Meet Traveling Spoon host Nayna. As a freelance food and travel writer, Nayna knows a lot about good food. While Nayna lives in Manila, she is also an avid traveler and adventurous eater, having grown up surrounded by the tastes and aromas of her grandmother’s kitchen. She loves experimenting with family recipes and adding new dishes to her repertoire, always ensuring that everything she prepares is made from scratch. Read on for her recipe on how to make a delicious dish of tofu & kangkong adobo, Filipino-style.
Our Chennai host, Sundari is bringing you the recipe for a delicious and popular South Indian tea-time snack, dal fritters. Made with chickpeas and deep-fried to crispy perfection, dal fritters provide the health benefits of chickpeas along with the renowned tastiness of fried foods. Keep reading for a taste of traditional South Indian cuisine enjoyed straight from your own kitchen. Thank you Sundari!
Pepes ikan, or fish steamed in banana leaves, is one of Indonesia’s best dishes. Here’s how you can re-create this deliciously flavorful version of tuna pepes, thanks to our host Putu. Read on for more.
A salad featuring fresh coconut? Count us in! Sayur Urab, translated to mean “mixed vegetables”, is a classic Balinese dish that is perfect for anyone looking to spice up their salads in a flavorful and exciting way. Follow host Wayan’s recipe below for a delicious, healthy dish that will give you a glimpse into authentic Balinese cooking without having to leave your kitchen.
The lotus, or bua, is an important symbol in Thai culture as a sacred flower in Buddhist tradition. Within Thai cuisine, various parts of the lotus are eaten. With its abundance of minerals and vitamins, the lotus has several health benefits, such as increased bone density, healthier heart function, improved digestion, and better blood circulation. Ever wondered how you could cook lotus and make a delicious meal? Our host Pink in Bangkok shared with us her recipe for this deliciously savory traditional Thai dish, stir-fried lotus runners with shrimp. Read on for more.
If you’re looking to travel like a local and not like a tourist, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to our amazing hosts in Thailand, we are bringing you a local tips destination guide that gives you the inside scoop on the best way to explore Bangkok like a local.
Here at Traveling Spoon, we strive to do our part in making the world a smaller place through meaningful travel experiences that encourage engaging experiences with locals and opportunities to dig deeper into understanding cultures and places that may be unlike our own. Read on for 7 ways to explore Bangkok like a local along with traveler tips, provided by our hosts and Bangkok residents, Pern and Lae.
Spanakotiropita, a cheesy version of the renowned Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, is a must-try dish when you visit Greece. Essential to creating that perfect flaky texture is setting the pie with layers of phyllo dough. Phyllo dough pies have a rich history rich built around tradition, practicality, and deliciousness. Back in the day, it was a farmer’s go-to lunch meal because the spinach, cheese, and flaky dough packed just the right amount of punch, in its own self-contained package, to last a day’s worth of strenuous labor. In this recipe, our host, Christina, perfects centuries of tradition, as inspired by her own grandmother’s pies, to make a delicious spinach pie that you can re-create in your own kitchen.
What are the real best things to do in Mumbai? Almost every travel site about Mumbai will tell you to visit the Elephanta Caves, Dhobi Ghat and the Bandra-Worli sea link. But Mumbai teems with a rich artistic, cultural and culinary scene beyond these major tourist sites.
For our guide to the Best Things to Do in Mumbai, we asked a local resident. What did she say? Cycle through Oval Maidan, taking in boys playing cricket in the humid afternoon, dine at a restaurant using sign language to order with your hearing-impaired waiter, catch the mad rush of the local train that transports millions every day, and visit a market guided by a local before returning to their home to enjoy a traditional Indian meal eaten with your hands.
Read on for a local’s guide to the best, un-touristy things to do in Mumbai and revel in the hidden gems that make up this frenetic, cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures in India. These are just a few things we as locals love about our city, and would want all those who visit to experience it as well. Come let us see what makes Mumbai so special.
Ramadan, a month of intense prayers and fasting currently being observed by Muslims worldwide (June 5 – July 5th, this year), is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam. According to the Royal Embassy of Saudia Arabia:
“Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset.”
However, there is also a very special meal after the fast that Muslims can look forward to, iftar. Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset. We recently shared with you one of our host’s favorite recipes for breaking the fast, Malaysian fish head curry. But iftar differs across Muslim communities around the world. Here are some of our favorite iftar traditions the span the globe!
In India, most Muslims break their fast with haleem because it is very filling. The preparation of haleem is considered to be an art as it is slow-cooked for hours together on firewood. The ingredients include meat, barley, pulses, pounded wheat, spices, especially kababchini (all spice) and ghee. The garnish includes fried cashews, golden fried onions and a slice of lime. Check out this recipe if you are curious!
In Pakistan, iftar is usually heavy, consisting mainly of sweet and savory treats such as jalebi. The jalebi is by deep-frying a wheat flour batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
Beguni is a must have recipe for Iftar in Ramadan in Bangladesh. Beguni is a Bengali snack made of eggplant which is sliced and battered before being either fried or deep fried in oil. We have also found a video recipe for you!
In Turkey, sugar and sweet foods symbolize happiness and goodwill, and no iftar is complete without sweets and candies during Ramadan. One the most beloved sweets since the Ottoman Empire, the baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
Happy Ramadan to everyone celebrating this month!
Gulai kepala ikanor, or fish head curry, is a popular dish in Malaysia, and it is widely served during family get togethers and occasions such as birthdays and during breaking of the fast. During Ramadan, the Muslim holy month currently being observed (June 5 – July 5), many Muslims fast from dawn until sunset and then enjoy a meal to break the fast. When we reached out to our hosts to collect recipes they use during the Ramadan holiday, we heard from host Halim in Kuala Lumpur, “[this is a] favorite family dish that is served during family get togethers such as birthdays and during breaking of the fast. It is one of my family favorites. I cook this when all my children gather at my house…I know a lot of Americans are not used to see a fish head being serving as a main dish, that is why I chose this dish for you to feature!” It’s true, while fish head is not a popular ingredient in many western dishes, the fish head is full of tender meat and flavor that creates incredible stews and curries. We love getting to feature some of the authentic favorite family dishes of our hosts around the world.
Read on to re-create this authentic fish head curry recipe yourself!
Malaysian Fish Head Curry (gulai kepala ikanor)
1 fish head (grouper or snapper), about 1 kg or 2.5 lb
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp or 1 oz of fish curry, mixed in 3 tbsp of water to make a paste
1/4 cup of tamarind soaked in 1 cup of water
3 cups coconut milk
3 tomatoes, cut in half
5 fresh red chilies
5 fresh green chilies
1.5 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
Ingredients for spice paste
15 dried chilies, soaked in hot water (use more or less for desired spice preference)
4-5 bulbs of shallots
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 tbsp of galangal
2 tsp of shrimp paste
Clean the fish head. If you prefer cut them into smaller pieces. (The fish monger can do this for you). Mix in the salt. Set aside.
Blend the ingredients for the spice paste (you can use a large mortar and pestle or a Cuisinart). Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or a pot over medium-high heat. Add the spice paste mixture and fry for about 3 minutes or until fragrant and the oil separates.
Then add in the tamarind water (removing the tamarind) and coconut milk. Bring it to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add in the okra, then the tomatoes. Next add in the red and green chilies. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Finally, add in the fish head. Increase heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
Pour into a large serving bowl and serve with white rice.