Top 25 Foods in Suriname – Most Popular Dishes in Suriname
Suriname is one of the smallest countries in South America and is also part of the Caribbean. This country is 94% green. Admired for its multicultural population, Suriname is a place of cultural and lifestyle variety and possesses a substantial diversity of foods.
Food is an important part of Surinamese culture. Because of the different ethnic groups, Suriname has a variety of delicacies they can call their own. The indigenous peoples, Creoles, Indians, Chinese, and Javanese together produce the most delicious cuisine.
1. Moksi Alesi (Mixed rice)
Moksi alesi has an interesting history. During the time of slavery this food was created by slaves who used leftovers of chicken, meat, dried fish, beans and vegetables, basically anything they could find, with rice as a base.
Nowadays it’s a dish you will find at most parties, gatherings, or on any occasion. Moksi Alesi is mostly topped off with plantain, oven roasted or baked chicken and garter, a local green bean. This mixed rice is really the perfect dish for every occasion.
2. Podosiri (Acai Juice/Pudding)
Famous among the Maroons, this traditional delicacy has made its way throughout Suriname. Made out of the juice from the acai fruit, found only in the South American rainforest, the podosiri is neither juice nor pudding due as it has a very different consistency.
Podosiri can be eaten with a variety of dried foods. The most usual are cassava bread, rice, and plain bread.
3. Grietbana Soep Met Tomtom (Grated Plantain Soup with Tomtom)
The Surinamese love soup. Grietbana soep withtom tom is one of many and contains root vegetables, green plantains, dried fish, salted meat, and coconut milk.
The tomtom that goes in the soup is made of grated plantain and grated cassava mixed together till it looks like a mushy dough. Small portions of this dough are spooned into the soup while it is cooking.
It is a taste that takes you back to your childhood and is one of the many soups of Creole cuisine.
This is another of Suriname’s amazing soups and comes from the Maroons. For Afingie, grated bitter cassava is left to dry, filtered, and finally smashed by hand into little grains called poc-poc. A mouthwatering soup is then prepared with meat or fish and the poc-poc is then added. Once cooked, you’re ready to dig in.
It is said that Afingie is most satisfying when made with wild meat and eaten with pepper. So if you are into hots soups, I really recommend trying this out. It is also considered one of the world’s most effective hangover cures.
5. Heri Heri
If you are traveling in Suriname and looking for healthy, tasty food, then you must not miss out on this extraordinary meal. Like the Moksi Alesi, this is a meal the slaves created to boost their energy and get them through the day. Today, it has been revolutionized into a splendid meal prepared in all the top restaurants in Suriname.
Heri heri consists of cassava, green banana, sweet potatoes, and eggs. All of these are boiled and then placed together. Everything is topped off with salted, shredded fish. This completes the basic heri heri: rich in flavor and and dish that sparks up your energy.
Roti is a popular Indian dish. Indian immigrants came to live and work in Suriname in 1873, bringing with them their own culture and food.
One of these foods is roti. Roti is made with flour and filled with potato or yellow peas. It is rolled out into circles and baked on a special flat pan. Roti is served with chicken or duck in curry sauce, potato curry, and vegetables on the side. In restaurants you’ll find garter and pumpkin are popular. But eggplant also goes well with roti.
This bread is very easy to find because there are many fine Indian restaurants in Suriname.
Another dish popular in Indian restaurants is the famous and very tasty snack called bara. The main ingredients are urdi, flour, and spinach, which are mixed into a dough and then deep fried in hot oil. For even more taste, add some chicken or chicken liver.
For the best bara experience you need chutney. There are many different kinds and they can be quite hot. The most popular are potato chutney and green mango chutney.
This triangle-shaped snack not only looks delicious but it tastes even better. Samosa is one of many Indian snacks, but this one has ranked up in popularity throughout Suriname. Just one bite and you know you’ll need more. Samosa is perfect for every occasion, as a snack but also as an appetizer.
Samosa is made with a pastry of plain butter and flour. The filling is most important. It consists of mashed potatoes, peas, celery, curry spices, and green paprika. They are first cooked and then wrapped up in the dough into small triangular parcels that are then deep fried in boiling oil. Best served with a hot ketchup on the side.
9. Ghughri (Baked Chickpeas)
Ghughri or channa is a great peppery snack to nibble on and its very easy to make. The chickpeas are baked with pepper and spices for a delicious taste. The combination of baked peas with spices is pure creativity, bringing out a splendid flavor that makes this simple snack one of the most famous in Suriname.
You cannot visit an Indian party or wedding and not feast on this delicious snack. Yellow peas, cumin seed, pepper, garlic, and onion are blended together and mixed with a little water to make the phulauri dough.
The phulauri is further rolled into marble-sized pieces and fried in boiling oil. These delicious balls are not complete without some hot ketchup or flaming hot potato chutney.
11. Javaanse Bami (Javanese Noodles)
This is one of the most popular dishes in Suriname and came from the Javanese. In 1890, they too emigrated to Suriname, bringing with them their cultural delicacies.
Before making this dish, the noodles are immersed in boiling water to soften them. After rinsing, the noodles are baked with soy sauce and various spices. Before serving, the plate of delicious noodles is topped off with some baked chicken and vegetables on the side. To make it even better, a peanut sauce is drizzled on top.
This particular noodle dish is very delicious and really cannot be passed up if you are visiting Suriname.
12. Bakabana (Baked Plantain in Batter)
This is a popular snack also rooted in Javanese culture. The bakabana, as we call it, is ripe plantain, sliced, covered in a sweet batter, and fried in hot oil. This snack is also served with peanut sauce drizzled on top. Eating bakabana is like having a sweet party in your mouth.
13. Saoto Soup
This mouthwatering soup is one of the most famous traditional Javanese chicken soups in all of Suriname. You can find it at every warung (Javanese restaurant) in the country.
This soup is a mix of chicken filet and herbs. The chicken is first boiled in water and then shredded, then baked with sliced potato and vermicelli. The herbs are boiled together with all the necessary spices.
When the soup is done, the chicken, potato, and vermicelli mixture is added to the soup along with salam leaves, allspice, and laos. For extra toppings you can add rice, boiled egg, dry baked potato fries, and soy sprouts.
When everything is put together, it becomes a masterpiece representing a mixture of cultures, flavors, and creativity. Saoto soup is a particular must have during chilly weather.
14. Saté (Kabob)
Saté is an absolutely delicious Javanese snack. The kabob can be made out of various types of meat such as chicken, beef, pork, and even crocodile. This dish is simply meat marinated in soy sauce stuck on a stick and grilled till its ready to eat.
This popular snack is sold at warungs (Javanese restaurants) and on BBQs. If you are a meat lover, this is especially for you.
15. Nasi Goreng (Javanese Fried Rice)
This Javanese fried rice is very popular among the Surinamese population. De nasi goreng is a rice-based dish fried in soy sauce with shrimp paste. The rest of the ingredients vary and can include vegetables, pieces of boneless chicken, pork, or beef.
It is a dish made in almost every household, whatever their cultural background, and is the perfect party food because it’s easy and affordable.
16. Pepre Watra (Chilli Soup)
Long before slavery and immigrants, Suriname was inhabited by indigenous peoples enjoying their own way of life and their particular foods. They survived on hunting, fishing, and agriculture, so wild meat, fish and root vegetables are common.
This specific soup is made with cassava water, fish, and peppers. It is very delicious and can be eaten with rice or cassava bread.
Cassave Brood (Cassava Bread)
Cassava bread is dried bread made of bitter cassava. It is mostly used as a side dish for soups, making every soup a joyful meal.
Grated bitter cassava is first left to dry in the sun, then baked in a pan without oil and left in the sun again to make it extra brittle. When wet it becomes soft and makes a perfect combination with soup. So if you are a soup lover visiting Suriname, I highly recommend you add cassava bread to your must-taste list.
Bojo is a Surinamese cake made from grated cassava and coconut. To make it even more delicious, it is mixed with raisins and topped with sprinkles. This cake is sweet, soft, and spongy. It makes a great desert and is mostly made on special occasions such as birthdays and other celebrations. When you visit Suriname, this is definitely a dessert you should try.
In the early 1600s Jews came to Suriname also bringing their cultural foods. Pom is one of them. Originally pom was made with potatoes and chicken, but because of the tropical environment, potatoes don’t grow in Suriname so they used a root vegetable called pomtayer instead.
This is the history of how the famous pom became the food that we have come to know and love.
This oven-baked dish can be eaten with bread or rice, which is enough for some who just have to dig in. But in restaurants, pom is usually served with rice, vegetables, plantain, and chicken. This is also a festive dish served at most gatherings as a combo with kip pastei – coming next…
20. Kip Pastei (Surinamese Chicken Pot Pie)
The greatest Surinamese pie is none other than the pastei. An exquisite side dish suited for every party, wedding, and family gathering.
A puff pastry crust covering a delicious filling of peas, baby carrots, shredded chicken, and corn baked in a tomato sauce and well seasoned. Before putting on the top crust, slices of hard boiled egg are layered on top of the filling. The pie goes in the oven till it’s golden brown. After it cools, it is ready to enjoy.
21. Bruine Bonen Soup (Brown Bean Soup)
Here is a dish very popular with the Surinamese. Bruine bonen is a multicultural dish and loved across the country. There is no better dish suitable for every occasion than bruine bonen.
The chicken, pork, beef, or wild meat is first cooked separately. The beans are first pressurized (IS THIS CORRECT?), then added to the meat with a quantity of water. The spices are then added to finalize the dish. After that you can enjoy your miraculous meal with or without rice.
22. Gele Erwten Soep (Yellow Pea Soup)
Another splendid soup. As yellow as the bright sunshine, this soup is a shining star amongst the stars. Much like bruine bonen, the peas are pressurized (AGAIN; CORRECT?) to soften them. The meat (preferably salt meat, chicken, or pork) is cooked first then the peas and water are added and it is finally topped off with spices.
23. Tjauw Min (Chinese Noodles)
Pronounced chow min, this Chinese delicacy was introduced to Surinamese society when the Chinese emigrated between 1858 and 1875. This tasty dish has risen to be one of Suriname’s best and one of the most popular.
Tjauw min is made with boiled then fried tjau min noodles mixed with baked egg and chapsoi (a vegetable). What makes tjauw min so special is the meat that is added to the dish. You can choose either chicken or pork or even use both. The meat is cut into small pieces and mixed in with the noodles.
Almost every block in every city has a Chinese restaurant where you can find this dish.
24. Chinese Fried Rice
Another Chinese delicacy is the delicious Chinese fried rice, the preparation of which is very similar to tjauw min, the only difference being the use of rice instead of noodles. So if you are not a noodle person, you have to try the fried rice, both are equally fantastic in flavor.
The rice is baked together with all the spices and meat. I recommend having a go at both of these Chinese dishes.
Teloh is a very well known dish amongst the Javanese. A simple yet remarkable dish that will satisfy your hunger, it is simply fried cassava sticks served with spiced trie (little fishes) or bakkeljauw (salted fish), and topped off with ketchup, peanut sauce, and soy sauce.
The idea of mixing cassava with trie or bakkeljauw was clearly inspirational as Teloh is a very simple but satisfying dish.
Most Surinamese dishes are made from local fruit and vegetables from the rainforest. While every type of food has its own cultural background, a surprising fusion of cultures has led to the development of a delicious cuisine.
It is for example not rare to find a traditional Indian dish at a Creole party. This shows how delicious culinary fare contributes to the unity of society.