Originally Answered: I need a gift for my teacher?
You could go with the herbs and spices for an Indian curry such as Lamb Rogan Josh....omitting the lamb and yoghurt of course, he can add them when he is ready to make it up..and including the recipe. This is a delicious curry that is often served at feasts and with naan bread as well as rice.
1 kg boned lamb in bite sized pieces ( chicken breast can be used instead if preferred )
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1-2 chili peppers, de-seeded and chopped
6 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2cm fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon mace
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
½ tin tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
In a large heavy-based frying pan heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the cloves, chilli pepper, peppercorns and cardamom. Stir for a few seconds and then add a batch of meat in one layer, being careful not to crowd it. When it is brown on all sides, remove it onto a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the spices and add the next batch of meat to brown. When all the meat has been browned, turn off the heat.
Find a small heavy based pan to toast the rest of the spices. Put the cumin, coriander, coconut and almonds in and toast over a medium heat stirring constantly for 5 minutes until they are browned and fragrant. Put these spices into a blender with the chopped garlic and ginger. Add the whole spices (without the oil) from the frying pan in which you browned the meat. Also add the turmeric, nutmeg and mace with half a cup of water. Blend to a smooth thick paste.
Now fry the onion in the same pan and oil that you used to brown the meat. Stir and scrape up all the spicy residue and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the spice paste from the blender and cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Add the yoghurt a little at a time and then add the chopped tomatoes, continuing to cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and simmer this sauce covered over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the meat to the sauce, stir in the salt, bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about 1 hour until the meat is tender. Serve with rice, naan bread, a crisp green salad and a side dish of dessicated coconut to sprinkle over the curry.
Or there are plenty of other Indian recipes you could work with, buy small packets of the spices and a pack of good basmati rice, if everything won't fit into a jar then you could use a basket of some sort or simply a cardboard box that you have covered with fabric or wall paper. I have suggested indian food because most people do enjoy it but very few, who are not Indian of course, actually go to the trouble of getting everything together to make it.