30 Traditional Guyanese Recipes We Love

The cuisine of Guyana has its roots in the Caribbean and South American cultures. There are many dishes from these regions that are now part of Guyanese culture.


Guyana is known for its rich cultural heritage and delicious food. This article lists some of the best traditional foods in Guyana.

1. Guyanese Vanilla Fudge

We are sure you know about vanilla fudge, it is sweet and creamy and delicious. But did you know there are different kinds of fudge depending on where you live? There are many types of fudge around the world.

We have American fudge, Swiss fudge, German fudge, Mexican fudge, Italian fudge, French fudge, British fudge, etc. In fact, each region makes its own version of fudge.

Fudge is basically just chocolate-covered sugar. So, what does it take to make a fudge? Let us tell you…it takes science.

A lot of science. First, you must use high-quality cocoa powder. Second, you must use good quality sugar.

Third, you must temper the eggs well. Fourth, you must add enough water to the ingredients. And fifth, you must let it cool completely.

If you do all of these things correctly, you will end up with a smooth and creamy fudge that melts in your mouth.

2. Guyanese-Style Chicken Curry

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place chicken in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Open the foil and drizzle with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes longer.

4. Take out of the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

5. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

6. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.

7. Pour over the chicken.

3. Guyanese Parsad

The process of making Parsad takes about 15 minutes. But it requires patience and practice. If you want to make perfect flatbread, here are some tips to help you along the way.

1. Make sure you use good quality ghee. You can buy it online or in most grocery stores. When buying ghee, look for one that says “pure.” This indicates that there are no additives added to the product.

2. Melt the ghee over medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, keep heating it until it turns into liquid gold.

3. While the ghee is still hot, add the flour and stir well. Don’t worry about adding too much flour, just enough to start forming lumps.

4. Now, turn down the heat and continue cooking the dough, mixing frequently. As soon as the dough gets smooth and elastic, it’s ready.

5. At this stage, you’ll know whether you’ve got the consistency right because the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. If it doesn’t stick to the bottom, it’s done.

4. Guyanese Chicken Cook-Up Rice

It might seem like a foreign language if you’ve never had Guyanese cuisine. But once you try some of these dishes, you’ll understand why they are so popular.

The best part about cooking rice in Guyana is that there are many ways to make it. There are different types of rice, too. 

1. Steamed White Rice

If you’ve ever had plain old white rice, you know what we mean. But here’s where things really start getting interesting. When you add flavorings like curry leaves, turmeric, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, you end up with something completely different.

2. Coconut Rice

Coconut is used to give the rice a creamy texture while adding sweetness and aroma. This dish is traditionally served with curried meat.

3. Fried Rice

Fried rice is usually made with leftovers or leftover vegetables and meat. It’s a great way to use up those extra bits of food.

5. Traditional Guyanese Pepperpot

Pepperpot is a traditional dish. This recipe calls for three ingredients: chicken, pumpkin, and cassareep. Cassareep is a type of vegetable sauce that originated in Guyana.

It’s used to thicken soups and stews, like a pepper pot.

The peppers are roasted over a fire, then peeled off and added to the pot along with the onions and garlic. After cooking, the mixture is stirred together with the rest of the ingredients.

You’ll want to make sure you use fresh chicken thighs. If you’re making this during the winter months, you might want to consider substituting some frozen chicken for fresh.

Frozen chicken thighs tend to be cheaper than fresh ones.

6. Guyanese-Style Goat Curry

Guyanese cuisine is characterized by coconut milk, curried meat dishes, and rice. This recipe is based on one of our favorite stews – Guyanese chicken curry.

You won’t believe how easy it is to make, and it tastes even better the next day.

7. Metemgee

Metemgee is a traditional Ghanaian stew that originated in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

It consists of a thickened, creamy stew made from a variety of starchy root vegetables like yams, cassavas, and plantains, along with spices such as coriander, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and cinnamon.

Traditionally, the stew is served over rice, but you can easily enjoy it without adding carbs.

The dish is usually prepared during special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, funerals, and holidays. It’s typically eaten with a side of injera, a sourdough pancake made out of fermented teff flour.

8. Guyanese Pancakes

The Guyanese people love their food! And donuts are no exception. They’re a popular snack in Guyana, where they’re known as malasadas.

But while most people think of them as a sweet treat, there’s nothing particularly sweet about them. Instead, they’re savory, and they’re a great way to kick off a meal.

9. Peas & Rice ~ Guyanese Style

Peas and rice are one of those classic dishes that you’ll find in every single restaurant around the world. But what makes this combination special is how different flavors come together to make something delicious.

In India, people often use basmati rice, while in China, there’s always long grain rice. In Japan, there’s even sweetened rice. And in America, we like our peas and rice with herbs and spices.

There are many ways to cook this classic dish, but here’s our favorite recipe.

10. Guyanese Curried Chickpeas

Guyanese cuisine is known for having a wide array of dishes. One such recipe includes curried chickpeas. 

These beans are cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with curry powder, turmeric, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper (find more coconut curry recipes here). They’re served over rice and accompanied by vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions.

11. Guyanese Boil & Fry Channa

Chickpeas are one of those foods you either love or hate. If you like it, you probably know how to make it. But if you don’t know what to do with it, you might be wondering why you even bother eating it.

Luckily, there are some great ways to prepare it. 

12. Guyanese Ground Provisions

The word “provisions” doesn’t mean much to most Americans. But it does to many people living in Guyana, where it refers to a traditional stew that includes roots like cassava, sweet potato, and plantain.

This savory dish is usually served with rice, beans, and sometimes curry.

13. Guyanese Chow Mein

Guyanese cuisine is a fusion of Indian, African, European, and Caribbean influences. One dish that stands out among the rest is Guyanese chow mein.

This tasty dish mixes noodles, vegetables, meats, and a delectable sauce – you know exactly what we mean.

The Chinese staple is given a twist with the addition of cassareep, a sauce made from boiled cassava root. Oyster sauce, sesame seed oil, and soy sauce are added to round out the flavor profile.

This is one of those dishes where you don’t really notice how good it tastes until you’ve tried it. So go ahead and give it a try yourself. You won’t regret it.

14. Easy Guyanese Oil Roti

Roti, or paratha in Hindi, is a crispy-at-the-top, flaky-in-the-middle Indian flatbread that’s great for soaking up spicy curries.

This delicious staple is often stuffed with savory fillings like potatoes, peas, cauliflower, veggies, lentils, chickpeas, cheese, paneer, chicken, beef, lamb, mutton, fish, seafood, eggs, and even meatballs.

In Guyana, roti is called “roti,” while in India, it’s referred to as “paratha.” Regardless of what you call it, it’s one of those foods that’s hard to describe without tasting it. So we’ll just tell you straight out: it’s amazing.

15. Tennis Rolls | Guyanese Sweet Rolls

The tennis roll is a classic sandwich that you might find at a deli counter or at a sports bar near you.

It’s a great way to enjoy a quick lunch or snack while watching a match. But did you know there are different types of tennis rolls?

16. Goja (Gojiya) – Spiced Coconut Turnovers

Goja is one of those dishes that we had never heard about until recently. But once we tasted it, we knew we had found something special.

These little beauties are filled with a sweet and spicy mixture of coconut, brown sugar, ginger, and spices. And trust us, they are delicious. Not only do they taste great, but they look beautiful too.

17. Guyanese Style Sponge Cake

The Guyanese sponge cake — often referred to simply as “sponge cake,” though it is technically a pound cake — is a delicious yellow cake with a moist, dense consistency.

It’s typically served with tea or coffee for a refreshing afternoon snack.

This recipe uses orange zest, which gives the cake a wonderful citrus flavor. You can use whatever type of citrus you like, or even omit the zest entirely if you don’t want a strong citrus taste. 

Feel free to experiment with different flavors and spices to make your own unique version of this old favorite.

18. Guyanese Black Cake

The Guyanese black cake got its name because it’s traditionally served during Christmas. But there are several different types of black cakes around the world. 

This one is called “black cake,” but there’s no actual chocolate on it. Instead, it’s covered with dried coconut flakes and soaked in dark rum. To make it even better, you’ll find raisins, almonds, and dates.

19. Fish Cakes With Mango

Guyanese fish cakes are usually served fried, but we like them best when baked. They’re crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. This dish is perfect for summer because it’s light and refreshing.

20. Guyanese Coconut Buns

The Guyanese buns aren’t just delicious – they’re also straightforward to make. In fact, it takes less than 10 minutes to put together.

And because there’s no yeast involved, they won’t rise while baking. So you can bake them ahead of time and freeze them for later.

You can serve these warm or cold. You can even eat them plain. Just add some butter and jam or honey.

21. Coconut Roll (Salara)

Salara is a yeast loaf with a coconut filling. It’s popular street food sold by bicycle vendors in Guyane, a French overseas department in South America.

But of course, homemade bread is so much better. And since we love baking, we thought we’d share our secret recipe with you.

22. Feroce D’Avocat

Feroce d’avocats is a combination of salt cod, cassava, and avocado. It’s served in hollowed-out avocados and is often accompanied by french fries. If you’re looking for something different, try it!

23. Bacon And Fish Rolls

Small pieces of filleted fish are rolled in bacon and baked. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve it with peas and rice, or with roti, and you’ll have a delicious meal! 

24. Tamarind Balls

Tamarind balls are a delicious treat from Guyana, a small South American nation known for its unique culture and cuisine. 

Made with tamarind pulp, a fruit native to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the balls come in different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana.

You can find them sold at street vendors and grocery stores throughout the region.

25. Fry Bora With Shrimp And Potatoes

Guyana is one of the countries where green bean dishes are most popular. A lot of people use it in fried rice because it adds extra flavor.

But there are some variations too. One of those is bora, a Guyanese dish that includes green beans, shrimp, and potatoes.

This recipe uses green beans that are cut into short lengths. They’re cooked in oil with salt and pepper, then added to the pan along with diced potatoes and minced garlic.

When everything starts sizzling, you’ll want to stir the mixture regularly to prevent burning.

26. Guyana Pholourie

Pholourie is an Indo-Caribbean food made up of deep-fried split peas. They’re often served alongside rice and roti. This appetizer is perfect for sharing because it’s so easy to eat.

And since it’s made out of split peas, it’s super healthy too.

27. Guyana Bara

Guyana Bara is one of the most popular dishes in the Caribbean nation of Guyana. This spicy snack is made with a mixture of peas and spices.

With its delicious flavor and crunchy texture, it’s hard to resist eating just one. In fact, many people eat these snacks while watching football matches.

They’re sold everywhere, from street vendors to restaurants and supermarkets.

28. Guyanese Beef Patties

These beef patties will make you want to eat them every day. They come from Guyana, a small South American nation located on the northeast coast of Venezuela.

This region produces some of the best tropical fruits and vegetables in the world. And now, thanks to the people of Guyana, we can enjoy these delicious treats too.

29. The Perfect Cassava Pone

Cassava pone is a delicious dessert made of cassava flour and pumpkin. This dish is traditionally served during the Christmas season, but you can make it anytime.

If you want to try something different, consider adding some cinnamon sticks to the mixture. They add a nice touch of warmth to the otherwise sweet dessert.

30. Guyanese Lime Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together your butter and then your sugar until it achieves a fluffy consistency. Add in your eggs and make sure to mix well.

 Sift the dry ingredients you have together and then add to the creamed mixture along with vanilla and milk. Mix well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Coconut Guyana’s National Fruit?

Guyana is a small South American nation located on the north coast of Venezuela. It is bordered by Brazil to the south, Suriname to the east, French Guiana to the northeast, and Venezuela to the west.

It is roughly the size of Connecticut and is home to approximately 730,000 people.

The word “coconut” is derived from the Malay kokon meaning ‘head’ and the Sanskrit koṇḍa meaning shell. In English, the fruit is known simply as a coconut.

There are several varieties of coconut trees native to different regions of Guyana. They grow up to 20 meters tall and produce fruits weighing anywhere from 2 to 15 kilograms.

The most common variety found throughout Guyana is known as the West Indian Dwarf Tree.

Coconuts are considered tropical fruit because they are grown in warm climates where temperatures range from 18 °C to 28 °C during the day and night.

This makes them ideal for growing in countries such as Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In addition to being a popular snack food, coconuts are commonly used in Asian cuisine. For example, the meat of the coconut is often eaten raw while the milk is boiled and consumed either alone or mixed with rice.

Final Thoughts

We hope this list has helped answer any questions you might have about Guyana cuisine.

It was difficult to narrow down our favorite recipes to only 30, but we think this list does a good job of showcasing the diversity of Guyana’s culinary offerings.

30 Traditional Guyanese Recipes We Love

30 Traditional Guyanese Recipes We Love

Recipe by Jenna

Today, we have a treat for you! If you haven’t tried 30 of the most traditional and delicious Guyanese recipes, you need to, and we’ve got you covered below!

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