desired until the chicken is tender.
  6. In another pot, cook the “tunta” cut into four pieces with a little salt.
  7. Puree the peanuts and cook them in a saucepan with a little salt. Then mix it with the tunta.
  8. Finally, cut the onion into slices and the tomato into small cubes. Add Quirquiña as decoration.