Garlic is originally from Middle Asia and step by step has spread into all cuisines worldwide. It is used for meat dishes, various kinds of sauces and salad dressings. There are hundreds kinds available.
- 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 ;)
- 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.
- Banana curry
When I got a bowl of banana curry in front of me in India, I was not sure what to think. It didn't look very appealing and banana curry sounded pretty strange to me. But! The smell was amazing! So I gave it a go and believe me, it was something! Such a balanced combination of spices. You could have felt each of them separately and all together it made a perfect harmony. And when I got the secret recipe, I nearly started dancing around the table :)
- 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).
- Crispy Chinese omelette - Phuyng hay
Yes, I put it among Indonesian recipes, as this omelette is made pretty often at various street restaurants in Bali. But originally it comes from China. Its one of the best omelettes I have ever had. All over that I have learned it from such a nice couple in a beautiful outdoor kitchen with plenty of beautiful tropical flowers around. Such nice memories.
- Dadar jagung - Corn cakes
One of my most favorite Indonesian dishes. Great combination of sweet corn with garlic and kaffir lime leaves.
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.
- 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.
- Eggplant and tofu curry Indonesian style - Tahu terong santan
This Indonesian style curry is special not only because of its delicious taste, but it is a typical wedding dish as well. Loads of coconut milk is needed for it. Fortunately men are responsible for wedding feast preparation and they do know how to crack all the coconuts by their unmistakeable original style. Check the video and you will understand.
- Fish kefta - Moroccan fish balls
For this delicacy, I didn`t hesitate to travel to 5 km distant village. Sardine kefta was my favourite. Grilled straight on the street, mashed with a knife and stuffed into a fresh, still warm bread. With chopped onion and chilli sauce, irresistible combination. And price? 4 dirhams! :) (year 2016)
- 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.
- Fish tagine
Because of surfing I spent loads of time on Atlantic coastline of Morocco. That`s why a fresh fish was my daily bread. Grilled, fried or made in traditional Moroccan dish, tagine. This recipe I learned in a restaurant on my favourite beach, Lagzira.
- 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 sardines with herbs ala Omar
Fried sardines dusted in flour you will get easily nearly everywhere in Morocco. Usually it is a huge portion and it costs nearly nothing. But the recipe I learned from Omar in a fisherman house on the beach was simply the best.
- 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 phat met mamuang himmaphan - Chicken with cashew nuts
Irresistible combination of various flavors and consistencies. Another delicacy from range of not spicy Thai dishes.
- 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.