When you sit down to a Timorese meal, you are enjoying a cuisine that effortlessly blends ingredients and spices from Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.
As an island nation that borders Indonesia and Australia, fish is an important part of the Timorese diet. Ikan Saboko (fish cooked in banana leaves) is the na- tional dish, and prawns are a delicacy usually reserved for special occasions.
Pork and chorizo are local favorites and a nod to the lingering Portuguese influence in Timor-Leste. One popular dish is feijoada, a casserole made from pork, cannellini beans and chorizo served with garlic and tomato sauce. Budu is a salsa of tomatoes, mint, limes and Spanish onions. Chicken is eaten for breakfast is- sasorro, a porridge made of chicken and spinach.
Timorese cuisine also blends elements of African and Indian cooking, too. Timorese dishes include mungbeans, kidney beans and legumes in its curries. Batar daan is a side dish made of corn, mungbeans and pumpkin. Fruit choices are diverse and include bananas, co- conuts, mangos, watermelons and papayas. A more decadent dessert is bibinka, a grilled and layered coconut cake.
Coconut water vendors are a familiar and welcome sight in the coastal cities and inland, and the coffee is strong and grown organically.