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 

 

Recipe: Grilled squid and Moofushi chilli tomato preserve

When we receive a delivery of squid, we serve it the same evening. We simply cook grilled squid in front of our customers. A delight of simplicity!

Grilled squid and Moofushi chilli tomato preserve

Grilled squid and Moofushi chilli tomato preserve

For those who like it, the chilli tomato preserve has something of a “cheeky” side that emphasises the texture of the squid without overpowering it. This preserve was born… out of an ordering mistake!

We ordered too many crates of tomatoes and peppers and we were afraid they would go off. So the recipe was created by chance. But given the success of this condiment, it has become one of the hotel’s staples and its composition continues to evolve.

Ingredients (serves 4)

The squid:

  • 600g squid fillets
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • Salt/pepper

1. Clean the squid fillets, removing the thin film. Rinse them well and score them lightly with a sharp knife.

2. Mix the olive oil with lemon juice, the salt and pepper, and marinate the fillets for 30 minutes.

The chilli tomato preserve:

  • 300g whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • 1 star anise (lightly toasted, then crushed in mortar)
  • 250g sugar
  • 5g garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 70ml white wine vinegar
  • 40ml Thai Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mâm)

1. Mix all the ingredients except the fish sauce. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer until it reaches the consistency of a preserve.

2.It will have reduced by a half and it takes approximately two to three hours on a low heat to do this. be sure to stir regularly to avoid the preserve sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3. Season it with fish sauce, which is very salty and must be added gently, depending on your taste.

Finishing and presentation

Drain the squid fillets and grill them on a barbeque.

Place a squid fillet on each plate with a jar of chilli tomato preserve on the side.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Sancerre, “Génération XIX”, Alphones Mellot, 2010 France
  • Chablis 1 cru Fourchaume, Domaine Pommier, 2010 France

Recipe: Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

This dish is a tribute to the crossroads of cultures prevailing in our islands. In this dish, the basics of French cuisine are associated with Asian flavours and spices of the Indian subcontinent. A rather technical recipe, but one rich in taste and texture.

Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

Ingredients (serves 4)

The meat:

  • 1 rack of wild pig or suckling pig, 2kg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 20g honey
  • Peanut oil: as required
  • salt/pepper

1. Open out the rack of pork, trim it, and cut the bone to uniform height and tie it. Season it with salt and pepper.

2. On the hob or griddle brown all the sides and then bake at 160˚C for about 40 minutes. Remove it from the plate and let it rest.

3. Mix the ketchup, honey and soy sauce into a preparation which will be used to lacquer the rack of pork.

The pork juice:

  • 20g honey
  • 1 lime
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 4g ginger
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tonka bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick

1. Brown the bones and trimmings in the oven.

2. Prepare a small mirepoix of vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot) and add it to the bones. caramelise everything together. Once a good good colour has been achieved, deglaze the plate with white wine. Put everything into a bowl and moisten it on the top with water. Cook for about 3 hours, skimming well.

3. Pass the stock through a cheesecloth sieve and reduce it to three-quarters.

4. Caramelise a little honey in a saucepan. Add 1 stick of cinnamon, 3 black peppercorns, half a chopped Tonka bean, 4g of chopped ginger, the zest of 1 lime and its juice, and 100ml of balsamic vinegar. Add the pork juice and cook it again for 30 minutes until it reaches a consistency which will coat the meat.

5. Strain it and save it.

The garnish:

The potates with cinnamon:

  • 500g large potatoes
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 litre peanut oil
  • 50g butter
  • Sea salt: to taste

1. Wash the potatoes, cut them into thick wedges with skin still on, blanch them in an oil bath at 150˚C for the first cooking. Drain and store them.

2. Place the butter into a pan to heat. Add the potatoes with the cinnamon sticks and bring them to a nice golden colour. Drain them on paper towels and season them with sea salt.

The red onion confit:

  • 300g red onions
  • 20g butter
  • 1/4 litre red wine
  • 10ml crème de cassis
  • Thyme: as required
  • 2g black cracked pepper
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel the onions finely. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and lightly salt them. Bring them to a golden colour and then deglaze them with crème de cassis and red wine. Add the thyme and pepper. Cover and cook until completely evaporated. take them out and set them aside.

Finishing and presentation

  • Pink peppercorm: as required
  • Aniseed: as required

Warm the rack of pork in the oven for about 5 minutes. using a brush, coat it several times and finish it off under the grill so that it glistens.

Add some pink berries roses and star anise. The rack can be cut in front of the guests or arranged earlier on a plate. Put the onion confit in a saucepan along with the apples.

Present the sauce separately.

Sommeliers’ suggested wine

Strong red wine:

  • Swartland, Kloof Street Rouge, Mullineux Family, 2009 South Africa
  • Côtes-du-Rhône Brézème, Charles Helfenbein, 2009 France

 

Recipe: Mauritian style fish curry

One of the most popular dishes at Constance Le Prince Maurice, this fish curry is the perfect meal for sharing with friends.

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Fish curry:

  • 600 g white flesh fish ready to cook, and cut in cubes
  • 60 g Onions
  • 10 g Chopped Garlic
  • 10 g Chopped Ginger
  • 25 g Chopped Coriander
  • 10 g Thyme
  • 5 g Curry leaves
  • 200 g Diced Tomato
  • 35 g Curry powder ( best quality you can find)
  • 6 g Turmeric powder
  • 5 g Red chilli powder (optional)
  • 10 g Cumin powder
  • 10 g Coriander powder
  • 100ml of fish stock ( or water)
  • 50 ml Coconut milk
  • 50 ml oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. In a large pan, pour little oil. When it’s hot put the onions, garlic, ginger and the herbs cook for 5 minutes.

2. When the onion turn lightly brown in colour add the spices and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add diced tomato and cook on low heat for 5 more minutes. Add coconut milk and fish stock. Reduced to a nice consistency.

3. When you are ready to serve, eat up the curry sauce, add the fish and cook for 2 minutes. Switch off the fire, cover and allow resting for 10 to 15minutes (until the fish is cooked).

4. Add fresh chopped coriander. Serve hot with plain rice, lentils fricassee, tomato chutney, cucumber salad and any pickles from the supermarket.

Tomato Chutney:

  • 100 g fine-diced tomatoes
  • 20 g fine chopped coriander
  • 40 g fine chopped onion
  • 10 g Soya bean oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all the above mentioned ingredients, season and serve.

Plain white rice:

  • 200 g Basmati rice
  • 500 g water
  • 4 g salt

1. In a pot boil the water; add some salt and the rice. Cook for around 15 minutes, strain in a colander and serve hot.

Cucumber salad:

  • 200 g cucumber
  • 20 g sliced onions
  • 5 ml white vinegar
  • 5 ml oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Peel and slice the cucumber, mix with the sliced onions. Season with the other ingredients.