Brazilian cuisine is full of rich flavours and indulgent treats, inspired by dishes from Portugal, Africa and the Amazon. These seven recipes are the perfect introduction to Brazilian cuisine. 

Leão Veloso soup 

Leão Veloso Soup (Sopa Leão Veloso)
Huge lobster optional. Image via Eat Rio

Leão Veloso soup was invented in Rio during the 1920s back when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil.

It was created by the then Brazilian ambassador to France, Pedro Leão Veloso, as a kind of Brazilian take on bouillabaisse. 

This filling fish soup features mussels and shrimp and can be adapted to include other seafood like lobster. 

A great dish to serve if you have lots of visitors as it can be adapted to feed several hungry guests!

Get the Leão Veloso soup recipe here

Read more: An A–Z guide to preparing shellfish

 

Feijoada

Feijoada
Image via Lugarzinho

This dish is a really hearty, flavourful black bean stew with beef or pork. Though Portuguese in origin, it's the national dish of Brazil.

Feijoada's taste tends to vary from cook to cook, some are a little spicy while others might be quite mild. 

However you prepare it, it's traditionally served with greens and white rice. 

Get the feijoada recipe here

 

Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro
Image via What's Gaby Cooking

These delicious, sugary truffles are a real treat and surprisingly simple to make. There are just three ingredients, cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk and unsalted butter. 

A great sweet snack for a party or served with ice cream as a tasty dessert to round off a traditional Brazilian meal. 

Get the brigadeiro recipe here

 

Pao de queijo

Pao De Queijo
Image via Eat, Think and Be Merry

These little cheese breads have a great fluffy texture and are full of salty flavour.

They're made using tapioca flour, a common ingredient in Brazilian cooking, which makes them nice and chewy. 

You can choose whichever cheese is your favourite to stuff the breads with, although a combination of salty and soft cheeses usually works the best. 

Get the pao de queijo recipe here

 

Chicken xim-xim

chicken xim xim
Image via Brazilian Chef 

A favourite with Rio's Afro-Brazilian communities, this chicken stew contains peanuts and cashews and is kind of like a curry without the curry spices. 

Get the chicken xim-xim recipe here

 

Açaí na tigela

Açaí na tigela
Image via Ana Maria

This energising breakfast food is popular across Brazil.

Pitched as a 'superfood' and packed with anti-oxidants açaí berries can be found being sold all over Brazil.

Get the recipe for açaí na tigela here

 

Caipirinha 

Caipirinha cocktail
Image via Food Network

The national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha is refreshing and zingy. 

Made with a Brazilian rum that comes from sugarcane juice, these cocktails can be modified to include other fruits such as orange, plum and melon. 

Get the recipe for caipirinhas here

 

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