The refugee and asylum-seeking women in our Intermediate English class are developing their writing skills. This week they share their favourite recipes and cooking tips:

Elizabeth, Zambia

The food I like is a piece of fresh tilapia fish, spiced and a little salted then baked for 35 to 40 minutes at 250 degrees in the oven. I eat it with boiled green vegetables and corn sponge maize as a thick porridge. To make this I boil 4 cups of water and add 2 cups of corn maize then cook for 20 to 30 minutes to make it fine and soft. In the Zambia, it is called “Ubwali” or “Sima” – maize porridge. Very filling and tasty!

Etracy, Zimbabwe

I like green leaves with peanut butter because it makes you drink water all day long and is very filling.

I like roasted spicy pork chops because when you eat it, it is crunchy, hot and tasty and you drink lots of fluids which is good for your health.

I like mashed potatoes when you mix with butter and coconut milk, because it is very soft and tasty, and very filling too.

I like my traditional meal, sadza, which you prepare with maize powder. You boil water, add a bit of cold water in the pot. Mix with a small portion of maize powder. Mix with hot water, let it boil for five minutes. Add more maize powder and stir until it gets very thick. Let it simmer for five minutes. Serve with greens with peanut butter or meat. Very delicious!

I like roasted sweetcorn on the cob because it tastes very different: sweet and fresh. It reminds me of home.

Baby Girl, Nigeria

I like santana and egusi soup because it is sweet and reminds me of home.

I like fried rice with chicken, because it is delicious and full of vegetables – very rich.

I like plantain and owo because it is full of iron and we in Africa have the belief that when you eat plantain it makes you very strong.

I like Edikaikong soup because we use different vegetables and meat to cook it.

I like powdered yam and ogbono soup with salt fish and goat meat mixed together .

Hadija, Uganda

I like Matoke because it reminds me of home. Peel the matoke, boil it and when it’s cooked you mash it. I buy it from the African shops. It is a green banana. It doesn’t take long to cook, you can cook it in half an hour. Then mash it up and wrap it in foil with pepper and put it in the oven. Heat the oven on full blast. When you put the food in the oven, you reduce the temperature to 20%. Bake it for 30 minutes.

Consilia, South Africa

I like samp because it reminds me of my Grandmother Chakalaka. It’s my favourite dish because you can eat it with spicy meatballs and it is easy to prepare.

Chicken curry reminds me of my schoolmates.

Fatcakes and dumplings are very sweet for breakfast.

Hornella, Democratic Republic of Congo

I like beans because they are filling and they remind me of my country. But it is hard, because they are different from English beans. I buy them in Asda or Tesco. I can cook them the ways we cook in my country. I put water, salt, beans and some spices for more than 30 minutes to cook. After, I can mix with tomato sauce.

Eva, Kenya

I like salmon, it’s very tasty.

I like different cereals like chickpeas, beans and mung beans.

I like different types of vegetables.

I like to eat a variety of fruits.

I like to eat sweet potatoes and arrow roots.

Recipe for arrowroots and sweet potatoes:

Wash the sweet potato and arrow roots with the skin on or without depending on ones preference.

Place the sweet potatoes or arrow roots in a pot with water to boil.

Poke the arrowroots or sweet potatoes to see if it is cooked.

Drain the water, ready to eat. You can take with tea or without. 

Abi, Nigeria

I like vegetable soup because it is very delicious. Vegetable soup is good for cleansing the digestive system. It is very nutritious. It can be eaten with varieties of solid food, like pounded yam. It can be prepared with lots of condiments to give a rich taste.