Friday, 20 January 2017

Alternative Scottish Fusion Burns Supper

My heart was heavy when I left Scotland for Wales over five years ago, but a little part of me remains there. I have great fondness for Scotland (especially the West of Scotland) and its people who warmly welcomed me when I made it my home all those years ago.  I went to University there, got engaged and married there, I began this blog allotment2kitchen there.

Scotland has so many memories for me, and so many highs and lows. 
Even though I am no longer living in Scotland, I still celebrate the revered bards - Robert Burns birthday my own way and its often with a vegetarian haggis, either shop bought and then its always MacSween or homemade tweaked and based on Edinburgh's vegetarian institution Hendersons.

In my time there, I witnessed the Scottish haggis integrated into many world fusion cuisine recipes from haggis bon bons, haggis burgers, haggis canneloni, haggis dim sum, haggis pasty, haggis pakoras, haggis panini, haggis pastitisio, haggis pies, haggis lasagne, haggis moussaka - haggis pizza, haggis quesadillas, Black Pudding and Haggis Risotto; haggis Scotch eggs, haggis samosas, haggis sausage rolls, haggis spring rolls, haggis wontons, haggis tostados, haggis Tex Mex nachos,  Haggis A La Wellington; haggis wraps, in fact you name it, someone somewhere has made it with haggis.

Want to learn more about the haggis, then follow this Haggis blog post.   You may also be interested to note that there has been some debate about the haggis origins and that it may even be English - whatever its true origin, it will always remain a Scottish icon.  Here is an interesting article by The Guardian on Haggis: An International Ingredient.

Scotland is really progressive in relation to embracing the diversity of its people: whether they be Scottish born and bred; New Scots or even RefuWeegees (a Glaswegian Refugees) - we're all fae somewhere!.  I myself was pleased to be accepted as an Honorary Scot because of my Celtic connections.  

When I lived there, BBC Radio Scotland transmitted a programme Ravi Burns.  And in place of the Scottish Poets Robert Burns 'Address to A Haggis' the Scottish Comedian and Actor Sanjeev Kohli (who I met a couple of times at 'Diversity' related events) gives us 'Ode to t Samosa

"Wee sleekit, cowrin' triangular tastie, oh what a picnic is in thy pastry'. 

The novelist Alasdair Gray also recited 'To a Mouse' against a background of sitars.

Please follow this link for some more interesting facts about Scotland's ethnic and cultural diversity and its fusion influences on cuisine.  
With five days to Burns Night I offer you a Alternative Fusion Burns Supper Menu and take the opportunity to showcase again some of the vegan and vegetarian meals that I and some of my vegetarian blogger friends, many with Scottish links have created at home over the years with vegetarian and vegan haggis.   Enjoy!
Served Once Up a time at A Vegetarian Eatery in South East Wales (2012 - 2013)
Burns Night Supper Club Menu

Alternative Indo -Scots Fusion Supper 
Beer Battered Haggis Balls by Green Gourmet Giraffe
 Portobello Mushroom Haggis Pakora and Neep Chips
Haggis Samosa,  perhaps the most famous and popular comes from The Baked Potato in Edinburgh which I was so pleased to sample in 2009.   Since then many versions have appeared on blogosphere.  I too have my own version and hope to showcase it very soon as I will be making some this weekend to share with friends at work.
From The Indian Sub-Continent to Scotland With Love - Haggis and Aloo (Tatties) Tikkia
Jewish Scottish Neep and Tatties Latkes by Green Gourmet Giraffe
Haggis Samosa (not featured) and Haggis Pasty from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Vegetarian Haggis Wellington from Inside the Wendy House 
Italian Scottish Mushroom and Haggis Lasagne
Italian - American- Scottish Macaroni Cheese Pies.  I've also made vegan version when I had the vegetarian cafe and added some vegan homemade haggis to the base. 

Italian Scottish Haggis Pizza from Green Gourmet Giraffe
And this is an open top version of the vegan Haggis, Neep and Tattie Pie.  This don't look pretty here, but it gives you an idea of the layered filling: haggis, then neeps, then topped with mashed tatties.
Tartan Haggis from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Australian and Scottish fusion Haggis Chika Rolls from Green Gourmet Giraffe

Also See Chinese Burns Night Menu

For sweets
A slice of Clootie Dumpling which I made when I was running the Vegetarian Cafe in 2012 - 2013. 
 Irn Bru Jelly and also Irn Bru Sorbet.  You will find Irn Bru in many recipes in Scotland from cupcakes to coffees and cocktails.  There is also Irn Bu fudge that became popular by a Scottish company called The Ochil Fudge Pantry.   
Here is me enjoying an Irn Bru and Scottish Tablet Ice-cream

Here is a link to Buzzfeed's 19 Crazy Irn Bru Concoctions You Didn't Know Existed including a curry!  

However, I would like to point out that by the time I left Scotland, some people were beginning to turn their eyes to Buckfast instead of Irn Bru in desserts. Buckfast Cheesecake and Buckfast Sorbet See here to read more about Buckfast.  What is funny about this is that Buckfast is not even Scottish, its made in Devon, England.  
Shortbread from Green Gourmet Giraffes.  These can be easily infused with flavours from the Indian Continent - cardamon, fennel seeds or if your dare - red chilli flakes - see this Red Chilli Shortbread recipe for inspiration. 
Millionaire Bar as featured on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog
Scottish Macaroons from Tinned Tomatoes
Cranachan (oats, cream and berries) from Tinned Tomatoes.  This recipe can be SO easily veganized.  I do like to stir in some nuts to the oaty mix for additional texture, but you could also elevate it further with Indian spices like fennel and cardamon too.
There is also Tipsy Laird a Scottish trifle made with either a wee shot of Whiskey or Sherry, but I have always had a soft spot for Tunnocks
Or if you don't want sweet then maybe some selected Scottish cheese 
Or vegan alternative such as Sheese by Bute Island served with  homemade oatcakes
If you can't find your very own blush rosy cheeked Angus to play the bagpipes for your Burns Supper Night and start a raucous party; and yes Angus is a real friend in Scotland who really does play the bagpipes, then perhaps some Scottish music, but nothing too cheesy please - something with a bit more thought!  

Here are some Burns Supper Night blog posts with recipes from the A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table archives.
On Our Table For Burns Night Supper (2009)
Clapshot and Vegetarian Haggis (2009)
Mushroom Haggis Pakoras with Curried Neep Chips (2010)
Vegan Tower of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (2010)
Vegetarian Recipes Ideas for Robert Burns Night Supper (2011)
Robert Burns Birthplace (2011)
Haggis Roti for Burns Night (2012)
Mushroom and Haggis Lasagne (2013)
Vegetarian Burns Night and Day Menu (2013
Wee Scottish Vegetarian Bites (2013)
Indo- Scots Fusion Burns Night (2014)
Curried Neep and Kale Curry (2015)

Here is one of my last blog posts bidding Farewell To Scotland.
Brilliant blog posts on


  1. Wow...mouthwatering post!

  2. I always love your haggis and Burns night posts and this one is wonderful - thanks for linking to my recipes - I kept half my haggis from Hogmanay in the freezer from Burns Night and now am wondering what to make with it - this gives me great inspiration. When I see that photo of the tartan I think maybe I need another go at it - have already tried it a second time but it is a tricky one!

    1. Thank you so much - the feeling is mutual.
      I made some veggie haggis over the w/e for samosa, hope to blog about it on Wednesday. Look forward to seeing what you present - agree the tartan dish is tricky, but impressive if you make it.

    2. have now found that no one is home tonight so I think our burns supper will be delayed - the haggis is still waiting in the freezer! enjoy your burns night

    3. Oh what a shame, so the haggis will have to wait.
      I made the haggis samosa, but will not get round to blogging about it as I focused on St Dwynwen's Day - Welsh Valentines day , which is also today. I will share the samosa still and i guess 'veggie haggis' is not just for Burns Day but all year, so i hope to share it in February now. Enjoy your evening if its not over already.

  3. Great run down, loved it! I find Veggie Haggis is wonderfully versatile. I'm not always a fan of 'alternatives' but this is an exception - I think of it as a product in it's own right! Thanks...

    1. Thank you so much. I am please and chuffed you like veggie haggis, i like it too - but now living in Wales not easy to find, so i am glad i have a vegan haggis recipe up my sleeve.

  4. Wow ... what a fantastic selection of recipes, they should make my particular Scotsman very happy :-)

    1. Thank you Sue - maybe Irn Bru or Buckfast sorbet for a sweet treat too! And both are vegan!

  5. A fabulous round-up of Burns Shaheen & some great recipes. Thanks for including a couple of mine. I veganise the cranachan with whipped coconut cream instead of cream. So lush! Happy Burns Night when it comes.

    1. Thank you Jacqueline and your welcome. Happy Burns Night to you too when it comes.

  6. What a great commemoration of your Scottish links and Scottish food more generally. There are a lot of novel recipes in here for me!

    1. Aww Thank you so much Kari. I feel a bit naughty, all those Scottish bloggers and then i come swarming in promoting all things vegetarian and vegan Burns Night inspired, but i guess some of those Scottish bloggers are neither vegetarian and vegan and they play the same trick too blogging about veggie recipes - but i do feel genuine here as I am very fond of Scotland and part of my is still there and i'd jump at the chance to visit again.

  7. What a great post! I do not have any Scottish ancestry, but my sister's first boyfriend had Scottish roots and introduced to wonderful things like the Highland Games. He ate haggis... I was not interested in trying any, although your mention of vegetarian haggis sounds good. And haggis samosa? Sounds quite good actually. I would love to visit Scotland someday, it seems a very beautiful place. And welcoming too =)

    1. Thank you so much Kimmy.

      The veggie haggis which also happens to be vegan is interesting and i'd recommend it, or make your own! The haggis samosa was yummy. I made some but never got round to posting it in time, but will share soon. I do hope you get to visit Scotland one days - its popular with overseas tourists indeed


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