Cookbook 34: More Than One Way: Learning About Other Cultures Through Food

Back when I was in year 10 and I was very excited about being able to finally choose subjects that I was interested in learning, I chose a subject called International Food Technology.  The main reason I chose this subject was that it involved cooking every class, because I enjoyed cooking and wanted to do more of it, and hey cooking at school is awesome. Our text book for this subject (now really out of print) was More Than One Way: Learning About Other Cultures Through Food by Felicity O’Brien and Margaret Thodey.

The book covers Australian, English, Greek, German, Italian, Vietnamese and Indian food, with information about the ingredients used, demographics of the country, maps, country information and various activities. The recipes are fairly good, but some of the steps aren’t in a logical order. For example in the Moussaka, the dish says slice and salt the eggplants and leave for 20 minutes.  The step immediately following that takes about an hour – so I swapped the following step and once that was busy simmering away happily, then prepared the eggplant.  I’ll detail that in the recipe.  The other main dish I made, the Polypikilo was… well confusing.  This book has no photos and only a handful of sketches of recipes, so I had no idea whether I was preparing the dish properly or what the end result should be.  Overall I give the book 2.5 stars out of 5.



  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 500g lamb leg chops (or lamb mince for ease)
  • 45g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 300g whole tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • oil
  • 90g cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

White Sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  1. If using chops, trim fat from chops, mince meat or cut into small pieces
  2. Peel and chop onions.  Crush garlic.  Heat butter in large pan.  Add meat, chopped onion and crushed garlic.  Cook until meat browns well.
  3. Add undrained tomatoes and stir well
  4. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  5. Simmer gently, uncovered, until meat is tender and nearly all liquid has evaporated (40 – 60 minutes).
  6. Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 1cm slices. Arrange on tray. Sprinkle with salt, let stand 25 minutes.  Rinse under cold running water to remove salt. Pat dry.
  7. Cook eggplant slices in oil in a frying pan until golden brown.  Drain well.  (You could also just grill them after lightly coating them in oil).
  8. Arrange eggplant in a base of greased ovenproof dish
  9. Combine rated cheese and breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle 1/3 of mixture over eggplant.
  10. Prepare white sauce: melt butter, remove remove from heat. Stir in flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir over low heat for 1 minutes. Add milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens. Reduce heat, cook further 1 minute. Remove from heat, add lightly beaten egg, beat well.
  11. Spoon meat sauce over eggplant and cheese in greased ovenproof dish.
  12. Spread white sauce over evenly.
  13. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over.
  14. Drizzle extra melted butter over.
  15. Bake in hot oven (220C) for 20 – 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I’d really recommend grilling the eggplants than frying them because this dish has a lot of fat in it.  It is amazingly tasty however.
  • Don’t stress if you can’t spread the white sauce evenly over the top, in the baking it tends to even out itself.



  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • salt
  • 250g potatoes
  • 250g zucchini
  • 3 medium sized ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 142 cup soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Wash eggplant, remove stem and cut into 1cm slices.  Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes.  Rinse and dry well with paper towels.
  2. Peel and slice potatoes thinly.  Cut zucchini into 1 cm slices.  Peel tomatoes and slice thinly.
  3. Pour a little oil in the base of a large oven dish and add half the breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley.
  4. Layer the eggplant, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes in the dish, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.  Repeat layers, finishing with tomatoes.
  5. Pour remaining oil over vegetables and add the water.  Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and sprinkle remaining garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs on top.
  6. Bake in a moderately slow (160C) oven for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.  Check during latter part of cooking and add a little water if necessary – polypikilo should be fairly moist.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I wasn’t sure I cooked this right, when looking at other recipes in the internet I have, but perhaps should have had more zucchini.  Basically the expectation is that each layer completely covers the dish.
  • When slicing the potato and tomato (which you don’t have to peel if you don’t want to), don’t slice sandwich thin, slice probably about 0.5 cm thin.

Chocolate Pudding


For the pudding:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/4 cup butter/margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water


  1. Sift flour, sugar and cocoa together
  2. Pour cooled melted butter into flour mixture
  3. Beat egg and pour into mixture
  4. Add enough milk to make the consistency of batter
  5. Pour into greased casserole dish

For the sauce

  1. Mix together the cocoa and sugar
  2. Add cocoa and sugar to 1 1/4 cups of boiling water.  Stir well and pour over mixture in casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour at 180C
  4. Serve hot with whipped cream.

Notes on this recipe:

  • It’s really annoying when a recipe tells you mid way through that you should have melted the butter and let it cool.  Ideally a recipe would say in the ingredients “1/4 cup of butter, melted”
  • You don’t tend to sift sugar either, you just mix it through the sifted flour and cocoa mixture. If your sugar needs sifting you’re probably letting it get too damp.
  • If you don’t like adding things to boiling water, or just don’t have the right number of bowls in your kitchen, you can sprinkle the brown sugar and cocoa over the mixture in the casserole dish and then gently pour the boiling water over the whole lot.
  • Taste wise, this was a bit bland.  It needed more cocoa in the batter and a lot more sauce.

1 ping

  1. […] wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with it.  I remembered the lamb moussaka I made from More Than One Way, and decided to adapt that recipe to make a much quicker, but still very tasty moussaka.  […]

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