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Seychelles Cuisine
Seychelles Cuisine

CUISINE


Seychelles cuisine is really a five star experience. Dishes are very rich and are exotically prepared having a mixture of French and Indian flavors. Prepared with hot condiments and spices, curries are very thick having rice as the main course. The richness that is an integral part of Seychelles cuisine comes from the coconut milk that is added in generous amounts in most of their delicacies.

Local cuisine is highly influenced by the Chinese, French, Indian, African and English customs. Breadfruit is another ingredient which is commonly used in Seychelles cuisine which adds texture to the dishes. Breadfruit is very much like potatoes but is sweet to taste. The fruits, which are an integral part of Seychelles food are papayas, mangoes, melons, golden apples and limes.
Ingredients such as chicken, octopus, lobster are more often used in traditional preparations of the food rather than beef or lamb. The early inhabitants of Seychelles namely the "Creoles'" had their unique Seychelles dishes, which were mainly prepared out of fresh fish.

Prawns and crabs are also used in Seychelles cuisines. Even the restaurants serve seafood delicacies and thus are able to attract a wide variety of palates.

Grilled Red Snapper with Rougail Sauce Recipe

Total time: 15 to 30 minutes
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: Under 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Chef's Note: The recipe below can also be prepared with any white-fleshed fish that is easily available to you.
Serve the grilled fish with the rougail sauce, Creole rice, vegetable pickles (achards) and chutney.

Ingredients - For each serving

- 1 nice portion of fresh fish
- Sunflower oil
- Salt, pepper, fresh grated ginger Rougail sauce
- 1 glass of white wine (or half water, half wine)
- Fresh tomatoes, puréed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Finely grated fresh ginger
- Fresh herbs: chopped cilantro and parsley
- Salt, pepper, chili pepper
- Sunflower oil Method Sauce

1. Sweat the onions in a little oil. Add the crushed garlic, grated ginger, a little parsley and cilantro.
2. Pour the fresh tomato purée over the spice mixture.
3. Add a glass of wine (or mixture of water and wine). The sauce should be thick enough to coat the fish. Simmer the sauce over low heat. Season with salt, pepper and chili.
4. Finish the sauce by adding a mixture of freshly chopped herbs before serving.

Finishing

1. Season the snapper fillet with salt, pepper and grated ginger.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Cook the fish, allowing 3 minutes per side. Check for doneness with the tip of a knife. Finish by adding the sauce and fresh herbs just before serving.


Tuna with Saffron and Coconut Recipe

Total time: 15 to 30 minutes
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: Under 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Chef's Note:
Renald Isaac, the Seychelles chef of the Café des Iles in Paris, suggests accompanying this dish with basmati rice and tomato or mango chutney and vegetable pickles (achards) for an authentic Seychelles meal.

Ingredients - For 4-6 servings

- 1.5 kg (3.3 lb.) fresh tuna
- 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- 3 fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- The liquid from 2 grated pressed coconuts or 1
- 400 g (14 oz.) can of cream of coconut
- A few curry leaves

Method

1. Cut the fresh tuna into cubes. Season with salt.
2. Brown the tuna pieces in a skillet or Dutch oven with a little oil. Set aside.
3. Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, chili and turmeric over low heat until the onion begins to color. Add the coconut milk.
4. Add the tuna pieces. Stir gently, coating the tuna with the sauce. Season with salt, add the cardamom and curry leaves, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the lid and cook a few minutes longer until the liquid has evaporated. The sauce should be thick and creamy.

Bananas St-Jacques or Plantains Cooked in Coconut Milk Recipe

Total time: 30 to 60 minutes
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Chef's Note: This is a delicious and easy Creole dessert - and if you happen to be travelling on Mahé Island in the Seychelles, be sure to climb the steep path to the Jardin du Roy to sample Micheline Georges' original version.

Cooking takes 35-40 minutes in total. Remember for an authentic "daube" you need a heavy-bottomed cast iron pot. Cook uncovered, since coconut milk dishes lose flavor when covered. Serve with a good cup of tea.

Ingredients - For 3 servings

- 3 large plantains
- 3 big spoonfuls of brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 can of coconut milk
- A few cinnamon leaves or 1 cinnamon stick

Method

1. Peel the plantains; halve them both lengthwise and widthwise to obtain 4 pieces each.
2. In a fairly large, deep pot, place the cinnamon leaves or cinnamon stick, and then the plantain pieces. Sprinkle with sugar, salt, nutmeg and grated vanilla.
3. Add the coconut milk - it should practically cover the plantains. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes over fairly high heat.

Reduce the heat and continue cooking for 25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced considerably, leaving a little sauce in the pot to spoon over the bananas. This is an authentic Seychelles "daube."

Giraffe Crab Soup Recipe

Total time: 15 to 30 minutes
Preparation time: a few minutes
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

- 2 giraffe crabs or common crabs
- 1 liter (4 cups) water
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 - 2 chili peppers, chopped -
 grated zest of 2 limes
- 1 sweet potato, cooked in water
- chopped fresh mint + a few whole leaves for garnish

Method

1. Put the crabs into boiling water for about 5 minutes. Cut into quarters and sauté in hot oil over medium heat.
2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, skimming the surface.
3. Strain the broth and set the crab aside.
4. Pour the broth into a saucepan, heat for 5 minutes over low heat, add the soy sauce, very finely chopped lemongrass, grated ginger, chili and lime zest.
5. Plunge the crab into this broth for 2 minutes.
6. Cut up the sweet potato, previously cooked in water. Place into soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh mint. Add the crab; pour the broth over top. Serve very hot.

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