42 Exotic Holiday Recipes From Around The World

42 exotic recipes from around the world to celebrate your festive and holiday seasons. Try to broaden our menu horizon by trying out some traditional recipes from different parts of the world. Let’s celebrate our festivities abroad without us going away.

photo collage with overlay text of Exotic Holiday Recipes From Around The World

Holiday Recipes From Around The World

This time, I want to share with you 42 exotic recipes from around the world to celebrate your festive and holiday seasons.

Near year-end, there are many festivities to celebrate around the globe. 

Starting from religious celebrations such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Advent, St. Barbara Day, Krampusnacht, etc., to cultural celebrations like Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Solstice, etc.

So the cold winter month of December is actually full of days that millions, if not billions, of people around the world look forward to.

It is actually the holiday season of the year when people take time off from work to get together with family and friends—all the loved ones. 

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And what is a more fun way to celebrate exciting moments than having good food together? 

As we all know that food is one of – if not THE – universal language of togetherness. Although this year, the way we celebrate our festive seasons may be different due to the pandemic that restricts us seeing and meeting our loved ones. However, the spirit is still there. 

And to create a more fun holiday feel, let’s try something new this time. Try to broaden our menu by trying out some traditional recipes from different parts of the world. Let’s celebrate our festivities abroad without us going away. 

Therefore, I’ve curated loads of mouthwatering exotic food recipes from around the world that are traditionally enjoyed during the holiday season.

Take a look at the list and spoil yourself with adventurous ideas for your next festive cooking.

Disclaimer though, before I carry on, please note that the collection of recipes below doesn’t reflect my personal diet. 

So there are foods on the list that I personally have no experience in having them. The only reason I include them is that they’re traditionally festive to some people and they might be something you can enjoy. So enjoy.

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Breakfast with exotic food to light up your holiday

Khaman Dhokla
Khaman dhokla is a steamed savoury cake made of gram flour/ chickpea flour and is flavoured with spicy and lemony oil. It is a traditional Gujarati dish that is now popular among Pakistani and Indian cuisines.
see the recipe
khaman dhokla garnished with green chillies
Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba.
These traditional Northern Italian sweet ravioli are a unique and delicious way to serve pasta. They are filled with prunes, figs, and ricotta and served with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar! Traditional for holidays and at Christmas! 
see the recipe
Prune and Fig Cjarsons di Pontebba.
Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge) Recipe
Rømmegrøt is a Scandinavian dish served around the holidays! It's a milk and flour porridge that's delicious and served with melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
see the recipe
Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge) Recipe
Swedish Tea Ring
A holiday favorite in Sweden, the Swedish Tea Ring is a sweet pastry filled with brown sugar, spices, and almond paste, and topped with buttercream frosting. The beautiful wreath-shaped pastry is perfect for serving breakfast on Christmas morning.
see the recipe
Swedish tea ring.

Traditional appetizers to greet the seasons

How to Make Crispy Latkes
These crispy and tasty potato latkes are traditional in Eastern European Jewish households. They are usually associated with Hanukkah but are so good you’ll want them all year round!
see the recipe
Eastern European Latkes
Cucumber tomato salad
Cucumber tomato salad with spicy dressing is one salad that you want to enjoy after having rich food such as chicken kebabs or lamb burger or meat curries. But, having said that, the salad is delicious to enjoy as is. Without any other excuses apart from loving the taste.
see the recipe
Spicy tomato salad with cucumber, apple, and pineapple.
Pakistani Dahi Baray
Dahi Baray is literally lentil dumplings soaked in yoghurt sauce. They're fluffy and light with creamy yoghurt sauce and tamarind sauce drizzle. A perfect starter for summer days.
see the recipe
Pakistani Dahi Baray
Klubb Recipe – Norwegian Potato Dumplings
These Norwegian potato Klubb Dumplings are so tasty, filling, and a great way to celebrate Scandinavia. These pork-filled dumplings are worth the effort.
see the recipe
potato dumplings
Delicious Smoked Salmon Salad – Peter’s Food Adventures
Shuba Salad is traditionally made with Herring, but I think it tastes even better with Salmon! A layered Russian potato salad with beets, carrots, eggs, potatoes, dill and smoked salmon. A bright and hearty salad that looks like a cake! Especially popular at celebrations like New Years and Christmas.
see the recipe
Delicious Smoked Salmon Salad - Peter’s Food Adventures
Russian Borscht Soup
Borscht soup is a Russian traditional beet soup. It’s packed with vitamins and has a distinctive vibrant red colour.
see the recipe
Russian Borscht Soup

Main course recipes for the holiday season from around the world

Lamb curry with coconut milk
Enjoy this hearty and filling meal of lamb curry with coconut milk, spiced in a rich curry sauce and topped with spinach and bell peppers. It makes a delicious and exotic holiday meal!
see the recipe
Lamb curry with coconut milk
Blitva: Swiss Chard and Potato Side Dish
A traditional Croatian homestyle recipe, also known as blitva, made of leafy Swiss chard and red potatoes.
see the recipe
Blitva: Swiss Chard and Potato Side Dish
Sauerbraten (German pot roast)
Authentic German Sauerbraten from a family recipe. It makes a fabulous holiday meal.
see the recipe
Sauerbraten (German pot roast)
Greek Turkey Stuffing With Sausage
This traditional Greek turkey stuffing with chestnuts, dates, and pine nuts has a wholesome, delicious flavor you can't get enough of.
see the recipe
Greek Turkey Stuffing With Sausage
Crock Pot Laulau
Juicy, tender meat wrapped in leafy greens slow-cooked to perfection. This deconstructed Crock Pot laulau takes the effort out of making laulau.
see the recipe
Crock Pot Laulau
Indonesian Chicken Satay
Satay is often enjoyed for happy occasions of holidays, festive seasons, or weddings. You can make it with any meat you like, chicken satay or lamb satay, both are delicious.
see the recipe
skewers of Indonesian chicken satay
Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
The traditional Iranian chicken stew with the deep flavors of pomegranate molasses & walnuts now made easy right in the crock-pot! Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken is a hearty gluten-free & paleo dinner recipe that will warm the belly and soul.
see the recipe
Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish
This delicious Ackee and Saltfish recipe is made with quintessential ackee (Jamaica's national fruit) and saltfish that simmers with onions, peppers, tomato, and scotch bonnet.
see the recipe
Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish
Classic Kenyan Beef Stew Recipe
This classic Kenyan Beef Stew recipe never misses any festivities. It is normally served alongside rice, chapati, or ugali (a type of dough made from corn flour and hot water). The beef is stewed in spices and a tomato-based sauce to give a delicious and comforting dish.
see the recipe
Classic Kenyan Beef Stew Recipe
Pakistani Aloo Gosht
No celebration of holidays, festive seasons, or weddings will be complete among Pakistani cuisines without Aloo Gosht, the luscious meat and potato curry.
see the recipe
Pakistani aloo gosht - meat and potato curry
Persian Jeweled Rice
Persian Jeweled Rice is a gluten-free, vegan rice pilaf topped with colorful gem-like fruits and nuts ~ this popular wedding dish is perfect for the holidays!
see the recipe
Persian Jeweled Rice
Authentic Puerto Rican Pasteles (Pasteles Puertorriqueños)
Pasteles, a beloved Puerto Rican holiday tradition, are made with a green banana masa and filled with your choice of stewed meat.
see the recipe
Authentic Puerto Rican Pasteles (Pasteles Puertorriqueños)
Devil Curry Recipe (Curry Debal) – a Spicy Eurasian Christmas Curry
Devil Curry, or Curry Devil, is also known as Curry Debal. It is an iconic Eurasian spicy curry from Singapore and Malaysia. The dish is traditionally made on Boxing Day with leftover Christmas meat.
see the recipe
Singaporean devil curry
Middle Eastern Stuffed Bell Peppers (Koosa Mih-shee)
Middle Eastern Stuffed Bell Peppers (Koosa Mih-shee) is a Syrian traditional dinner recipe ideal for large families. Green bell peppers are stuffed with an authentic lamb and rice filling, then simmered in a tomato and pomegranate broth. This one-pot dinner is easy to make and a great addition to holiday dinner.
see the recipe
Middle Eastern Stuffed Bell Peppers (Koosa Mih-shee)
Pho Recipe (How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
This unbelievably delicious Vietnamese Pho Recipe is made with a nourishing beef broth infused with fragrant spices, chewy noodles, and tender slices of meat. Filled with the same delicious and authentic flavors as your favorite pho restaurant, learn how to make this Vietnamese Noodle Soup from scratch and serve topped with fresh herbs and vegetables. This healthy soup is the perfect way to warm up this holiday season.
see the recipe
Pho Recipe (How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
West African Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice
This cinnamon-spiced Jollof Rice is just the thing to spice up your holiday table this year. Jollof rice, a traditional West African spiced tomato rice dish, is served at celebrations such as Christmas, weddings, and birthdays. No special occasion is complete without it!
see the recipe
West African Cinnamon Spiced Jollof Rice

Scrumptiously delicious sweets and desserts

Super Easy Australian Trifle with Custard
This is THE Aussie trifle for busy cooks. Perfect for celebrations or Christmas, we’ve made this quick, easy and hassle free. Loaded with custard, cream and iconic port wine jelly for an Australian trifle to impress!
see the recipe
Super Easy Australian Trifle with Custard
Salted Caramel Mince Pies
Get baking and in less than 30 minutes, you could be enjoying the flaky buttery pastry and oozy salty sweetness of these salted caramel mince pies!
see the recipe
Salted Caramel Mince Pies
Taro Sago (tapioca) with coconut milk – Cooking in Chinglish
Contrasting textures in this sweet, creamy and fragrant dessert drink make it an awesome gluten and dairy free treat!
see the recipe
Taro Sago (tapioca) with coconut milk - Cooking in Chinglish
Brunkager (Danish Christmas cookies) – Caroline’s Cooking
Brunkager are Danish Christmas cookies with a delicious spiced flavor and a wonderful crunch. Perfect to add to your cookie plate.
see the recipe
Brunkager (Danish Christmas cookies) - Caroline’s Cooking
Gulab Jamun (with Khoya)
Learn to make the most popular indian dessert, Gulab Jamun with khoya, along with all the tips and tricks to get them melt-in-the-mouth soft.
see the recipe
Gulab Jamun (with Khoya)
Nankhatai Biscuits | Cardamom Nankhatai | Eggless Indian Cookies
It’s a popular tea time cookie and is easily available in most bakery shops in India. Super easy fail proof recipe that has been tested and…
see the recipe
Nankhatai Biscuits | Cardamom Nankhatai | Eggless Indian Cookies
Indonesian Klepon
Klepon is Indonesian sweet treat made of glutinous rice, filled with palm sugar and coated with coconut. It's exotically delicious and moreish. A dessert you want to enjoy during holidays and festive seasons.
see the recipe
Klepon - Indonesian glutinous rice balls
Panforte with Nuts and Figs
Panforte with Nuts and Figs is a Christmas favourite in Italy. Originally from Siena, this rich sweet can now be found throughout Italy and beyond.
see the recipe
Panforte with Nuts and Figs
Hokey Pokey Ice cream
A home made spin on classic Kiwi flavour
see the recipe
Hokey Pokey Ice cream
Pakistani Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa is one Pakistani dessert that is enjoyed at celebrations such as holidays, festive seasons, or weddings. It's surprisingly easy to make and delightful to eat.
see the recipe
A round dish of Gajar ka Halwa.
Crema de Fruta Recipe – The Unlikely Baker®
Crema de Fruta is a Filipino dessert made of delicious layers of soft fluffy cake, rich creamy custard, and fruit in gelatine.
see the recipe
Crema de Fruta Recipe - The Unlikely Baker®
Mantecados and Polvorones: Typical Spanish Christmas Cookies Recipe
Soft and crumbly, mantecados and polvorones are the most popular Christmas cookies here in Spain. Learn how to make them at home with this recipe.
see the recipe
Mantecados and Polvorones: Typical Spanish Christmas Cookies Recipe

Festive Drinks

The World’s Best Eggnog is From Cuba
Even if you aren’t Cuban, this easy crema de vie recipe will change how you celebrate the holidays with Cuban eggnog.
see the recipe
The World’s Best Eggnog is From Cuba
Slow Cooker Mexican Hot Chocolate
All the holiday feels are here on the blog today with this Slow Cooker Mexican Hot Chocolate! Creamy, chocolate-y, cinnamon-y hot cocoa with a kick. It’s amazing, y’all!
see the recipe
A mug of Mexican hot chocolate.
Cookies and Cream Coquito Recipe
Cookies and cream meets coconut in this rich creamy cookies and cream coquito recipe that is spike with rum for a decadent drink!
see the recipe
Cookies and Cream Coquito Recipe

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.

Bio:

Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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4 Comments

  1. WOW! Such a wealth of amazing recipes to try this year!

  2. Azlin Bloor says:

    What a fantastic collection of festive recipes. One’s spoilt for choice with the variety here, can’t wait to go through them!

    1. Thank you. Season’s greetings to you x

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