A foodie journey into Indian Ocean Cuisine

The island nations of the Indian Ocean are united in a cuisine inspired by the rich scents and flavours of the spice route, the influences of their African neighbours and a variety of settlers from across the globe.

Indian Ocean cuisine

Indian Ocean cuisine

The food of Mauritius, Maldives, Madagascar and Seychelles are all infused with culinary traditions which stretch from India and Asia to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Each of these nations has drawn these rich international influences into their own unique national cuisine to create a heaven of gastronomic discovery for the foodie traveller.

Take our tour of Indian Ocean cuisine.

Mauritius

With its rich culinary history, Mauritian cuisine is inspired by the array of fresh produce which grows on this lush, fertile island as well as the seafood caught in its clear, calm waters.

Settlers from India, Africa and China and its past as a French colony mean that you are likely to enjoy croissants alongside samosas for breakfast and dim sum or fish vindaye (a curry to rival the Indian vindaloo) for lunch.

The favourite flavours in Mauritian cuisine come from the gentle heat of chillies such as the cari chilli, turmeric, garlic, tamarind, ginger and vanilla (most of which are grown on the island). Chilli is so popular in Mauritius that it is even sprinkled on pineapple and sold as a popular street food.

Seychelles

The Creole cuisine of the Seychelles is a blend of African, French, Chinese and Indian influences warm with spices and rich with flavour.

Historically the colonial producer of spices for the British Empire the Seychelles has a tradition of food flavoured by chilli, garlic, ginger and cinnamon.

The Indian Ocean also plays a central role in Creole cuisine with seafood flavoured by Seychellois spices including lemongrass (citonel), chilli (pima) and onions (la ke onyon).

Another key ingredient are the luscious tropical fruits which grow on the islands including mango, pineapple, banana and passion fruit.

Seafood in the Seychelles

Seafood in the Seychelles

Maldives

Ninety-nine per cent of the Maldives is ocean so fishing is at the heart of this nation of small islands which explains why seafood plays such a major role in Maldivian cuisine.

Largely influenced by neighbours in India and Asia, the Maldivians have embraced many traditional Indian and Asian dishes such as curries and laksas and adapted them into uniquely Maldivian dishes.

Tuna plays an important role in Maldivian cuisine with tuna curry proving one of the nation’s favourite dishes. Fresh tuna soup (garudhiya) made with hot chillies and onion is another spicy favourite.

Madagascar

The food, like the wildlife, on Madagascar is vibrant and unique with influences largely from France, Africa and Asia.

Almost every meal in Madagascar is made up of rice (vary) and an accompanying dish (known as laoka) of fresh seafood, zebu (meat from a local cattle) or vegetables.

Madagascan cuisine is flavoured with local spices including cloves, vanilla, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and curry powder with onion, garlic and tomato added to create rich, warm flavours.

Madagascans like their food hot and often add sakay (a pepper sauce) to what they’re eating to turn up the heat.

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Summer cocktails

No matter where you are this summer nothing creates a holiday vibe like serving up a selection of cool cocktails to share with friends.

For a splash of inspiration try some of these light fresh summer cocktails inspired by the warm sunshine and tropical flavours of the Indian Ocean.

The Strawberry Cucumber Cocktail

The Strawberry Cucumber Cocktail

Apple Pie Amore

A fresh blend of vodka, apple, lime and vanilla syrup from Constance Belle Mare Plage.

The Nature

Champagne, vodka, liqueur and lemon sweetened by sugar cane give this cocktail from Constance Le Prince Maurice a tropical flavour.

Flaming Mai Tai

Watch this classic cocktail prepared by one of our expert mixologists on YouTube.

Cocktail from Constance Tsarabanjina

Imagine yourself on a white-sand beach watching a Madagascan sunset as you sip this tropical cocktail of lime, rum and blue curaçao.

Strawberry cucumber champagne cocktail

This light, refreshing champagne cocktail from Constance Halaveli is the perfect summer tipple.

Feel inspired?

If these delicious cocktail recipes have caught your imagination why not hone your mixology skills with a masterclass in cocktail making at Constance Halaveli, Maldives.

The hour-long lesson at the beautiful Jing bar will teach you the basics, perfecting your skills in mixing classic cocktails as well as any favourites you may have.

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  • Find out more about our hotels in Mauritius, Maldives, Seychelles and Madagascar on our website.

 

Recipe: Red devil smoothie

The Red Devil Smoothie from Constance Belle Mare Plage

The Red Devil Smoothie from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Cool down this summer with this devilishly refreshing smoothie recipe from Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Ingredients

  • 100ml fresh grapefruit juice
  • 60ml strawberry purée
  • 20ml rose syrup
  • Mint sprig
  • Grapefruit slice

1. Mix the grapefruit juice, strawberry purée and rose syrup.

2. Pour into a glass and add the mint sprig and grapefruit slice to garnish.

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Domaine Mas Amiel & leading sommelier visit Mauritius

Guests at Constance Belle Mare Plage had the rare opportunity to enjoy a wine dinner inspired by two giants in the French wine industry last week.

The Blue Penny Cafe at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The Blue Penny Cafe at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The dinner, held at Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Café on 8 August, featured wine selected by special guests winemaker Nicolas Raffy of Domaine Mas Amiel and David Biraud, awarded best sommelier in France.

Nicolas Raffy is the winemaker behind the legendary Mas Amiel wines of the Roussillon region while David Biraud has won accolades as the best sommelier in France and narrowly missed out on the title of Best Sommelier in Europe.

These two prestigious wine experts worked together with our chefs at the Blue Penny Café to create a menu to bring out the very best in the wines they selected.

Highlights of the wine menu included:

  • Ocean cassolette with lemon foam served with a Côtes du Roussillon Mas Amiel Le Plaisir Blanc 2013
  • Drumfish fillet lacquered with aniseed jus, citrus marmalade with taggiasche olives and steamed baby leeks served with Côtes du Roussillon Mas Amiel Altair Blanc 2011
  • Pan seared beef fillet, Macaire potato with condiments and onion flavoured with Xérès vinegar and thyme jus served with Maury Sec Mas Amiel Altitude 433 M 2012
  • Biscuit with ‘Kumabo’ chocolate with red and black fruit nectar served with Maury Mas Amiel Charles Dupuy 2008.

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What you need to know for a holiday in Maldives

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives then you probably already know about the white sand beaches, clear crystal waters and idyllic climate.

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Here are some other things you need to know for a holiday in Maldives.

1. Arriving by seaplane is one of the highlights of the holiday

Make sure you’ve got your camera to hand as you board the seaplane at Malé Airport because you’re going to want it. Arriving at your resort by seaplane is one of the most stunning introductions to the nation of Maldives you can imagine with views across the Indian Ocean dotted with stunning white sand coral islands.

2. The Maldives is child-friendly

The Maldives may have a reputation as a honeymoon destination but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect place to take kids for a family holiday. For younger kids try a beach or family villa rather than a stilted one over the water and relax beside your own pool while you watch the little ones play on the beach. Constance Halaveli even offers a complimentary Kids Club so the kids will have plenty to do.

3. Swim with some of the ocean’s gentle giants

The waters around the Maldives are home to a wide range of stunning marine life but few get the pulse racing as much as manta rays and whale sharks. These graceful giants pass through our waters from November to April.

Swim with Manta Rays

Swim with Manta Rays

4. Each Maldivian island has its own coral reef encircling a lagoon

The Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands spread across 26 atolls covering an area of more than 90,000sq kilometres. Each island has its own coral reef and lagoon which protects it from the wind and wave action of the vast surrounding ocean. It is the islands’ uniquely isolated location that make the Maldives feel like a secluded haven away from the modern world.

5. Maldivian culture is a unique combination of global influences

With influences from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe the Maldivian culture offers a unique blend of music, tradition and cuisine. Influences can be found in the curries which are a staple in the Maldivian cuisine, music played on the traditional bodu-beru drum which resembles an African drum and the local dhoni boats used by the fishermen which are similar in design to the Arabian dows.

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Recipe: Octopus salad

Take your taste buds to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean with this Seychellois recipe for octopus salad from Constance Ephélia.

Constance Ephélia's octopus salad

Constance Ephélia’s octopus salad

Ingredients

  • 500g octopus
  • 200g cucumber
  • 200g tomato
  • 200g peppers (mix of colours)
  • 200g red onions
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon
  • 4 – 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemongrass

Method

1. Fill a large pan with water and add lemongrass, a fresh lemon cut in to quarters and parsley to flavour. Boil the Octopus in the water for 30 – 50 minutes.

2. When cooked, strain the octopus and allow it to cool then cut into small cubes.

3. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber, onions and pepper into cubes and place in a large bowl.

4. Toss them together with the octopus.

5. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh parsley.

6. Check seasoning and serve.

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