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.

Read more

 

Constance Creatives: Jordi Vila, executive chef, Constance Halaveli

Spanish Executive Chef at Constance Halaveli, Jordi Vila, has followed his passion for gastronomy around the globe and brought his expertise to the Maldives.

Fine dining at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Fine dining at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Having learnt his trade in some of Europe’s most illustrious kitchens including L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and the legendary Spanish three-star El Bulli, Jordi has brought his fervour for imaginative fine dining to Halaveli.

Jordi is one of an innovative group of young Barcelona chefs who believe in modernising traditional gastronomy by combining new methods and technology with classic culinary traditions.

His unique and creative approach to fine-dining blends the best fresh ingredients with the latest culinary techniques and has made Halaveli an essential port of call for food lovers looking for creative, exotic cuisine.

To celebrate his 16 years of travelling the globe learning from the world’s leading chefs, Jordi has created a special menu for guests at Halaveli inspired by his travels.

The World Discovery Menu includes:

  • Yellow fin tuna tartar from the Caribbean
  • White Asparagus from New Zealand
  • Royale of Foie Gras from France
  • Seared watermelon from Spain
  • Seared Hakkaido scallops from Japan/Asia
  • Black Angus Beef, Maldivian Lobster from Maldives
  • Black chocolate combination from Belgium/Africa.

Read more

 

Gastronomy holidays in the Indian Ocean 2014

One of the hot holiday trends for foodies in 2014 is the gourmet holiday, a chance to combine a trip abroad with the very finest food experience.

Gastronomy holidays at Constance

Gastronomy holidays at Constance

The islands of the Indian Ocean have long had a tradition of delicious food infused with the flavours and heat of local herbs and spices but it took the development of luxury hotels and restaurants in the area to create a gastronomic fusion of traditional and European cuisines.

It is this development which has made discovering the local flavours of countries like Mauritius, Madagascar, Maldives and the Seychelles, a fine-dining treat for the foodie traveller.

Traditional flavours with a culinary twist

At Constance, our classically trained, world-class chefs are at the very centre of this passion for culinary adventure taking the traditional spices and flavours of the islands and merging them with European traditions of haute cuisine.

So at Constance Moofushi in the Maldives our chefs took the traditional Maldivian fisherman’s dish of tuna curry and gave it a Constance twist while at Constance Belle Mare Plage the chefs have turned the popular Mauritius fruit, the Chinese guava, into a sorbet served with a local palm kernel salad.

Fresh high-quality ingredients

Our passion for creating the very best dishes begins with the sourcing of fresh ingredients and, where possible, this means sourcing things locally from the vibrant markets or direct from local fishermen.

Our chefs at Constance Le Prince Maurice were even able to track down an Italian cheese-maker who had settled in Mauritius and is passionate about making the very best cacioricotta cheese from local goats’ and cows’ milk to use in their restaurant’s ravioli cacioricotta.

East meets West

At Constance Halaveli’s fine-dining Jing restaurant East meets West in sumptuous style as chefs create fusion dishes such as Red Thai Curry Cappuccino, coffee and anise spiced duck and the delicious desert of mango sticky rice.

A celebration of local culinary traditions

Experience local food, prepared in a traditional way by our world-class chefs and you’ll discover the very best of local island cuisine.

Chefs at Constance Lémuria in the Seychelles recently set about restoring the popularity of the traditional Creole ingredient brède mouroum, the leaves from the moringa tree, by using it as a garnish to their Creole fish broth.

Respect for local culinary traditions is also taken very seriously by our chefs at Constance Tsarabanjina. Our head chef describes the preparation of the national dish Romazava as being like a ritual which no one is allowed to disturb and he is proud to share it with guests of all nationalities.

Read more