Food Trend: Heritage Cooking Recipe

Heritage Cooking

At Social Pantry we are hot on food trends and what the best next thing in food is. One trend we are loving is Heritage Cooking, embracing and highlighting culture through food by using historic family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

We often associate memories with food, where you were when you first had an oyster, what you ate at a special restaurant on holiday or a family tradition where you eat the same few dishes together. During the pandemic many of us have been missing family and so the need for comfort food has increased, encouraging more of us to learn to cook those family recipes for ourselves. Helping us all feel more connected to home and more in touch with our heritage.

As well as a passion for food, many cooks and chefs also share a passion for travel, getting to know cultures through food. We are excited about exploring a new country as we learn about its heritage. A countries landscape, weather, economy just to name a few all contribute to the heritage cooking of that country today. There are so many diverse ingredients at our fingertips, increasing the fusion cooking trend and encouraging people to cook food at home from countries all around the world.

In the UK we have a huge range of produce which has been around since hunter-gatherers, and some that was introduced to the Island thousands of years ago. Such as:

  • Elderberries, Blackberries, Sloes
  • Wheat, Rye, Oats and Barley
  • Wild garlic, Mushrooms, Nettles and other forest foraged produce!

Natoora is a specialist farmers market committed to educating and aiding people to eat food according to their seasons. They believe in enjoying food at its best and ‘Uniting small-scale, independent growers across our entire community’, the British produce they sell ‘backs biodiversity, traditional growing methods and the saving of Heritage seeds’.

Most foods have a story or reason behind how they came about. In South East Asian countries, banana leaves are used to wrap fish so that it can be cooked over fire, the banana leaf is porous, therefore holding the fish together but also allowing the smoke from the hot coals to permeate into the fish.

Last year Danny, Social Pantry’s Digital Marketing Manager, has since gone on to continue his brilliant Sexy Suppers food concept. We love Danny for a number of reasons one of them being that his cooking is banging. Danny has kindly shared his recipe for Sri Lankan Mackerel in Banana Leaf, he suggests eating this as part of a meal with Roti Canai (a flaky roti) and a pickled salad to cut through the oily fish and spice!



  • 1 x Mackerel, gutted and kept whole
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Lime, juice


For the spice paste:

  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 2 x Cardamom Pods, seeds only
  • 2 x Stems Fresh Lemongrass, wider bottom parts only (with purple rings on the inside)
  • 10-15 x Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 3cm Piece Fresh Ginger, peeled
  • 2 x Green Chilli
  • 50g Fresh Coriander Leaves and Stems
  • 25g Samphire
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut Oil, to loosen the paste
  • ½ Lime, sliced into rings
  • 25g Samphire
  • 1 x Large Banana Leaf, fresher the better!
  • Skewers or toothpicks, to secure


  • Heat up the BBQ or if cooking in a fan oven set to 180C Fan.
  • Mix together the sea salt, turmeric and lime juice and marinate the mackerel for 30 min while you prep the spice paste.
  • Toast the cumin, fennel, fenugreek and cardamon in a fry frying pan until fragrant, grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and set aside
  • Pound the rest of the spice paste ingredients together, starting with the largest and toughest first, adding little by little, this will insure you form a nice fine paste.
  • Then add the toasted ground spices and mix in. If the mix is too dry, add a dash of coconut oil. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients into a blender and blend to a fine paste.
  • Stuff the inside of the mackerel with the lime slices and extra samphire. Open up the banana leaf, spread a little of the paste on the bottom and place the mackerel on top coating the whole fish in the spice paste. Carefully fold and wrap the fish in the banana leaf securing with skewers to hold together.
  • Place on a baking tray if cooking in the oven or place straight on the BBQ, cook for 15-20 minutes. It will depend on the size of the mackerel so make sure you check that the fresh flakes away from the bones.
  • When cooked remove from the BBQ or oven, serve in the banana leaf on a serving plate with Roti and Pickled Salad.

Let Alex know how you get on: @alexheadchef | @Social_Pantry – and see our full selection of recipes here