2 ways to cook fish in the Seychelles

Chef Aviraj Pareeague from Constance Lémuria shares his knowledge of fish and how to cook them Seychellois style.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

The Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands spreads over 1,200km, including large areas of national marine parks. Plentiful in the clear waters of our beautiful lagoons, fish is one of the main staples of Seychellois cuisine and features on everyone’s table almost every day.

Bourgeois (the most popular), Jobfish, Carangue, Vieille rouge, Vieille grise, Gueule longue, Bécune, Parrot fish, Madame berry, Maero, Kakatwa, Bonite… are found every day at the local markets or at stalls along the roads, caught and sold by local fishermen. The call of a conch shell announces a fresh catch and locals hurry to buy the fresh fish.

At Constance Lémuria, we have the freedom to create a selection of delectable dishes. But most of the time, thanks to the excellent quality of the product, a fish perfectly cooked, either steamed or grilled, with a Creole sauce, a side and some fresh vegetables, is just perfect.

Here is one of our Parrot fish recipes from the Beach Bar & Grill restaurant located on the beautiful Petite Anse Kerlan.

Recipe: Pan seared Parrot fish with local spices, breadfruit mash, banana curry, Chayote comfit and light curry sauce

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Breadfruit mash:

  • 400g breadfruit
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2g curry powder
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the breadfruit and cut it into big chunks. Place it in an oven tray, cover with chicken stock, curry leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper and seal tight with aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 to 30 min at 180ºC (or till soft). Mash the breadfruit with butter and chicken stock (as needed to obtain a soft mash). Season to taste and set aside.

Fish in the Seychelles: Bourgeois

The vibrant Bourgeois

Banana curry:

  • 400g of banana St Jacques
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 30g chopped onions
  • 10g chopped garlic
  • 10g of chopped ginger
  • 4g turmeric
  • 4g curry powder
  • 20g of diced peeled tomatoes
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the banana St Jacques with their skins in boiling water for 30 min or till soft.

Cool down, remove the skin and grate the flesh. Set aside.

Sautée garlic, ginger and onion in butter till light brown then add curry leaves, turmeric, curry powder and mix together.

Add the grated banana to the pan and mix together well. Finally add the tomato. Season to taste.

Chayote confit:

  • 200g chayote
  • 6g aniseed
  • 6g sugar
  • 5g butter

Peel the chayote and slice it very thin (1mm). Comfit in a pan using the butter, sugar and aniseed for 5-6 min on a low heat. Set aside.

Light curry sauce:

  • 200ml fish stock
  • 30g chopped garlic
  • 20g chopped ginger
  • 20g of chopped onion
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 5g curry powder
  • 4g turmeric
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sautée in a pan the onion, garlic and ginger till light brown.

Add the curry powder, turmeric, curry leaves and mix well.

Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Now add the coconut milk powder and bring to the boil.

Blend the sauce. Pass it through sieve, montee with butter, season to taste.

Fish in the Seychelles

Fish in the Seychelles

For decoration:

  • 1 banana St Jacques
  • Sliced coconut
  • 10 curry leaves

Slice the banana longwise to a thickness of 1mm and deep fry in oil at 170ºC, then dry on paper towel.

Dry out the thin slices of coconut in an oven at 140ºC.

Deep fry the curry leaves in hot oil and dry on paper towel.

For presentation:

  • Sear the Parrot fish in oil and butter on both side and then finish the cooking in a hot oven
  • Heat the breadfruit mash and banana curry and place nicely in the bowl
  • Decorate with banana chips, dry coconut slice and deep fried curry leaves and lemon.
  • Place the sauce in a dip bowl

Recipe II: Fish Carpaccio

We couldn’t resist giving you this delicious carpaccio recipe… quick, healthy and delicious.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 3kg fish
  • 500g mixed salad
  • 50g chopped shallots
  • 500g carrots
  • 500g turnips
  • 500g oranges
  • 500g lime
  • Handful of parsley
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper powder to taste

Make your citrus dressing using orange and lime juice reduction, then whisk it with olive oil and add some mustard seed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the fish in thin slices, place it flat on the plate then add sea salt, white pepper powder and chopped shallots, then add your dressing and petit crouton.

On top you can add your mixed salad together with your carrots, chopped in a julienne style, with olive oil and vinaigrette.

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Recipe of the Week: Bread with green mango pickles

Our chefs at Constance Le Prince Maurice are always striving to create new delicious and interesting flavour combinations for our guests.

Bread rolls with mango pickles

Bread rolls with mango pickles

By blending his passion for artisan baking techniques with his love of classic Mauritian flavours, Chef Isreeparsund Roshan has developed this unique buttery, sweet and sour dough.

Bread rolls with mango pickles

Ingredients (makes 20 rolls):

  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 25ml warm water
  • 500g pasta flour T65
  • 10g fine salt
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 15g trimoline
  • 50g milk powder
  • 200ml iced water
  • 400g mango pickles
  • 265g butter extra dry (for layering)

1. Mix the fresh yeast with 25 ml of warm water, add the flour, salt, sugar, trimoline, powdered milk and iced water in a mixer until the dough is smooth. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Crush the mango pickles.

3. Spread the dough and add extra dry butter in the center, fold and give 3 single turns like puff pastry, allow 30mns rest between each turn.

4. After completing, allow to rest in a cold place for 1 hour approximately.

5. Spread the dough and lay down the crushed mango pickles. Roll like raisin bread.

6. Place the roll in the fridge for half an hour, then cut 2cm thick.

7. Put in room temperature and let rise up for 30 minutes.

8. Pre heat the oven 180°C vent and cook for 20 minutes.

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Recipe: Tuna ravioli with semi-ripe papaya

Created at Constance Lémuria in 2006, this tuna ravioli dish uses 100% Seychelles products (papaya, tuna, palm kernel). Since then, our guests have forbidden us to remove the dish from the menu.

Constance Lémuria's Tuna Ravioli

Constance Lémuria’s Tuna Ravioli

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Fish and papaya compote:

  • 1kg yellow fin tuna loin
  • 1 semi-ripe papaya
  • 10g honey
  • 1 tea bag

1. Cut the tuna into 0.5cm thick slices, flatten them gently and set the aside. Make a small tartar with the trimmings from the tuna.

2. Peel the papaya and dice it into 0.5cm pieces. Store it.

3. Heat the honey in a small saucepan, add the papaya and the tea bag, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and cool it in a chiller. Store it.

4. Spread twelve thin slices of tuna on the work surface. Add a teaspoon of papaya compote, then another twelve slices of tuna.

5. Using a three-inch diameter pastry cutter, press down gently to form the ravioli. There should be no air inside. Take another cutter, this time four centimeters in diameter and cut the ravioli.

6. Set them out on a plate with cling film over it, and put them in the fridge.

The garnish:

The smoked kernel:

  • 1/2 heart of palm kernel, fresh
  • Filao shavings: as required
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Coconut oil: as required
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel and cut the edible part of the palm and drop it onto a smoke-rack for 10 minutes.

2. Cut out twelve one-inch-thick cylinders. Add the coconut oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.

The vanilla oil:

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Olive oil: as required
  • Lime juice: as required

1. Split the vanilla pod and keep the seeds.

2. Put the oil and lemon juice in a bowl, add the vanilla and whisk well. Store it.

The rocket and coconut salad:

  • 100g rocket
  • 1/2 dry coconut
  • 80g ripe papaya

1. Use a peeler to get some coconut shavings. Store them.

2. Wash the rocket and store it.

3. Cut the papaya into cubes and store it.

Finishing and presentation

Arrange three slices of palm on a square plate. On each of them, place a tuna ravioli.

Arrange the seasoned tuna tartar in the middle of the plate with some small capers, and finish it off with the rocket salad, the shaved dry coconut and diced papaya.

Top it off with vanilla oil on the ravioli and a little salt.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Bold white woody wine:

  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Château de Beaucastel, 2009 France
  • hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, 2009 South Africa

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Recipe: Maldives chapatti and banana puri

The chapatti is from the same family as the rotis, the famous Indian breads eaten on every street corner of the subcontinent. These loaves emerged in the sixteenth century in Indian and their recipe has hardly changed since.

Constance Halavel's chapatti & banana puri recipe

Constance Halavel’s chapatti & banana puri recipe

This recipe from Constance Halaveli, is a modernised version of the original classic.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Chapatti:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 pinch of salt

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt, and using a wooden spatula, stir it while adding the olive oil and hot water. You will get a soft elastic dough, but not sticky.

2. On a lightly-floured worktop, knead the dough until it is smooth and fluffy.

3. Divide it into 10 equal portions, or fewer if you want larger loaves. Roll them into balls and let them rest for a few minutes.

Banana puri:

  • 30g flour
  • 30g salt
  • 20g pepper
  • 40g ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 60ml milk
  • Ghee vegetable butter plant: to taste

1. Make a firm but pliable dough and cover it with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

2. Knead the dough gently. it should be firm enough to be able to spread without sticking.

3. Divide it into small balls and cover them with a damp cloth.

4. take a ball of dough, dip at an angle in a mixture of Ghee and oil and spread it into a round 13cm diameter shape. Do the same with the rest of the puris.

Finishing and presentation

The chapattis:

Heat a griddle and lightly grease it. Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls. They must be quite thin, like tortillas. When the griddle starts to smoke, add the chapatti and cook for about 30 seconds to produce a brown colour. Turn it over and cook it in the same way. Continue with the rest of the dough.

Banana puris:

Heat a wok filled with oil to 200˚C. Dip the puris in the oil. Using a slotted spoon, and while shaking them, make the puris rise by covering them with hot oil. This operation lasts only a few seconds. Turn the puris over and continue cooking then so that they go a nice golden brown colour.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

White aromatic wine:

  • Alsace Pinot blanc, “Mise de Printemps”, Josmeyer, 2009 France
  • Stellenbosch Neethlingshof, Gewürztraminer, 2010 South Africa.

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Recipe: Lemongrass prawns

It’s not difficult to succumb to these large lemongrass prawns, juicy, highly desired and fragrant as they are. Created in the kitchens at Constance Ephélia, the idea occurred to our chef while travelling in Thailand.

He loved the famous Tom Yam Kung, but the broth was too powerful for the European palate, and the texture of the seafood was not highlighted enough. This personal and tasty version is enjoyed by alternating a mouthful of prawns with a sip of broth.

Constance Ephélia's lemongrass prawns

Constance Ephélia’s lemongrass prawns

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The seafood:

  • 12 black tiger prawns (size U 10)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tomato
  • 200g lemongrass
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • Olive oil: as required
  • Salt/pepper

1. Shell the prawn tails keeping the heads for the shellfish broth. Store it.

2. Put the heads together with the orange that has been cut in half into a saucepan along with the tomato. Cover it with water and cook for 25 minutes on a low heat.

3. Sieve this broth through a cheesecloth strainer to remove the impurities.

4. Wash and slice the lemon. Peel and finely cut the ginger root. Let them steep for 5 minutes with a kaffir leaf in the shellfish consommé. Strain the consommé and keep it warm.

The garnish:

  • 1 red pepper (capsicum)
  • 100g mange-tout peas
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 white turnip
  • 1 red chilli pepper

1. Take the stalks off the mange-tout peas. Wash and chop them finely lengthways. Store them.

2. Peel the carrots then wash and cut them with a mandolin cutter into thin 3mm-thick slices, then into julienne slices. Put them in a bowl with iced water.

3. Follow the same procedure for the turnip.

4. Cut the red capsicum pepper in half and remove the seeds. Using a food processor, remove the skin and chop it finely. Store it.

5. Wash the red chilli pepper and cut it finely.

6. Drain all the vegetables and put them together in a bowl. Mix them well. Add some red pepper and serve separately in small bowls. Add a drizzle of olive oil.

Finishing and presentation

Whichever is more convenient for you, grill or pan-fry the prawns.

Serve the lemongrass tea in a teapot, and the bowls of crispy salad vegetables separately.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pernand-Vergelesses, 1er Cru “Sous-Frétilles”, Deux Montille, 2008 France
  • Chablis 1er Cru “Vaucoupin”, Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, 2008 France.

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Cocktail: Tongasoa fresh juice

A new year offers the opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Try our delicious Tongasoa fresh juice, a non alcoholic cocktail from Constance Tsarabanjina, that will definitely put a smile on your face.

Tongasoa fresh juice

Tongasoa fresh juice

Ingredients

  • 10 cl of passion fruits
  • 10 cl pineapple
  • 10 cl goyave
  • 2 cl grenadine
  • 7 cl mango juice
  • 1 banana
  • 2 slices of ginger

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