Internationale Aktion bei: Uncommon Kitchens


“Wir kochen mit Kindern!” 


“ Ein Willkommensgeschenk, inspiriert von einem internationalen Projekt, das im April 2020 nach Beginn der COVID 19-Pandemie lanciert wurde. Beteiligt ist die aus mehr als sechzehn Nationen bestehende Schülerschaft des “Mount Holyoke European Alumnae Council“, die in ihren Büchern „Uncommon Kitchens“ über 100  Rezepte zusammengetragen haben, darunter auch bislang unveröffentlichte.

2021 erschien der Zweite Band. Verantwortlich für das Projekt – INFO: Silvia Maulini –



Das Rezept aus Indien

WiP Newsletter Nr.7 JUNI 2022 von Vijaya Pastala –


Gajar ka halwa (Carrot halwa)

Name: Vijaya Pastala

Country of Residence: India


Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory?

This is a quick and easy recipe of gajar ka halwa or carrot halwa which is typically prepared in the winter months when red carrots or what are known as “Delhi carrots” are in season. A festive dessert it is prepared during Diwali which is celebrated in winter.

Traditionally, carrot halwa is boiled and cooked in milk with lots of ghee and is quite laborious with the carrots and milk constantly stirred until the milk is thick and the carrots are cooked. This recipe is basically a cheat version of the traditional carrot halwa – prepared and cooked with condensed milk or sweetened evaporated milk. My husband loves cooking the traditional version of carrot halwa, slaving over the stove, constantly stirring and fussing over the carrots boiling in milk. According to me, this quick and easy version tastes as good as the traditional version and is less work!!

Couple of tips – to get the perfect end result:

Always use fresh carrots as they are juicy and sweet. Carrot halwa tastes great when prepared with red carrots – which come into season in India during the winter. We call them “Delhi carrots” and it’s one of the reasons that Gajar ka halwa is usually prepared in the winter. However, if you don’t have red carrots – use orange carrots or  any other colours!!

There is no extra sugar in the recipe, the condensed milk is already sweet. However, if you want it sweeter – add more condensed milk.

You decide on the toppings – I prefer raisins and almonds. My husband likes to add the whole shebang!!

Always serve carrot halwa hot. It tastes even better with cold vanilla ice cream.

This recipe serves 2 to 3 persons generously!!

Quick and Easy Gajar ka halwa  (Carrot halwa)


Serves 2-3. Takes approx. 40 minutes


5 large carrots – peeled and grated.

1 to 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

½ cup full cream or whole milk

1 can of condensed milk

1 teaspoon of cardamon powder or 4-6 cardamon pods seeds removed and powdered

1 teaspoon of roasted cashews bits

1 teaspoon golden raisins

1 teaspoon of almond slivers

1 teaspoon of pistachios

Utensil: Deep thick bottom pan or even a deep non-stick with lid will do. In India we use what is called a “kadai” or an Indian wok.



Peel carrots and grate them finely.

Put carrots in the thick bottom pan, add ghee and sauté carrots till they are nice and soft.

Add milk and mix well – the milk is the first step to cooking the carrots.

Let the milk boil and stir occasionally. Watch the pan – make sure carrots cook uniformly and don’t burn at the bottom.

Simmer, stirring till the milk has evaporated completely. The carrots should also be almost cooked by then.

Add the condensed milk and mix well.

Let the carrots and condensed milk boil. Keep stirring making sure carrots are completely cooked and don’t burn at the bottom. While stirring, keep mixing and mashing till the milk evaporates completely.

Once milk is thick, add cardamom powder, cashews / almonds / raisins and mix.

Serve immediately garnished with chopped pistachios.

Source: Not an invention – but a recipe that many Indian homes use



Das Rezept aus Netherlands

WiP Newsletter Nr.6 APRIL 2022 von Micha Heilman

Homemade Dark Chocolate

Name: Micha Heilman
Country of Residence: Netherlands

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory?

This chocolate recipe can be made with few ingredients, yet the taste and
variations make this recipe irresistible for chocolate lovers. It takes very little
time to make so your enjoyment of chocolate can happen soon after starting.
This recipe started with an American friend living in Denmark who was inspired
by chocolate from the company “Honey Mama’s”. Honey Mama’s produces
chocolate in my hometown of Portland, OR so it holds a special place in my

It is a simple but delicious chocolate that is soft at room temperature so it
is kept in the fridge. While I was visiting my friend in Denmark he wanted to
recreate the delicious dark chocolate bar, so the basis of this recipe began with
cacao powder, coconut oil, and honey, topped with sea salt and peanut butter.
Now after several variations, I find date syrup best when making the pure dark
chocolate as it has a fuller taste than honey. lf additional flavors are added I do
prefer to use the honey because it is a less intrusive sweetener and the added
flavor can come though.

As a lifelong chocolate lover, student on a budget, and someone who enjoys
doing things themselves, having this simple chocolate recipe in my back pocket
has been very rewarding.

Homemade Dark Chocolate

Serves approx 4. Takes approx. 20 minutes prep, 30 minutes chill.


  • 1 cup (130 g) Cacao Powder
  • 1 cup (225 g) Coconut Oil (solid at room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) Date Syrup or Honey
  • Optional flavorings: mint extract, orange peel extract, raspberry extract, vanilla extract.
  • Optional toppings: Slivered Almonds, Pistachios, Peanut butter,
    Date Syrup, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar.


Chocolate Instructions

  1. Mash coconut oil until blended and smooth. This can be done with the back of
    a spoon, a mortar and pestle, or with a hand mixer.
  2. Add cacao powder to coconut oil in parts, ensuring complete mixing before
    adding more cacao.
  3. Mix in date syrup, adding more or less to taste.
  4. Add any optional flavorings and mix well.

Chilling instructions

  1. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a flat portable surface
    (e.x. cutting board, plate, stone)
  2. With a slightly oiled butter knife, spread chocolate over baking paper creating
    a ½ cm thick slab.
  3. Garnish with any optional toppings. For easy breaking, pre-indent square
    pattern into soft chocolate with a knife.
  4. Place in the fridge to cool for 30 min.

Storing instructions:

Store in the fridge until fully consumed.



Das Rezept aus Portugal

WiP Newsletter Nr.5 MÄRZ 2022 von

Yerba Mate Chai Latte

Name: Elizabeth Taeed
Country of Residence: Portugal

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

My husband and I run a small loose-leaf tea shop, stocked with our favourite teas discovered during our four years of travel. Yerba mate is one of them! It is a herbal tea with caffeine levels on par with coffee, but without any bitterness and with a rich, smooth taste. We also fell in love with masala chai during our year in India, so combining the two is an obvious combination.

This is a simple recipe we’ve created ourselves for our tea shop, and although it takes a little time (30 minutes), it’s worth every minute of steeping. While you can change the chai ingredients listed as much as you like (including type and amount), I strongly recommend including turmeric pieces as they turn the milk a gorgeous gold and give that distinctly Indian taste! Lastly, if you can’t find yerba mate, you can of course replace it with a black loose-leaf tea.

Yerba Mate Chai Latte

Serves 2. Takes 30 minutes

4-5 Tbsp Yerba Mate loose leaf (I like using the Zing in Your Step Lemon Yerba Mate from, which is green mate + lemongrass + lemon rind)
½ cup water
2 ½ cup Milk or Milk substitute such as almond, hazelnut or soy milk, or lactose-free milk
Any or all of the following (you are after all the master of your chai):
Chopped cinnamon (1-2 sticks equiv.)
5-6 whole cloves
3 stars of star anise
1 mace flower
½ Tbsp chopped, dried ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
2 opened cardamom pods (crush them with the side of a chopping knife like you would garlic)
½ of a whole nutmeg
2 tsp of turmeric pieces, or 1 tsp turmeric powder
5 peppercorns (I like pink peppercorns)
2-3 Tbsp Honey or maple syrup if desired, or 2 Tbsp sugar
Nutmeg, turmeric and cinnamon powder for garnish


  • Put the water into a saucepan with all the dry ingredients (except the yerba mate and garnishes) and bring to a boil.
    2) Reduce heat to low, cover and steep 10 minutes. Some of the water may evaporate – that’s okay!
    3) Next, add the milk and bring to a simmer, uncovered.
    4) Stir in sugar, honey or maple syrup at this point if you like a sweet chai.
    5) Once the milk foams, remove from heat and add the Mate tea. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Note: If you add the mate at the beginning with the other dry ingredients, the leaves will burn, creating a bitter flavor. Wait to add it at this step!
    6) Using a sieve, pour your latte into a mug or glass, and garnish as you see fit such as with nutmeg, turmeric and/or cinnamon.
    7) Sit down, relax, and breathe with your mate latte.

Source:  Elizabeth’s teashop recipe blog:



Das Rezept aus China

WiP Newsletter Nr.4 FEBRUAR 2022 von May – Chen

Mama’s Tomato Fried Eggs

Name:  Zhaouyuan (May) Chen
Country of Residence: China

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

This the very first dish that all Chinese people learn from their moms.

Mama’s Tomato Fried Eggs

Serves 1-2. Takes approx. 10 minutes.


  • Eggs 3
  • Tomatoes 3
  • Green Onions (cut into small pieces)
  • Salt 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar 1 to 2 teaspoons
  • Water – ca. 1/2 cup or 100 ml
  • Ketchup (optional)


Break the eggs in a bowl and mix them. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces.

Pour oils in a pan at high to medium high heat and fry the eggs until bubbles come up then put them aside in a plate.

Use the remaining oil (add a little if necessary) to fry the tomatoes until they are soft.

If smokes come up, lower the heat to medium but ideally keep the heat high until the tomatoes are soft.  Add a little water – enough to cover the tomatoes – and stew the tomatoes, also adding salt and 1 spoon ketchup (if using).  Later add the sugar for flavor. After a few minutes, add the eggs to the tomato mixture and scramble (for about 30 seconds?) until eggs are cooked.

Finally, add some green onions for flavor and serve in a dish.  Done!

Source:  Traditional recipe




Das Rezept aus Deutschland

WiP Newsletter Nr.3 JANUAR 2022 von Ramona Marks

Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan )


Name: Ramona Marks
Country of Residence: Germany

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

During the 2015 refugee crisis in Germany, I became involved with our local volunteer group. After many projects and changing priorities, we founded a Verein, or club, at the beginning of 2020, and now have a similar social and tax status as a non-profit in the U.S. I’m the committee leader of the group we call Kulinarik, or culinary. We only had one cooking evening before the shutdown, but we are hoping to have cooking classes and a recipe exchange in the near future.

I studied abroad in Italy when I was a student at MHC. I love Italy, and of course Italian food. Here where I live in Germany, there is a very large population of Italians, many of whom arrived in the 1970s as economic refugees and had children who have had children. They are a part of the community now, and refugees who arrived during the 2015 crisis are also becoming our neighbors and friends. Cooking together helps, whether Syrians, Iranians, Italians, Afghanis, this American, or of course Germans, among others.

The recipe I chose is an Italian recipe that surprised me: Parmigiana di Melanzane, or Eggplant Parmesan with eggplant that is not breaded. Unlike what I knew in the U.S., this recipe calls for quickly deep frying the eggplant before layering it between a simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. As with so much of Italian cuisine, the recipe is deceptively simple and the outcome depends on the quality of the ingredients.


Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan )

Serves 4-6. Takes approx. 40 minutes + 40 minutes baking time


1kg eggplant / aubergine
700ml tomato passata
450g fresh mozzarella
80g parmesan or grana padano
1/4 of a white onion
fresh basil, olive oil, and salt


Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.

Cut the mozzarella into thin slices, about 5mm, and lay them out to dry a bit. If they are very damp, use a paper towel or clean dishcloth.

Chop the onion finely and fry it in about a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-low heat until slightly glassy (about 5min). Add the passata to the onions and 5 or 6 basil leaves, torn or chopped roughly. Cover and cook the passata for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. It can simmer but shouldn’t be bubbling wildly. After 20 minutes, set aside to cool. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste.

Prepare a plate or tray with towels where you can put the eggplant once done frying.

Slice the eggplant thinly, about 4-5mm. Heat enough oil in a pan so that the slices will be kept from the bottom. You can use a small pan and less oil, but it will take much longer to cook all the eggplant. A wider pan will allow you to cook many slices at once. About 2-3cm of oil is sufficient. Fry each slice for only about 1.5 minutes, turning once (45 seconds per side). They will not brown, but they should cause the oil to bubble and hiss a bit.

In the recipe, you are instructed to let all ingredients cool before layering, but I never have the patience for that, so I assemble this warm and it has worked fine.

Prepare a casserole dish (9x13in) and all ingredients for layering. The first layer is a good serving of sauce. No need to oil the dish. The layers are in this order: sauce, eggplant, mozzarella, basil and sauce again. When the dish is almost full, the last layers are eggplant, sauce, and then sprinkle the parmesan on top. There should be some sauce left over.

Bake for 30 minutes, then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the top, raise the temperature to 200C / 400F and bake an additional 10 minutes. (40 minutes total baking time).

This dish can be served at room temperature, 3-4 hours later, as in the original recipe. It is also delicious hot. Buon appetito!






The recipe comes from Virginia Ross, a born Texan who now lives in Oxford

Texan Pecan, Pumpkin, & Bourbon Pie

Name: Virginia Ross
Country of Residence: United Kingdom

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Autumn and winter holiday dinners feature a pie made of pumpkins or pecans, but our family favourite uses both ingredients. Pecans, which are abundant in Texas, the state where I grew up, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and tastes – all delicious.

Texan Pecan, Pumpkin, & Bourbon Pie

Serves 6-8. Takes approx. 1½ hours (including 1 hour baking time)


¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups fresh pureed or canned pumpkin
1¼ cups light cream or evaporated milk
¼ cup bourbon (or a 50:50 vanilla/almond extract combination if you are cooking for children)
2 tablespoons molasses
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 nine-inch chilled, unbaked pie shell with stand-up edge (see recipe below)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
½ cup pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Mix together sugar, salt cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Add to the pumpkin.
  3. Gradually beat in cream, bourbon, molasses, and eggs to make a smooth mixture.
  4. Brush bottom and sides of un-baked 9-inch pastry shell with egg white.
  5. Chop half the pecans and sprinkle on pastry shell. Pour in pumpkin mixture and top with remaining pecan halves.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer or until the filling is set and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Serve the pie either warm or chilled, with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.


Makes one two-crust pie or 2 x 9-inch pastry shells
Sift together 2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
Cut in 2/3 cup shortening with pastry blender or two knives until particles vary in size
From coarse meal to large peas.
Add 1/3 cup water, cold, until dough is moist enough to hold together
Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch, pat into pie pan, cut to shape, fold over rim, pinch edges

Source: Old recipe box, unattributed



Das Rezept aus Nederland

WiP Newsletter Nr.1 NOVEMBER 2021 von Silvia Maulini

Bônet (Chocolate dessert from Piemonte – Italy)

Name: Silvia Maulini
Country of Residence: The Netherlands

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Organizing a festive dinner, whether it is for two or for a crowd, requires good planning skills and I strongly believe that any dish that can be prepared in advance is a blessing. This chocolate pudding originates from my native region in northern Italy and I have served it at small family gatherings and at large dinner parties with more than 25 guests. It is cost-effective, low-fat, and super easy and it looks and tastes amazing. If cooking for a crowd you can use disposable foil baking molds, which considerably reduce post party stress disorder.


Serves 6. Takes approx. 20 minutes + 35 minutes in the oven + cooling time


500 cl milk (you can use whole or semi-skimmed milk)
6-8 amaretti cookies + some for decoration
4 eggs
150 gr sugar + 4-5 tablespoons for the caramel
3 tablespoons of dark rum
30 gr of dark cocoa powder
¼ cup of strongly brewed espresso



Put 4 to 5 tablespoons of sugar in a small pan and cook at a low heat until you have a nice golden caramel. Pour the caramel in 6 small fire-proof ramekins, making sure the bottom of the ramekins is evenly coated. Set aside.

Heat up the milk in a small saucepan and then let it cool slightly. Grind the amaretti in a blender or in a mortar and then add them to the milk. Beat the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until they are light and fluffy, but not too long. Add the milk/amaretti mix to the eggs, as well the rum, cocoa powder and the coffee. Mix well.

Pour the mix in the caramel coated ramekins and bake them “au bain-marie” in the oven for ca. 35 minutes. Let the puddings cool completely before putting them in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. The puddings taste even better the day after. Before serving quickly dip the ramekins in warm water and then invert on a small serving plate. Decorate with ground amaretti or a dash of whipped cream.


Family recipe