Category Archives: Exotic

Vegetarian Recipes from around the World


Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulgar wheat and served as part of a mezze. I like to substitute couscous, which is quicker and easier.

Traditionally also, it contains copious amounts of chopped parsley, and lemon juice. My recipe calls for more judicious quantities.

Serves 2
Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: *
Origin: Middle East
Good with: Falafelbarbecue


Piri-piri: this sauce of Portuguese origin gets its name from a type of chilli grown in Africa. It is actually of frutescens species (which is the species used to make Tabasco sauce.) I find any mild red chilli an acceptable substitute (piri-piri chillies are anything but mild!)

The sauce is absolutely delicious and can be stirred into all sorts of savoury recipes. Below I give a couple of suggestions.

Serves lots
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: Portugal
Good in: Portuguese Tuna Rice Bake, French Toast

Biryani with Roasted Vegetables

Biryani is essentially a celebration main dish from the Indian subcontinent, whose origins are arguably Persian. This recipe for Biryani with Roasted Vegetables is a kind of ‘Biryani-Lite’ as a rice accompaniment for other (curry) recipes. Which I suppose makes it technically a ‘Pulao‘ rather than a Biryani. I will publish a recipe for a full-blooded Royal Biryani at a later date.

Serves 4+
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: ***
Good with: Spiced Lentil Soup, Samosas

Roti (Surinamese Curry)

Roti is a delicious curry from Suriname, which as I am sure you know is a former colony of the Netherlands, located on the northern coast of South America.

Roti is traditionally made with chicken, and contains also snake beans (kousenbanden) and potatoes. It takes it’s name from the flat pancake made from flour and oil that is eaten with it (rather like a paratha.)

This is my version made with egg, mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potato, courgette and aubergine in addition to the beans and potato.

Serves 2
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: Suriname

Paneer Masala

I have tried almost every curry imaginable, but in my humble opinion this is simply the best ever: Paneer Masala. It is rich, savoury and deeply satisfying.

Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other food acids.

You can buy it ready made from some supermarkets, or you could use tofu instead. Or you can make your own. It’s easy and fun, just follow this link for Paneer or see under Basic Recipes.

Serves 2
Time: preparation 30 minutes. Add 60 minutes if making the Paneer. The Rice will take 75 minutes including soaking and draining
Difficulty: ****
Origin: India
Good with: Yellow Rice, Gujerati Vegetables.

Authentic Thai Green Curry

With the advent of ready-made sauces, Thai Green Curry (and Thai Red Curry for that matter) has become somewhat compromised. The sauces necessarily contain sugar as preservative, and commonly recommend the addition of coconut milk. The result is all too often sweet thick gloop.

However, it is not difficult to make your own Thai Curry Sauce (green or red) using raw ingredients.

Serves 3
Time: preparation 45
Difficulty: ***
Origin: Thailand
Good with: Plain Rice, kroepoek (prawn crackers)

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng simply means “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay. Usually, in Indonesian households, Nasi Goreng is eaten for breakfast,  prepared from the leftovers of the previous day’s meals, with fresh vegetables and eggs added. The basic ingredients of Nasi Goreng are rice, onion, garlic, sambal or chili sauce, and Kecap Manis or sweet soy sauce.

Serves 2
Time: preparation 30 minutes if using pre-cooked rice. Add 75 minutes if you need to prepare the rice
Difficulty: ***
Origin: Indonesia
Good with: Kroepoek (prawn crackers)