FLAVOURS of Wagga have been dished up online in a new collection of recipes hoping to showcase the city's many cultural influences.
The Made to Share series of cooking videos and recipes came together with the help of Wagga City Council and the Multicultural Council of Wagga, with eight different nationalities represented.
Hakimeh Rahimi moved to Wagga after fleeing violence and persecution in Afghanistan, and while there are parts of her past she was glad to leave behind, the traditional Bolani Gandana dish she shared as part of the program was not one of them.
"It's a very famous dish in my country, I learned how to cook it from my mother, and every girl in Afghanistan knows how to make it," she said.
The dish is flatbread-based with a vegan filling of potatoes and other root vegetables, one of which proved difficult to find in Australia - gandana.
Hakimeh now grows the vegetable in her own garden after finding the seeds in an Afghan shop in Dandenong, bringing the delicacy to Wagga.
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Thrilled to be sharing the special dish with Wagga, Hakimeh said it was something everyone could have a go at making.
"My friends are always asking me about this dish and how to make it, and it is very easy," she said.
Made to Share will also feature dishes from Burma, Iraq, Nepal, Kamilaroi nation, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet.
Htu San La Bang, a refugee from Burma, said she was thrilled to share her love of cooking with Wagga.
"I've made glass noodle salad for the program, which is quite diverse, it's vegetable based but you can add any meat you want," she said.
"It is a traditional food for our village when having weddings or ceremonies.
"The recipe is healthy, it isn't fattening, and I just love to share it."
Each recipe is accompanied by an easy-to-follow video of the community members demonstrating how to cook and enjoy their dish. Wagga-based creative producer Michael Agzarian, videographer Damien Jenkins and animator Alice Markham brought the project together.
Mr Agzarian said it was his own migrant background that motivated him to get on board.
"I thought it was a great opportunity to show diversity in Wagga, and what better way to show that than through food," he said.
"Food underpins all cultures, it's the best way to unite people."
Multicultural Council of Wagga CEO Belinda Crain said the series was an expression of all the best parts of Wagga.
"Creating food allows us to connect with others, grieve, celebrate, love, support, mend, discover, heal and remember," she said.
"I encourage everyone in the community to celebrate cultural diversity during Harmony Week 15 -21 March 2021, by cooking a recipe from the Made to Share online recipe collection."
The Made to Share project was developed in response to COVID-19 restrictions, sponsored by Origin Energy. You can find the recipes at wagga.nsw.gov.au/fusion.
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