IELTS Cue Card Sample 58 - Describe a traditional meal

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a traditional meal that you prepare in your country on special occasions.

You should say:

  • when you eat that meal
  • how you prepare it
  • what ingredients are used to prepare it

and explain why you and people in your country enjoy it.


 

Model Answer 1:
People of my country, Bangladesh, love to prepare all kinds of food, traditional or not, and eat them whether there is an occasion for it or not. Of course, when talking about preparing traditional meals, there are just too many of them to choose. However, today, I would like to about a meal which I don’t only like to enjoy, but also prepare it myself from time to time.

The name of this meal in my language is called “vegetable Khichuri” or “Hotchpotch” in plain English. Even though this particular meal is traditionally enjoyed mostly during the rainy day, its savoury taste, along with its easy cooking methods, makes it a very popular food item pretty much for all occasions.

So, what is exactly a “khichuri” or Bangladeshi version of hotchpotch? Well, in plain English, it is a food which is prepared by combining mainly rice and lentils, together with a number of spices. However, this popular food item achieves its ultimate height of taste when it is also prepared by mixing either eggs and meats or vegetables.

Anyway, in order to prepare a vegetable khichuri, we first wash rice and lentils and soak them together in cold water for 40 minutes. After draining the water from the mixture, we mix them with a paste of turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and cumin powder. Then, whole chilli and cumin seeds are also added in the heated oil of a pan, and once they start to pop up, onions and ginger are added to sauté them till light brown. After that, we add rice and lentils with everything and boil them until they are properly cooked. Finally, we add some cinnamon powder to it, once cooked, and cover the pan for 30 minutes.

People in my country enjoy this particular meal because it tastes so delicious and yet very easy to digest because it is prepared mostly with vegetables and almost no fat. They enjoy this meal also because they don’t really need any other things to eat with it. It is just a perfect meal by itself.

 


 

Sample Answer 2:
Tandoori chicken with paratha is a traditional mean that we prepare in our country on many different occasions. This is a famous meal in our country and people can have them from some restaurants but they prepare this meal during festivals at home.

Tandoori chicken is originally Punjabi dish that we adopted and this dish consists of roasted chicken with spices, testing salt and yoghurt. This meal is usually prepared in a cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which this dish is usually prepared. The city people usually buy this special oven which is made of steel or metal but in a village, people make the oven with mud and wood.

The paratha is a special kind of baked bread. Usually, the paratha is made from wheat flatbread and then dough with cooking oil or ghee. We have this meal for almost all occasions. Not necessarily this is the only meal we prepare in our festivals but this is a very common meal along with other traditional meals. People love to have this meal in festivals and it seems like they usually assume that this is something they must prepare for the guests. In the different parts of the country, this meal gets some other variation in terms of the cooking process, presentation and ingredients, but they are almost same in all part and the custom of making it in a festival is quite common.

From my childhood, I have always found this meal delicious and very common during festivals. So psychologically and in terms of its great taste, I love to eat this meal. Our people have a good hand on preparing delicious meals and as a traditional meal, we enjoy it very much. For me, I don't have the chance to eat this meal always as I live in a city far away from our hometown. So during the festival when I stay in my hometown, I really enjoy a known meal which is delicious and traditional to us.


 

Tips for answering this Cue card topic:

The first important thing about his cue card is that you should talk about a special menu/ dishes/ food item/ meal you prepare on a special day (festival day) in your country. By ‘you’ the cue card does not mean that you prepare it yourself, but the people in your country mostly prepare the meal for the special occasion. The special occasion can be a national day like liberation day, a widely celebrated cultural day like New Year day, can be a religiously sacred day like Eid, Puja, Christmas etc. You should pick an occasion and think about a meal you are familiar with. Since you need to describe the occasion, the significance of this occasion, the meal itself, the ingredients to prepare this meal, the tradition of preparing this meal and why this meal is a part of the occasion. Though you need to give some details of the occasion, its significance in your culture and country, you have to emphasise on the meal itself as the cue card topic is about the traditional meal but not on the occasion.

For the first question, ‘When you eat that meal’, describe if this is a traditional meal that you prepare on that special day or on some other days of the year as well. For example, some cakes and food items are particularly prepared on a special occasion like New Year and other seasonal occasions but people eat it on other days as well. Give the background of the food relating it to your tradition. For instance, in some Asian countries, preparing cakes in the winter season in traditional.

For the second and third questions “How you prepare it” and “What ingredients are used to prepare it” you should talk about the ingredients required and the processes involved to prepare it. Be very careful about describing the process as this is the most interesting part of the topic. The examiner might be interested in learning a new meal which is specially and differently prepared in your country. So being able to give a good description of the preparation of this meal would give a good impression to the examiner. Failing to do so might give a negative impression that your speaking is not as on the topic as it supposed to be.

Finally, give your own reason why you enjoy this meal. To answer this final question, say that this is really delicious food and this is prepared for the special occasion only. Relate the tradition of this food in your country and culture and also mention that how people of your country love to eat that meal. You should also mention that you remember having this meal on that special occasion from your childhood and that had become your way of celebrating the occasion. Mention how this occasion and meal you prepare in your country are related to your tradition and celebration and conclude your speech with that.

Being able to answer the questions listed below the cue card topic correctly and convincingly would ensure a good score in your speaking section of the IELTS exam.

 

If you can answer this cue card topic, you should also be to answer the following cue card topics as well:

1.    Describe a traditional food item in your country.
2.    Describe a meal you know how to prepare.
3.    Describe a national festival in your country.
4.    Describe a meal you enjoy eating.
5.    Describe a widely celebrated occasion in your country.
6.    Describe an occasion that you celebrated recently.

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