Food & drink
10 traditional Maltese dishes to welcome the winter
Get ready to dig in and snuggle up

Kristina Cassar Dowling

Winter is coming. Last year, and for a few years back, that meant something completely different, but although our Monday night HBO showstopper Game of Thrones is off the menu, it doesn't mean we won’t be cuddling up on the sofa and enjoying a few warming meals. 

This year, winter will bring us some awesome meals that will fill the void Daenerys Targaryen created. Here are the top winter meals to bring back the excitement.

Kusksu

Mmmm. Just thinking about this makes me hungry. Calling Kusksu a healthy soup is a total cop out, but even though this dish should be considered a cheat meal, there is absolutely no shame in having it once a week. None.

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Stuffat tal-Fenek

For the traditional meal seekers, rabbit stew is always a winner. My favourite part of this meal…the peas. Adding marrow fat peas to this authentic dish is the most ingenious creation ever. Judgement is welcome and accepted. 

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Ross il-Forn

Ross il-Forn is probably the most underestimated dish on the island. It’s so simple to make and so bloody satisfying. The versatility of this dish is also intense - trade in minced meat for aubergine or tomato if you’re on the veggie route or you can even swap rice for macaroni and make Imqarrun il-Forn, if you’re not calorie shy. Heck add some pastry on the top and make it a timpana

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Brodu tat-Tigieg 

It’s raining outside, you’ve just called in sick and you need some warmth and comfort like no other. Get your mum on the phone quick, exaggerate your flu conditions a little and let her know the only way you’ll feel better is if you had a bowl of her chicken broth. Cough, cough.

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Pulpetti

The moreish plate of food that, in my opinion, gets mixed reviews…pulpetti. These guys are phenomenal and there’s one golden lady who makes them best. Switch out the corned beef with tuna (easy on the cheese) for a non-meat dish, or use cauliflower and potato for a vegetarian meal. I’ve also made these completely gluten free and vegan and they were yum!

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Froga tat-Tarja 

A quick fixing at lunch time calls for a froga tat-tarja. This is an omelette with spaghetti mixed in. Of course you could have just the eggs, but this is Malta people - carbs are life. Get creative with this one. It can work in so many way.

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Torta tar-Rikotta

R.I.K.O.T.T.A.P.I.E. Hello gorgeous, it’s happy time again. This killer is just incredible with a cup of tea, a blanket and a cat snuggled up by your feet. That ‘ahhhh’ feeling is so easily generated when the flaky exterior and smooth interior of a rikotta pie as it makes its way from your plate to your lips. 

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Minestra

This is a healthy soup now. Any vegetables will do but the classic carrot, marrow, potato and celery are a must. Kunserva is also vital in a good minestra…ohhh an a massive wad of bread to sop up all them juices. 

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Bhal fil-Forn

Sunday classic. It’s time for a roast and we do this right - bhal fil-forn. Bhal, apart from being an insult, is also a pig - so this here ladies and gents is a pork dish. And we all know that Maltese pork is killer good. Roasted potatoes with tonnes of onion and whole garlic cloves, some veg and a fresh hobza. Heaven.

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Pudina tal-Hobz

Let’s finish on something sweet - bread pudding the Maltese way, so many great additions can feature here, but the classic raisins and cinnamon is by far the tastiest. The Maltese version is better simply because our bread is the world’s best - no argument. This after a long day at work (and your main dinner) is the perfect mid-week treat. 

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If you’re not hungry after this, I envy you. Greatly. 

8th November 2019


Kristina Cassar Dowling
Written by
Kristina Cassar Dowling
A local writer in love with the Maltese islands, Kristina is a hunter for all things cultural both in Malta and outside its shores. A curious foodie, music fanatic, art lover and keen traveller with an open mind and a passion for writing.

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