What’s Your Recipe for Peace?

5 Simple Ingredients

Food connects us all. That’s why we’ve teamed up with foodies from Diaspora communities here in the U.S. to prepare authentic meals from their home countries using the same kinds of ingredients that WFP delivers to more than 120 million people every year. 

Just five simple ingredients can start a conversation about how to end world hunger. 

What’s in the Box?

These 5 simple ingredients are included in every emergency food box that WFP delivers.


Wheat, barley, oats, rice and corn are the foundation of most meals across every human society. They are highly adaptable to a wide range of cuisines and are relatively easy to cook in emergency settings. WFP distributes either whole grains or flour, depending on the context.  Whatever form they take, grains like these are high in critical nutrients like Vitamins A, B6, C and Iron.

Vegetable Oil

Oil is essential for both its role in the cooking process and in the nutrients it provides. WFP’s oil is fortified with Vitamin D, which help people absorb critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, and Vitamin A, which is necessary for the health of our eyes, skin and immune system. And of course, it provides fat – an essential macronutrient. 


This critical ingredient comes in a wide variety including lentils, chickpeas and beans. They are naturally high in nutrients like fiber, iron, Vitamin B and folate, and they contain about twice as much protein as whole grains. This makes them one of the most affordable and accessible sources of protein in low-income countries. They are also shelf-stable for long periods of time, making them a staple food for communities facing the most extreme levels of hunger.


Like oil, salt is mostly important for its role as a delivery method of Iodine, which is especially critical for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and infants. Our bodies need iodine to produce a wide range of hormones, but the human body doesn’t produce it naturally, so we must get it from food. 


Our bodies need one type of sugar, called glucose, to survive. Glucose is the number one food for the brain, and it’s an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body. Some sugars are found naturally in foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and milk, but if you don’t have access to these, you need to supplement in order to build fat and gain energy.  And, like salt, it enhances flavor, which is especially important for children’s meals.

A diaspora is simply a large group of people who’ve moved from their country of origin to another country or countries, whether by force or by choice. These groups of people maintain their cultural traditions in their new homes through rich expressions including language, art, and – of course – food. Sharing family recipes with one another is one of the most fundamental ways humans connect with each other. That’s because food carries history with it. By sharing a meal, we can deepen our understanding of the challenges people have faced along the way. 

Conflict is the #1 driver of hunger in the world. It forces families from their homes, destroys economies, ruins infrastructure and makes food nearly impossible to find or afford. Where there is conflict, there is hunger. And where there is hunger, conflict often follows. Today, nearly 60% of the world’s hungriest people live in conflict-affected areas. WFP was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger, its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas, and for acting as a driving force to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. 

We’ll unveil our three chefs, and they’ll describe in their own words how hunger has affected their home countries. They’ll be coming to you directly from their kitchens, cooking a meal using the same main ingredients in WFP’s Food Box. The chefs hail from Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. Watch the trailer and stay tuned for more content! 

Yes! We serve millions of people in over 120 countries and territories every year. Staple ingredients like the ones used in Recipes for Peace are the same kinds that we distribute to people facing the most extreme levels of hunger. But our food programs include a wide range of offerings depending on the context, culture, and demographics of the community. Check out all the types of food we provide here

Chef Recipes

Prep Time: 60  mins | Cook Time:  7 mins | Yield: 4 servings  

List of Ingredients: 

For the filling: 

  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces 
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced  
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper  

For the dough:  

  • 275 g (about 2 cups) wheat flour, plus some more for dusting 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 3⁄4 cups hot boiling water 

Preparation/Prepare ahead (optional):  

  1. Place the potato in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the potato is completely soft, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  1. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and fry until the onion is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 
  1. Drain the potato and put it through a potato ricer or mash it with a potato masher. Mix the riced potato with fried onion and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. 


  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add oil and start slowly pouring the hot water. The mixture will be hot so start mixing it with a spatula or a large wooden spoon. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface when the dough starts coming together and becomes warm enough to handle. Knead the dough for a few minutes until almost smooth. Wrap it in plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes. You can refrigerate it for up to 6 hours before making the dumplings. Make sure the dough is at room temperature before starting to roll it.   
  1. Divide the dough into 20 or 24 equal pieces and roll each into a thin circle about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. 
  1. To shape the dumplings, put 1 1/2 tablespoons of potato filling in the center of the dough circle, then close it in half to create a half-moon shape and pinch with your fingers to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough. 
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season it with a good pinch of salt—Cook the dumplings for about 7 minutes or until they are plump and the dough is thoroughly cooked.  
  1. Fish the dumplings out of the pot into a large bowl, drizzle with a bit of oil or melted butter, and serve immediately. They taste best with a dollop of sour cream. 

Prep Time:  Overnight or 8 hours | Cook Time: approximately 2 hours | Yield: 4-6 servings  

List of Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup dry chickpeas  
  • ½ cup dry black-eyed peas  
  • ½ cup green mung beans  
  • 3 large white onions, thinly sliced  
  • 1 ½ cups oil  
  • 1 tablespoon wheat flour  
  • 3 ¼ teaspoons salt  
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper  
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder  
  • 3 garlic cloves  
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mint  
  • ½ cup qurooth  

Preparation/Prepare ahead (optional):  

Legumes preparation: The night before, soak the dry chickpeas, black-eyed peas and green mung in large bowls to allow for expansion. This process of rehydrating the legumes requires lots of water and making sure the beans are fully submerged throughout this process is crucial. Chickpeas, for example, will double in size. It’s like magic! 


  1. In a heavy pot, heat up 1 cup oil over a medium-high heat. Add 1 thinly sliced onion and fry until lightly browned. Sprinkle in whole wheat flour and stir for about 30 seconds. Mix in strained chickpeas, strained black eyed peas, 3 teaspoons of salt, ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Add enough water to fully submerge the legumes and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer covered on low for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add green mung beans and simmer covered on low for another 30-45 minutes or until the legumes have softened. Add water as needed. The consistency should be thick and creamy.  
  2. Once the Oogra is thick and the legumes have softened, heat up the remaining ½ cup of oil on a medium-high heat in a separate frying pan. Fry the remaining 2 thinly sliced onions. While the onions brown, using a mortar and pestle, mash garlic with ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric. After the onions have browned, turn off the heat and carefully set aside 2 heaping tablespoons of the fried onions for topping. Minimal oil transfer will also occur, that’s okay! Stir in garlic paste to browned onions and fry in the hot oil for one minute, allowing the garlic and spices to become aromatic. Pour the fragrant fried onions and garlic to thickened stew and mix well. Ladle the Oogra into a shallow bowl. Top with the reserved fried onions, dried mint and qurooth.  

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 25-30 mins| Yield: 6

List of Ingredients:

  1. 2 small roma tomatoes (optional – crushed tomato can be substituted or the tomato can be removed all together if you prefer a spicier stew)
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 3 cloves garlic
  4. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  5. 1- 1 ½ cups red lentils
  6. 4 -5 Tbsp Berbere (adjust according to the spice level you prefer)
  7. 2 jalapeno peppers


  1. Finely dice tomatoes and onion and set aside
  2. Mince garlic and set aside
  3. Thoroughly wash lentils until water runs clear (use whole red lentils)
  4. Add diced onions to a pot and allow to sweat for a few minutes without oil
  5. After a few minutes, add a generous amount of oil and cook onions until they begin to
  6. Next add Berbere spice and stir. Keep a kettle or glass of hot water close and add a
    small amount in if needed to prevent spice from burning.
  7. Next add tomatoes and stir. Allow to cook down for a few minutes adding more water as needed. Then add tomato paste and continue stirring till evenly incorporated.
  8. Next add minced garlic
  9. Add washed lentils and mix until lentils are evenly incorporated and add a bit more hot water as needed. Cook the stew until the lentils have softened.
  10. Add sliced jalapeno peppers and mix in to the stew right before turning the heat off.
  11. Serve with injera and enjoy!


Birsin is a spicy Ethiopian lentil dish that is one of my favourite Ethiopian vegan dishes. I chose this recipe because it’s very simple yet very flavorful and hearty. It’s a dish that I grew up eating and I looked forward to during Tsom (Orthodox fasting) with my grandmother. Ethiopian cooking is intuitive so I encourage you to look at this recipe as a guide and taste along the way to get the Birsin dish that you will love!

How can i get involved?


For just $75 dollars, you can send a box with enough food to feed a family of five for a month. Your generous support will help save lives and rebuild pathways to peace.


Follow @WFPUSA on Instagram to watch all the chef videos when they drop, starting January 27.


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