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Talk about a dish you know how to cook

IELTS Cue Card Question 129 with Model Answer:

Talk about a dish you know how to cook.

You should say:
  • what ingredients are required
  • how it is cooked
  • other preparation you have to do to cook
and say if you think this is an easy dish to cook or not, and why? 

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Foods in Malaysia are the greatest thing to enjoy and people of different countries come here to travel across the country while some of them are to enjoy the food only.

Fried rice is one of the main rice-made dishes in the country and taken with other side dishes. A wide variety of fried rice is found in Malaysia and mostly they are sold either at a restaurant or at a street shop. The most important factor for the dish is that it requires fewer ingredients than preparing the other heavy dishes. People of all ages prefer the fried rice and its preparation process requires the following things - egg (a single piece), peanut oil, chopped onion (1 piece of medium size), garlic paste (1 tablespoon), ginger paste (1 tablespoon), ground black pepper, sliced fresh chilli, a piece of small carrot, soya sauce (1 tablespoon), cooked rice (as per your need) etc. But sometimes, shrimps are also added to the rice to make it yummier. Besides, the ingredients may also differ based on the taste of the food lovers and they may also add some lettuce leaves with thin slice, fish sauce for delicious smelling.

Fried rice cooking process is a very simple one. At first, an omelette is made with the egg. If the rice is more than two cups, then another egg is added to the ingredient list. When the omelette is done, then it is sliced thinly for later use with the rice. Then oil is heated in a pan and the onions are fried. The pastes are added to the pan with the fried onions and fried until the colour is browned. If someone wants to add shrimps with the rice, it is added at this stage and stirred to make a combo. Then the carrots and other vegetables are added and stirred for few minutes on a medium heat. The soya sauce is also added at this stage and mixed with the remaining ingredients in the pan. Now it is time to add the rice to the ingredients. When the rice is added, it is stirred finely to get mixed with the all other ingredients. When the mixture is done, the egg is added to the rice and thoroughly mixed. Sometimes the mixture is seasoned with salt to increase the taste.

To cook the fried rice, I also have to take some other preparations like pasting the ginger and garlic. Generally, I use a blender for making the ginger and garlic pastes. But it is a bit difficult to ground the black peppers. Slicing the onions is also difficult for me as it brings tears to my eyes during the peeling and slicing process.

Sometimes it is considered as a side dish while at times it is considered as the main dish in some places. But whatever the ingredients are, I think fried rice is very easy to prepare. It takes around 15 minutes to prepare the rice and the taste is great. The cooking process does not need to get low heat for a longer time to boil the ingredients and the ingredients are also available everywhere. Moreover, you do not need to check the cooking process periodically as you can complete it in a single sitting. The other important aspect of fried rice is that it is made with the leftover ingredients at home and thus, someone does not need to shop for it at all if as the aforesaid ingredients are available at every home. But since there are a wide number of varieties of the fried rice, the preparation process may vary while the cooking method remains the same.

Model Answer 2:
Thank you for the interesting question. But I do not know how to respond as I do not have any specific knowledge about cooking or preparing any dish. I can cook a few items and will describe to cook a curry with eggs.

To cook the egg curry, you will need some specific ingredients. They are – eggs (based on the number of guests or family members), potatoes, grinded spices, salt, cooking oil, onion, water, cooking pot, a stove etc. If you can have all the things, you can easily cook the curry. The cooking process is also easier than preparing any other complex dishes.

To cook the curry, at first you need to boil the eggs and potatoes. You can place them together in a pot filled with water and place the pot on the stove. Boil them for around half an hour. The eggs will be boiled earlier and you have to check them. If the eggs are boiled, remove them from the pot and keep boiling the potatoes. Then peel the eggshells and mix them with the spices. When the potatoes are boiled, remove them from the pot and peel them too. You need to cut the potatoes into pieces before giving them to the cooking pot finally. Now, place oil in the pot and let it be heated for few moments. Then place the onion and other spices together in the oil and stir them for about five minutes. Then place the boiled eggs and potatoes in the pot. Pour water (based on needs) cover the pot. Wait for 15 – 20 minutes. Stir the ingredients lest they stick with the pot. The cooking will be done.

To cook the dish, you will need to take some other preparations as well. At first, you will need to blend the spices properly. You can use a blender for this purpose. If you do not have a blender, you can grind them. Besides, it would be better if you be careful about the egg boiling. In fact, boiling the eggs and potatoes separately is the best way. Make sure the potatoes are boiled perfectly or you would not eat them. Slicing the onions is another task that you need to do prior to the cooking. This is really a troublesome task for me.

I am a student, and most of the time I need to take my meal at my dormitory. So, I have to cook for myself. After trying a good number of dishes, I have realised that cooking those dishes are beyond my capacity. So, I moved to this easy one. I made a phone call to my mum and she described the recipe and cooking process. Hence, I think this is the easiest dish for me to cook.

Your preparation for this topic will help you to talk about the following cue card topics:
  • Describe your favourite menu or food item. 
  • Describe a food item you or someone you know can cook. 
  • Describe a menu you often eat in a restaurant.
  • Describe a traditional food item in your country. 
  • Describe a menu or dish you like. 
  • Describe a traditional menu or dish in your country.

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