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The island of Timor has a long, proud history and a rich culture built over centuries. Many different ethnic influences have contributed to the island’s development.

The Cuisine of East Timor consists of regional popular foods such as pork, fish, basil, tamarind, legumes, corn, rice, root vegetables, and tropical fruit. East Timorese cuisine has influences from Southeast Asian foods and from Portuguese dishes from its colonisation by Portugal. Flavours and ingredients from other former Portuguese colonies can be found due to the presence of Portuguese soldiers from other colonies in East Timor.

The food in East Timor is divided into two categories vegetarian and non vegetarian. As agriculture is the main occupation in East Timor the primary food include of rice as it is cultivated hugely in this country. Apart from rice the other food items which is cultivated here in this country includes sweet potatoes, maize, cassava and taro. These are the basic food of East Timor, the vegetables that are grown here consists of beans, cabbage, spinach, onions and cowpeas.

Ai Manas is the heart beat of Timorese food. This spicy chilli is made throughout the country with regional varieties and differences according to taste that vary from household to household. Typically Green or red chillis make up the bulk of the paste, which is ground with garlic, lime/lemon rind, red onions, ginger, balimbi and many other local ingredients. A couple of teaspoons on your plate will be sure to fire up any meal. Gostu!

Batar daan- A popular dish of corn, mung beans, and pumpkin.

Budu- A sauce of tomato, mint, lime, and Spanish onion.
An East Timorese dish of ikan sabuko with batar daan, rice and budu.

Ikan sabuko- A Spanish mackerel in tamarind marinade with basil and chilli.

Tapai- A fermented rice dish. It is sweet, sour, and slightly alcoholic.

Caril A mild chicken curry with potatoes and coconut paste.

Feijoada – A common dish of former Portuguese colonies, it is made with pork, cannellini beans and chorizo.

Desserts
Bibinka- A grilled and layered coconut cake

Portuguese tart (pastel de nata) an egg tart pastry

Tukir Marinated meat (typically deer or buffalo) slow roasted in whole sections of large bamboo over coals.