Popular World Food Recipes made with a Desi Twist

With many world food options enjoyed by Desi people, they can also be adapted to have the flavours of South Asian cuisine. We have a few recipes to try.

Put them together and you will have a new favourite when it comes to pizza.

There are a huge plethora of different cuisines and dishes enjoyed by people all over the world.

Like Indian food, they boast a multitude of unique flavours which appeal to the senses.

From Italian pizza to the British roast chicken, all are enjoyed by British Asians.

But for those who love the intense flavours of South Asian cuisine but want to mix up the food, world foods can be altered to incorporate these flavours.

For example, a pizza with tandoori chicken, what is not to love about that.

It is the same with many other world foods to appeal to those with a taste for Desi flavours.

They are very easy to do with these step by step recipe guides which will promise a delicious dish and will impress those who try them.

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

Popular World Food Recipes made with a Desi Twist - pizza


One of the most popular world foods is pizza and there are a huge number of toppings which can go on it, depending on your preference.

This also includes chicken tikka masala, one of India’s most enjoyed curries.

Put them together and you will have a new favourite when it comes to pizza. It is an easy recipe to follow and will leave your friends and family wanting more.

There are quite a few steps but the effort will be worth it.


  • 280g chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 12-inch ready made pizza base
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ jalapeno, deseeded
  • 1 Cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ¼ Onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil

For the Marinade

  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • A pinch of cinnamon

For the Tomato Sauce

  • 120g chopped tomatoes, blended into a smooth paste
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

For the Spice Mixture

  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garam masala


  1. Stir in the chicken with the marinade ingredients. Mix well and place in the fridge for at least one hour.
  2. Line a baking tray with foil and spread the marinated chicken evenly.
  3. Grill at 230°C for seven minutes, turning halfway.
  4. In separate bowls, make the tomato sauce and spice mix. When the chicken is done, remove from the tray.
  5. Heat a saucepan and melt the butter. Add the garlic and jalapeno, cook, until it becomes fragrant.
  6. Add the spice mix and cook until it becomes aromatic. Remove the jalapeno and discard.
  7. Add the tomato sauce and mix well. Season with salt and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  8. Take off the heat and stir the chicken into the sauce.
  9. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Place the pizza base on a pizza tray and lightly brush with the oil. Evenly spread the tomato on the pizza.
  10. Add half of the cheese and arrange the chicken. Top with sliced onion and the remaining cheese.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 220°C and bake for 10 minutes.
  12. Once done, remove from the oven, garnish with coriander and cut into even slices.

This recipe was inspired by Rasa Malaysia.

Indian Stuffed Roast Chicken

Popular World food recipes made with a Desi Twist - chicken

The roast is a much-loved dish in the United Kingdom with it usually the centrepiece at the dinner table on a Sunday.

Adding a marinade only makes it more delicious for those who try it.

This recipe combines strong Desi flavours with the textures of a roast chicken.

It is stuffed, which is usually a Western thing but the flavours will remind you of Indian cuisine.

The multitude of flavours makes it suitable to go with traditional potatoes and vegetable or rice to compliment an adventurous dish.


  • 1 Chicken
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste

For the Stuffing

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Large potato, cut into small cubes
  • 2½ ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 300g ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Wash the chicken inside and remove any giblets.
  2. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. To make the marinade, mix the ingredients together and place the chicken into it and coat well. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for at least three hours.
  4. To make the stuffing, heat oil in a deep pan.
  5. Add the cumin seeds and fry. Add the onions and cook until they become golden.
  6. Fry the ginger-garlic paste for one minute.
  7. Add the meat, coriander powder, cumin, garam masala and salt.
  8. Brown the meat but stir regularly to prevent burning.
  9. Add the vegetables and cook until the potatoes become soft.
  10. Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon juice and coriander leaves.
  11. Take the chicken out from the fridge and fill the cavity with the stuffing.
  12. Place in a roasting dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  13. Roast in a preheated oven at 175°C for one hour and 15 minutes until golden.

This recipe was inspired by Spruce Eats.

Masala Pasta

Popular World food recipes made with a Desi Twist - pasta

Pasta is such a huge favourite as it comes in many shapes and sizes to create magnificent meals.

They are the meal choice for many students as it is simple to make and does not take a lot of time.

This masala pasta is enjoyed by all and for any time of the day, such as a light snack or for dinner.

The vegetables make the dish more wholesome and nutritious. It also guarantees the intense spices of Indian cuisine.


  • 340g pasta of your choice
  • 4 Cups water
  • Salt, to taste

For the Masala

  • 115g onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 Medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 85g frozen peas
  • 85g pepper, finely chopped
  • 115g chopped carrot
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ Cup of water
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta and salt. Once cooked, strain and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil and add the onions. Fry until they become translucent.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell goes away.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften and become fragrant.
  5. One by one, add the powdered spices and mix well.
  6. Add the vegetables and season. Mix well for one minute.
  7. Pour the water, mix, cover and gently cook until the vegetables they are cooked through.
  8. Once done, add the pasta and mix well to coat.
  9. Add the coriander and stir well. Sprinkle with garam masala and remove from the heat.
  10. Garnish with grated cheese (optional) and serve.

This recipe was inspired by Veg Recipes of India.

Vegetable Manchurian

Popular World food recipes made with a Desi Twist - manchurian

This is a popular Indo-Chinese dish enjoyed by many and is made of deep fried mixed vegetable dumplings tossed in Chinese sauces.

The combination of delicious vegetables flavoured with an array of spices is one to make and try.

The crispy vegetable balls absorb the flavours of the sauce but manage to stay crisp.

It is a dish which can be enjoyed as a light snack or can be served alongside noodle or fried rice dishes.


  • 1¼ Cup cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 Medium carrot, grated
  • ¼ Cup French beans, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pepper, grated
  • ¼ cup spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp black pepper, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Vegetable oil

For the Manchurian Sauce

  • 1½ tbsp oil
  • ¾ tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ Cup spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ Cup pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp red chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ¾ tbsp corn flour
  • ¼ Cup water
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp water
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper, crushed


  1. Mix the vegetables, corn flour, plain flour, ginger-garlic paste, salt and pepper to a bowl.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs. Mix well and form into balls.
  3. In a wok, heat oil on a medium flame. Gently drop each ball into the hot oil and leave for a few seconds.
  4. Fry until golden and remove. Drain on kitchen paper.
  5. To make the sauce, heat oil in a pan then add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for one minute.
  6. Add the spring onions and pepper.
  7. Cook for two minutes, regularly checking to prevent burning.
  8. Meanwhile, dissolve cornflour in water and in a separate dish dissolve red chilli powder in water to make a chilli paste.
  9. In the pan, lower the heat and add soya sauce, red chilli sauce and the chilli paste. Mix well.
  10. Pour the cornflour mix into the pan and stir gently.
  11. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar until you reach your desired taste. The sauce should taste hot, sweet and slightly sour.
  12. Cook until the sauce thickens then remove from the heat. Allow to cool for two minutes.
  13. Just before serving, add the vegetable balls to the sauce.
  14. Garnish with spring onions and serve with fried rice or noodles.

This recipe was inspired by Indian Healthy Recipes.

Keema Pie

Popular World food recipes made with a Desi Twist - keema pie

For those who love curries and pies, this recipe is the perfect dish for you to try.

This keema pie is a Desi twist on the much-loved Shepherd’s Pie. It is a wonderful mix of classic British food and exotic spices.

Not only is the delicious Desi flavours present in the filling but also in the mash thanks to the garam masala.

The best part is that you can add as much spice as you want, making it perfect for kids and adults.


  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 400g plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1½ tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 Chillies, finely chopped
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 10 Mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the Mash

  • 7 Large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 40g butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook for five minutes then add the ginger-garlic paste.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions become golden in colour.
  3. Once brown, reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin and chilli.
  4. Stir and cook to reduce until the tomatoes break down and the mixture becomes a paste.
  5. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes, then add the mince. Mix well to coat.
  6. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook for five minutes.
  7. Spoon into a casserole dish and set aside.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bring a pot of water, potatoes and salt to a boil then reduce the heat and leave the potatoes to cook until soft.
  9. Drain and place back in the pot. Add salt, butter and milk, mash together until firm. Sprinkle in the garam masala.
  10. Place the masala mash on top of the mixture and place in the oven for 30 minutes until it bubbles.
  11. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

This recipe was adapted from Hari Ghotra.

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Popular World food recipes made with a Desi Twist - noodles

Traditionally this is a popular Chinese dish, however, it features intense spices to appeal to the Desi community.

The Indo-Chinese dish is made by tossing noodles and vegetables in Chinese sauces but adds extra chilli to add an Indian element.

It is very popular across Indian and is often served in Indian restaurants. Vegetable Hakka Noodles are very healthy as it is full of vegetables and uses hardly any oil.

This delicious Chinese dish with a Desi twist is one to make for any night of the week.


  • 300g Hakka noodles
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ Pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¼ Cabbage, shredded
  • ½ Carrot, shredded
  • 1 Green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 Spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp red chilli sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. In a pot, add two cups of water and one teaspoon of oil. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the noodles and cook until tender. Once done, drain in a colander and run under cold water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a wok, heat two tablespoons of oil and add the garlic and chillies.
  4. Add the onions and peppers. Quickly stir-fry.
  5. Add the cabbage, carrots and spring onion whites. Toss lightly and stir-fry until cooked but still crunchy.
  6. Add soy sauce, vinegar and both chilli sauces. Mix well to coat the vegetables.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper then add the noodles and toss to coat the noodles.
  8. Garnish with the spring onion greens and serve.

This recipe was adapted from Vege Cravings.

The original dishes are favourites within their respective cuisines but when incorporating Desi flavours, they become something more.

With these guides, you can enjoy different world foods while still experiencing complex Desi flavours.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

Images courtesy of VegCravings, Veg Recipes of India, The Spruce Eats and The Stay at Home Chef

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