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How to make 2 international CSU students’ favorite home dishes

Collegian | Eli Crocker
food, meals, comfort, pot, cooking

Food is profoundly ingrained in one’s cultural identity, allowing people to express themselves, connect with others from different walks of life and share their rich cultural heritage. For international students at Colorado State University, the traditional recipes of their favorite home-cooked foods are an important way to stay connected to their homes despite being so far.

The recipes below come from international students who value these foods for their comfort, their rich and unique flavors and their simplicity for students with busy schedules. Bringing in foods from students of diverse backgrounds can promote understanding and the value of cultural diversity at CSU. 


Zining Zhu is an international student from China and is currently in her junior year, majoring in interior design at CSU. She has found a lot of comfort in the dish green pepper pork, which she always has with rice. Particularly during busy semesters, this dish relieves her stress from schoolwork through the delicious flavors of the meal. Green pepper pork is essentially a stir fry of green peppers and pork with a variety of spices that many students can enjoy. 

“Food is super important for Chinese people,” Zhu said. “Over half of the happiest moments are related to food.”

Green pepper pork  


  • Two green peppers
  • 200 grams (7.05 ounces) pork
  • Salt 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Flour 
  • Oil 
  • Ginger 
  • Garlic  
  • Green onions


  1. Prepare two green peppers. Cut into slices.  
  2. Cut the pork into slices.
  3. Add one spoonful of salt, two spoonfuls of soy sauce, one spoonful of flour and one spoonful of oil to the pork. Mix them together, and wait for 10 minutes. 
  4. Cut ginger, garlic and green onion into small pieces.
  5. Heat a pan, and add three spoonfuls of oil. Then add pork slices. Keep on mixing until the pork is fully cooked. Then pour pork out of the pan. 
  6. Again, heat the pan, and add some oil, ginger, garlic and green onion. After you can notice the amazing smell, which won’t take too long, add the green pepper. Mix for 3-4 minutes until the pepper is cooked. 
  7. Then add pork slices back into the pan, mix with pepper and add one spoon of soy sauce. 
  8. Serve with rice, and enjoy!

Chaturya Katragadda is from Hyderabad, India, and is currently working on her masters in computer science. Hyderabadi chicken curry is something that Katragadda has served on multiple occasions, and many have commented on the aromatic and rich taste. The preparation behind this dish has become very periodical for her, as it mixes a diverse number of ingredients that contribute to its overall flavor, presentation and importance in truly bringing people together. This chicken curry is chicken mixed with a culmination of spices in a spicy yet savory gravy. 

“When there is a will, we have a way,” Katragadda said. “It’s just some little effort and patience. We can have our cravings fulfilled.”

Hyderabadi chicken curry (dum style)   


Mixture one: 

  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 50 grams ginger
  • Four chilis  
  • Quarter bunch of cilantro

Add a little water to Mixture 1, and make a consistent paste. 


Mixture two: 

  • 20 almonds 
  • 20 cashews 
  • 20 grams dry coconut 
  • Four green cardamoms 
  • Six cloves
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick  

Make this mixture into fine paste; add water if necessary.

Other ingredients:

  • 1 kg chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 250 grams yogurt
  • 2 large fried onions
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • A few cilantro and mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 40 grams butter


  1. Add mixture one and mixture two to chicken, then add yogurt.
  2. Crush the onions, and add them to the chicken. Add lemon juice, and mix it well.
  3. Mix in black pepper powder, garam masala, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. 
  4. Add coriander and mint leaves, oil and butter. Mix it well, and marinate this for four to six hours. Place it in the refrigerator.
  5. After six hours, cook it for five minutes over high flame. Then reduce the flame to medium, and cook for 30 minutes. Cook over low flame for 30 minutes with the lid closed. Cook it for 30 more minutes on low flame or until the pieces are cooked properly and the gravy thickens.
  6. Sprinkle some cilantro, and the curry is ready. Serve with rice or roti. Enjoy!

Reach Sananda Chandy at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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