5 flavours of the Maldives

Over the years traditional Maldivian recipes have adopted influences from Europe and Asia to create a richly flavoured, warmly spiced culinary tradition.

Flavours of the Maldives - tuna curry

Flavours of the Maldives – tuna curry

Here are some of the key ingredients used in Maldivian cuisine and some mouth-watering recipes to inspire you.

Tuna

Tuna is a core ingredient of Maldivian cuisine prepared in a variety of ways including dried, fresh or even ground into a paste known as Rihaakuru and used as an ingredient in other dishes.

• Recipe with tuna: Maldives tuna curry

Curry powder

With its Asian influence curry is a one of the most common dishes in the Maldives, often featuring diced tuna and known locally as Mas Riha.

• Recipe with curry powder: Halaveli’s shrimp Laksa

Chilli

Giving Maldivian cuisine its heat are chillies used in many traditional dishes including the local grilled fish staple.

• Recipe with chilli: Grilled squid and Moofushi chilli tomato preserve

Coconut

The coconut is widely used in the Maldives in a variety of forms including grated, squeezed (for coconut milk) and pressed (for oil).

• Recipe with coconut: Coconut cake

Avocado

Thanks to the humid soil of the Maldives a wide range of exotic fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, grow easily here and have become key ingredients of the nation’s cuisine.

• Recipe with avocado: Constance Fish Ceviche Acapulco style

Maldivian flavours at Constance

This blend of European and Maldivian cuisine is at the heart of the menus at Constance Moofushi’s Manta and Alizée restaurants while a rich fusion of flavours is served up against the stunning backdrop of the Indian Ocean at Constance Halaveli‘s romantic Jing restaurant. And if it’s a barefoot vibe you’re after, the fresh seafood cooked on the beach is the theme at Meeru’s beach grill.

Read more

  • Find out more about the cuisine of the Maldives on the travel site Wandtheworld.

 

Recipe: Royal romazava

Romazava is an emblematic dish of traditional Madagascan cuisine. At Constance Tsarabanjina, its preparation is similar to a ritual, and no one is supposed to distract the chef when he is getting it ready. A dish for sharing and generosity, to be enjoyed with friends.

Royal romazava

Royal romazava

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The meat:

  • 300g pork loin
  • 300g stewing beef
  • Black pepper: as required
  • 10g garlic puree
  • 20g ginger puree
  • 10g flour
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • Peanut oil
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt/pepper

1. trim the pork loin and cut it into cubes and brown it with a little oil. Add the garlic and ginger purees.

2. Let it sweat for another 5 minutes, then pour half a litre of water over it and cook it covered for 45 minutes.

3. In a casserole, bring the seasoned sautéed beef back to the heat. add the tomato concentrate and coat the meat. Let it all cook for 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle it with flour and cover it with water. Stir the fresh tomato chopped into pieces, the bouquet garni and the black pepper. Cover and cook it for 2 hours, preferably on a real fire with glowing embers.

The garnish:

  • 300g white rice
  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 banana tree leaf
  • Salt

1. Cook the rice. Chop the tomatoes and season them with salt and coriander.

Finishing and presentation

Cut the banana tree leaf into a square and place the different meats on top. serve the rice and tomatoes separately. For a more traditional result, serve everything in a stew-crock or cast iron pot.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Light and fruity red wine:

  • Upper Hemel En aarde, Newton Johnson. “D”, Pinot Noir, 2009 South Africa
  • Côtes du Marmandais Elian Da Ros, “Le vin est une fête”, 2009 France

 

Recipe: Roast shrimp, avocado tartar with orange

A revised version of the classic avocado with shrimp, this spicy version is to be tasted with your feet in the sand, looking out onto the sea.

Roast shrimp, avocado tartar with orange

Roast shrimp, avocado tartar with orange

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Shrimp and marinade:

  • 12 shrimp (size 16/20)
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 10g ginger
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • Salt/pepper

1. Shell the shrimp, retaining the end of the tail. Keep heads for the sauce. remove the guts. rinse them under a stream of cold water, drain them and put onto a small plate.

2. For the marinade, peel and chop the onion and squeeze the cloves of garlic and ginger. Add the crushed coriander and the lemon juice. season it all. When everything is well mixed, add the shrimp tails and marinate it for one hour.

The tartar avocado with orange:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 2 oranges
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel the avocados and cut them into small cubes. add the lemon juice to prevent oxidation, and then season it.

2. Zest the oranges and peel them into segments. keep the juice.

3. Add some zest to the avocado tartar and to the diced segments. mix it all together and set it aside.

The light curry sauce:

  • Olive oil: as required
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 celery stalk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2g curry powder
  • 1 tomato
  • Orange juice
  • Butter: as required

1. Brown the shrimp heads with a little olive oil in a small bowl. Add the carrot and celery cut into cubes, the crushed garlic, curry powder, and the seeded tomato cut into cubes. Mix well and moisten up with water and any remaining orange juice.

2. Cook gently for about 20 minutes and pass this broth through a cheesecloth strainer. reduce it by half to spice up the broth and add a knob of butter.

3. Mix it, using a small immersion blender, until you get a light mousse.

Finishing and presentation

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and let them fry on each side with a drizzle of olive oil for 2 minutes. With a stainless steel rectangular cutter, arrange the avocado tartar in the centre of the plate. Lay out the shrimp tails and finish it all off with a curry sauce mousse.

Sommeliers’ suggested wine

Champagne/Mousseux:

  • Champagne Deutz, “Cuvée William Deutz”, 1998 France
  • Champagne Jacques Selosse, “Substance”, France

 

Seychellois cuisine: cooking with spices

The warm spices and rich flavours of Seychellois cuisine are gathered from the broad ethnic diversity of the country’s culture.

Seychellois cuisine

Enjoy Seychellois cuisine: Samosas and chilli cake, mint chutney and “love-apple” tomato chutney

Influences from France, Africa, India and Asia combine to create an intense, vibrant flavour unique to the Seychelles.

With its history as a producer of spices for the British Empire in its colonial past it is not surprising that fresh, fragrant spices such as chilli, ginger, garlic and cinnamon are at the heart of Seychelles cuisine.

Here are some of the key spices used in the Seychelles and some mouth-watering recipes to inspire you to add a little Creole flavour to your cooking.

Chilli

There are more than 10 different varieties of chilli used in Seychellois cooking each with a distinct flavour and each used for different dishes.

Garlic

With its gentle warmth and intense flavour garlic represents the perfect fusion of European food with the heat of African and Asian cuisine.

Ginger

Ginger has always been central to Indian cuisine and is an important ingredient to many savoury and sweet dishes in the Seychelles. It has been popular with islanders throughout the country’s history for its savoury and medicinal properties. And this delicious recipe creates ice cream that’s medicinal in its own way.

Cinnamon

Grown on the hillside plantations of the Seychelles since colonial times the warm flavour of cinnamon is used in curries ‘cari’, chutneys ‘chatini’ and pickles ‘achar’.

Find out more

 

Recipe: Samosas and chilli cake, mint chutney and “love-apple” tomato chutney

The most popular “ti gad jak” are not very easy to make, but very easy to eat…

Samosas and chilli cake, mint chutney and "love-apple" tomato chutney

Samosas and chilli cake, mint chutney and “love-apple” tomato chutney

They must be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer. Warning: these nibbles are very addictive!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The samosa dough:

  • 110g wheat flour
  • 6ml sunflower oil
  • 80ml warm water
  • 2g salt
  • 10g butter

1. Mix all ingredients by hand and work into a smooth paste. Cover in cling film and keep cold.

The potato curry:

  • 300g potatoes
  • 50g onion
  • 10g mixed garlic
  • 10g mixed ginger
  • 100g shelled peas
  • 25g tomato
  • 10g coriander
  • 10g cumin
  • 7g tumeric
  • 5g cayenne pepper
  • 10g chopped fresh coriander
  • 20ml sunflower oil
  • 5g salt

1. Peel and cut the potatoes coarsely, slice the onions, chop the tomatoes.

2. Sweat the onions with oil, add the ginger and garlic puree, the spices and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the potatoes, tomatoes and salt. Cook until the potatoes are soft. add the peas and remove from heat. Store in a cool place.

Making the samosas:

  • Flour
  • Water

1. Make twenty samosas. Roll out the dough and cut into strips that are 24cm long and 6cm wide.

2. Place the cold potato curry in the bottom of each strip and roll it to obtain triangular-shaped samosas.

3. Paste down the edges with a little flour mixed in water. Keep them cool.

The chilli cakes:

  • 250g peas
  • 50g chopped onion
  • 2g dried chilli chopped
  • 25g onion chopped tail
  • 25g chopped fresh coriander
  • 50g watercress leaves
  • 2g karipulay
  • 5g cumin seeds

1. Soak the peas for 30 minutes. Drain and mash with a mixer or blender, then mix them in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Season them.

2. Roll out twenty balls and freeze them.

The love-apple tomato chutney:

1. Mix all the ingredients and store them in a cool place.

The mint chutney:

  • 125g natural yogurt
  • 25g fresh mint
  • 25g coriander
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 2g pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients and store them in a cool place.

Finishing and presentation

Fry the samosas and the chilli cakes. Arrange them and serve with the sauces.

Chef’s comment

Samosas can be made with all kinds of fillings. The important thing is to keep a starchy base that allows the ingredients to bind to each other and makes it easier when you are putting them together.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Côtes du Lubéron, Château du Mille, 2010 France
  • Swartland Badenhorst, 2010 South Africa

 

Recipe: Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

The satini grilled tomatoes are very simple to make. This is a recipe that will enhance all your preparations of meat, fish and seafood on the barbecue.

Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

At Lémuria, this accompaniment is regularly used when we organise private barbecues in the hotel’s beautiful villas.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The prawns:

  • 12 black tiger prawns (size U10)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10g ginger
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 1g curry powder
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel the prawns and keep the heads and tails. Store them.

2. Chop the garlic, ginger and coriander. Peel the lime and squeeze the juice. Mix all these ingredients together. Add curry powder, salt and pepper and marinade the prawns for 3 hours.

3. Place the prawns on skewers and cook on a grill or barbecue for about 2 minutes on each side.

The tomato satini garnish:

  • 200g tomatoes
  • 60g onions
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 50ml olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt/pepper

1. Score the tomatoes on the top and arrange them on a plate. Add the olive oil and salt. Bake them at 180˚C for 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Once cooked, peel them, cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. Keep the cooking oil. Grind the coriander and chop the onion. In a mortar, mix the tomato quarters, the lemon juice, the onion and the olive oil that was used for cooking the tomatoes.

3. Mix it until you get a thick paste. Finish off by adding the coriander, and check the seasoning.

Finishing and presentation

Arrange the skewers on plates and the tomato satini on the side in a small bowl.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pouilly Fumé, “Blanc Fumé de Pouilly”, Didier Dagueneau, 2010 France
  • Anjou “Effusion”, Patrick Baudouin, 2009 France