IELTS Cue Card Sample 176 - A food menu/dish you know how to cook

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

Describe a food menu/dish you know how to cook.

You should say:

  • what menu/dish it is
  • what ingredients are required to cook it
  • where or how you learned to cook it

and explain how you cook this food menu/dish.


Model Answer 1:
Today, I would like to talk about one of the popular food dishes in Malaysia, which I don’t only enjoy eating, but also know how to cook.

The name of this food dish is called “Nasi Biryani”.  It is a rice dish flavoured with spices and rose water. The word “nasi” means rice in Malay. By the way, the aromatic rice (ie. Basmati rice) is the base for all kinds of meat biryanis. Of course, one can also serve it separately, topped with his or her choice of curries. But as far as my nasi biryani is concerned, I prefer it separately with my choice of curries on top of it. 

Anyway, the ingredients, needed to cook this dish, may include ingredients like vegetable oil, 3 large shallots (peeled and thinly sliced), butter, cinnamon stick, 2 'star anise',  3 cardamom pods, 6 cloves, 500 gm basmati rice, 80 gm golden raisins, 2½ cups water, 1 teaspoon of salt, ground turmeric, rose essence or kewra (an extract from pandanus flowers) water, and finally,  and some toasted cashew nuts.

Anyway, after learning about its cooking methods from my sister, I have cooked this delicious dish many times. To cook this dish, first, fry sliced shallots in vegetable oil until they get a golden colour. In the same pot, fry all the spices, mentioned above, in melted butter, for about 1 to 2 minutes until the fragrance starts to come out. Then, boil the rice in water after adding golden raisins in it. Later, add some salt with them and cook them in medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until all water is absorbed is required. Then, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, mix ground turmeric with 1 tablespoon hot water in a small cup while mixing rose essence or kewra water within another. Now sprinkle both mixtures onto the rice and fluff rice gently with a spatula. Cover and allow the rice to sit for another 10 minutes. Garnish the cooked rice with fried onions and cashew nuts. Your delicious "nasi biryani" should be ready to be served now!


Sample Answer 2:
I am not a good cook and I know very little about cooking and related stuff. Yet, I know how to cook only a few common dishes as I had to cook sometimes during my university life/ college life. One such dish is the boiled rice and mutton curry.

To cook this dish we would need rice, mutton, some spices, onion, vinegar, mustard, water, oil, salt and some other basic cooking ingredients. I probably learned it from my mother's cooking. As I have seen my mother cook this very dish countless times, the idea and cooking of this dish came to me from there. When I cooked this dish for the first time, I actually recalled what my mother did and I followed the memories I had regarding my mother cooking this dish. So in a sense, I learned it from my mother, though she did not teach me how to cook this dish directly.

To cook this dish, one need to clean and wash the rice and then boil it in the water for about 30 minutes. At the end the cook has to check the water level and if needed s/he would need to drop off the extra water. Thus the boiled rice item would be prepared. To make it tasty, we sometimes use a very small portion of ghee/ tasty butter to give it a good scent and a delicious taste.

For the mutton curry part, the cook must wash the mutton first and then keep it in the water for about 20 minutes. After the mutton is washed neatly, it would have to put in the amalgam of the 3-4 spices, oil and vinegar. After that water would be added to this and the cook has to wait for 20-30 minutes before it would be ready to be served along with the rice.

I would say this is an easy dish to cook. It does not require so many ingredients or so many complex processes for cooking. This is a tasty dish that can be prepared easily and the taste would be great if everything goes alright.


Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. Who cooks in a family in your country?

Q. Will you cook for your friends when they visit you?

Q. Who cooks in a family in your country?

Q. What do you think about the advantages and disadvantages of fast food? 

Q. Where would people in your country usually go when they eat out? 

Q. What changes would take place in terms of people’s eating habits in your country?

Q. What can we do to solve the problem of food shortage? 


What can we do to solve the problem of food shortage?

Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would also enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a food item you like to eat.
  2. Describe your favourite dish.
  3. Describe a food item that you often eat outside.
  4. Describe a food item you like to eat at home.
  5. Describe a skill you have.
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Sepideh Safarzadeh
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