liesey-winks (spondonicle) wrote in vegancooking,

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Mexican Monday

My housemates have a sporadic tradition of "Mexican Monday" - the one day where we all sit at the kitchen table and share a meal.  Usually they just grab the pre-made packet kits you get at the supermarket and add as much ground beef and cheese as they can get their hands on, leaving me feeling to pick at a pity-salad all night, so next time I want to wow them with something so delicious and spicy they won't even notice it's vegan.  And hopefully something that won't be too embarrassing to feed to an exchange-student neighbour from Mexico City.

Thing is, I live in Australia, so I know absolutely nothing about Mexican food.  Flavours, spices, techniques, ingredients - it's all a mystery to me, a vast unexplored land of culinary geography.  So what are the absolute essentials of Mexican food? Like tumeric and coriander are essential to Indian cuisine, or coconut milk and galangal in Thai food.  I know you can't make a chilli without cumin, but would it be sacrilege to put cinnamon in there?  And do lentils ever have a place near rice and beans? Let's sort this, boffins!

And what are you favourite super budget recipes that could impress a house of hungry students?

EDIT: Aaah thanks guys you're amazing! Too much deliciousness to handle - next mexican monday is going to go off.
Tags: ethnic food-mexican
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