- Red and green chili peppers
There is probably no need to introduce this ingredient. Chili peppers are grown and used in most continents. The red ones are already ripe, while the green ones are not. There are many species of them with a large variety of heat level.
- Achcharu - Green papaya pickle
When I was in Sri Lanka for the first time, I was living in the house with Sri Lankan aunties and a granny too. When I came back in one year, the granny unfortunately was not there any more..... At the time it was just 3 months she passed away, so I witnessed preparation for Almsgiving ceremony, Sanghika dana. The ceremony should bring a beautiful post-mortem life of the person. Loads of special food are prepared for the ceremony and one of them is achcharu, green papaya or carrot pickle.
- Aloo channa masala - Potato and chickpeas masala
On the suburb of Pushkar, picturesque town in Rajasthan in the North India, is a small restaurant, where I got this masala. It was amazing and even better thank to the fact the chapati served with it was made traditional way, in a clay tandoori oven.
- Aloo jeera fry - Fried potatoes with cumin
If you love fried potatoes, it is time to tune them up a bit by some great Indian spices :) Great as a side dish, but in India they serve them with rice or local bread.
- Aloo masala - Potato curry
Another curry, which definitely belongs to Indian classics. You can get it in India whole day, including breakfast. If you have some boiled potatoes leftovers, aloo masala is an option number one ;)
- Aloo roast - Potato roast
Another from the range of Kerala specials from South India. I have learnt this recipe from a lady, who except all the other delicacies made the best curries in whole South India I had a chance to try!
- Authentic Moroccan couscous with beef and vegetables
In our fast moving world it is quite hard to imagine preparing real couscous as they do in North Africa. The real one takes a few hours to prepare. Couscous in Morocco is a festive dish served on Friday. One of the reasons for long preparation is a slow cooked meat (usually beef or lamb). The second, most important one is slow moisturising of dry couscous by hands and then slow steaming above meat and vegetables in a special pot called couscoussier. Thanks to this slow process the couscous is well done, filled with smell of meat and vegetables and nicely loose.
- Baby jackfruit curry - Polos
Jackfruit is a fascinating fruit. Not only because of its size, but it is used completely different way in each stage of its ripeness. If it is of a size about 15-20 cm, it is called baby jack (or green jackfruit). It is used as a vegetable and has a sour taste. The curry made of it is called polos and is a bit sour too, but very nicely sour.
- Baingan bharta - Minced roasted eggplant
I fell in love with this vegetarian dish from Punjab instantly. Especially in its smoky flavor. Which is the most important point of the recipe. You simply roast it directly on open fire till it is black from all sides. And thats the magic.
- Bandakka curry - Ladies fingers curry
This curry is exceptional firstly as it is nearly not spicy at all and secondly, okra is a slimy vegetable, which some people love, some don't. If you belong to the ones, who love it, you will love this curry too. As Ladies fingers curry is nearly not spicy at all, it is usually combined with more spicy curries like for instance Jackfruit curry.
- Banh dap - Crushed rice cracker with anchovy sauce
I was sitting in a restaurant by the river in Hoi An and all of a sudden I could hear a blow from the other table. I had a look this direction and could see a guy hitting heap of some pancakes with his open palm, then tearing it and dipping in some sauce. So I ordered it too. They were rice crackers connected together with layers of steamed rice pancakes. So simple and so tasty. Of course thanks to the great sauce too :)
- Bedum - Fried noodles with peanuts
I have always thought, eating instant curly noodles is just an instant fast food, that we buy in supermarkets and that people in Asia have no idea this kind of food even exists. In Sri Lanka I realized I was wrong. They cook with these instant noodles quite often, just different way than us. Bedum is prepared for special occasions only. New Year, Almsgiving and other holidays.
- Beef biryani
This beef biryani I have learnt in one muslim village in Kerala, India. When you moved out of the village for just a few kilometers, cows were sacred there because of hinduism.
- Beetroot pachadi
Gently spiced beetroot salad, which belongs to Kerala specials, state of South India. It can be served both, warm and cold. And it is vegetarian dish as majority in India.
- Beetroot thoran
Special, typical for South Indian state, Kerala. It is a vegetarian / vegan recipe, where sweetness of beetroot is balanced with chilies, ginger and garlic.
- Black bean fish
This delicacy I had in a small restaurant on Borneo island. It was so good I couldn't resist and went there again following day. The waiter spoke English a bit, so I mentioned that I love cooking. When I wanted to pay, he brought me three pieces of paper. One of them was the bill, the other one was recipe for the dish I had just finished and the third one was for the fish in a black bean sauce I had yesterday here. I love Asia and approach of local people, who are happy when they make other people happy.
- Cap cay - Traditional Indonesian veggie bowl with egg
There are hundreds of variants of Cap cay all over Indonesia. You can get a veggie one or with meat, with various kinds of spices and sometimes it looks more like a wok and sometimes more like a soup. The original recipe comes from China, where it is usually more like a wok, but in Indonesia I met mostly the "soup style" version. Both versions are great, it is simply up to you which one you prefer. This one I learned in a small street restaurant on the east coast of Bali.
- Coconut curry
Most of Sri Lankan recipes consists of coconut. The more when talking about this recipe. It is a delicate sauce pleasantly seasoned, which is used especially for string hoppers (rice noodles) or kottu roti (chopped bread).
- Devilish peppers
Before I left to Sri Lanka, my friend Lucka, who loves very spicy food asked me for bringing her some very spicy recipe. Have look at the list of ingredients, and I believe you agree, that I would hardly find a recipe fitting her taste better :) If you do not belong to fans of a spicy food, better skip this recipe
The essential dish in Sri Lanka. Locals eat it two, sometimes even three times a day. As most of recipes in Sri Lanka are vegetarian and vegan, lentils are very important source of proteins. Most of dhal recipes I have known seemed too complicated. So this is probably one of the most easy recipes, I was taught by my Sri Lanka family and it is so delicious too.
- Dhal - Lentils Kerala style
The most frequented dish, which you will find in hundreds of variants allover India. This recipe is from Kerala, South India, where fresh coconut is a very common ingredient. Dhal is not an exception.
- Dhal fry - Red lentils Northern India style
I love dhal. Probably all variations I have ever tried. (Not only) in every state of India it is done different way. They use ingredients, which appear naturally in the region. In the South they would hardly do without curry leaves and a coconut milk. In the North it is the very opposite way. And this is where the recipe I learnt from two cool local guys in a hostel is coming from.
- Duck noodle soup Bun Mang Vit
When imagining Vietnamese cuisine, most probably it is gonna be around the great noodle soups. The most known is probably Pho, which means wide noodles in Vietnamese. This recipe is about soup made of thin noodles, called vermicelli, in Vietnamese Bun. It is an amazing combination of duck meat, bamboo shoots and radish.
- Egg and plain hoppers - Bithara Aappe
One of the most original and tasty egg recipes I have ever tried. And it has its bowl too ;) Street food available in the streets of Sri Lanka usually after 3.30 pm.
- Egg curry
Egg curry was my very first dish in India. I recall the picture with all the details. The food was delicious, 10 locals where looking at me like at a sacred picture, they were nodding their heads from side to side, smiling and the room was filled with the amazing smell of masala tea.
- Fish satay - Saté ikan laut
One of my favourite specials of Bali in Indonesia. Satay made of various kinds of minced fish and shrimps with coconut and a pleasant combination of spices. Usually grilled by the road on bamboo skewers, sometimes on lemon grass stalks, which give to satays amazing aroma.
- Fried liver with tomatoes and cucumber
Vietnamese cuisine is full of recipes with inners. I love this recipe, as it is very fast, full of fresh herbs and it is delicious.
- Fried tofu with red chilies and lemon grass
After about five days spent with Vietnamese family, who served huge heaps of pork with each meal, this vegetarian dish was a very welcome change.
- Gado gado - Mung sprouts with peanut sauce
In Lombok in Indonesia, they simply love cooking with mung sprouts and water spinach. Really, they are part of at least half of traditional Lombok specials. This time it is gado gado with peanut sauce. You can find so many flavors and recipes of peanut sauce all around Indonesia. The great thing about this one is, that it is very simple, fast, with just a few ingredients used and still soooo delicious :)
- Gai sabb - Fried chicken salad
If you get a salad with meat in the "west", it is usually loads of vegetables just topped with a few bits of meat. In Thai salads it is the other way. Meat is the main ingredient and vegetable plays a supporting role. In spite of the loads of meat, this salad is very refreshing and suitable for summer heats too.
- Ginger beef
Amazing combination of flavours. And this Malay recipe with Chinese roots is very easy and fast too. I got it even without asking for it. It was enough to mention in the restaurant I was enjoying this dish that it is really delicious and that I love cooking and I got the recipe together with the bill.