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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Growing a kitchen garden

The food scandals of recent years have meant that we have all become increasingly conscious of where our food comes from and how it is produced.

Constance Lémuria's kitchen garden

Constance Lémuria’s kitchen garden

More and more of us at home are choosing to grow our own vegetables rather than rely on produce imported from growers thousands of miles away.

A delightful side effect of this trend has been the re-discovery of how delicious familiar produce can be when it’s eaten freshly picked.

This is something quality-conscious chefs and hoteliers have always known – choosing to cultivate their own kitchen gardens in order to guarantee their guests the very best flavours.

At Constance Lémuria we offer guests dishes created from the very freshest ingredients, taking advantage of the fertile tropical soil and climate of the Seychelles to grow a range of delicious produce.

In our garden you will find chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, corn and parsley (when we can keep the peacocks from eating them all). We are also in the process of creating our own herb garden.

But while we enjoy tending to our expanding kitchen garden we are also blessed with a wide variety of plants offering a feast of delicious fresh ingredients such as bananas, passion fruit, bread fruit and mangoes all growing naturally in the hotel grounds.

Constance Lémuria's chefs collect the day's ingredients

Constance Lémuria’s chefs collect the day’s ingredients

The bread fruit trees around the resort offer fruit which is used in purees, soups and a desert called Bread Fruit Daube. At Sea Horse guests can enjoy bread fruit puree with truffle oil, grilled leek hearts and wild mushroom sauce.

During the mango season the chefs include mangoes picked from our own trees in the breakfast buffet as well as in desserts, while at Takamaka guests can enjoy a lunch of chicken with mango, fresh tomato with a Creole dressing and papaya salad.

One of our most prized ingredients is the wild spinach that grows around the hotel’s golf course.

Our chef at Sea Horse has used it to create a delicious dish of poached local spinach, ricotta, parmesan and candied tomatoes in a light saffron sauce and a poached Job Fish which he serves with roasted potatoes, poached egg and the local spinach. At the Beach Bar & Grill you can enjoy a light lunch of local spinach and chicken spaghetti with a spicy tomato sauce.

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Recipe of the week: Fresh crab with saffron and coconut

Our chefs at Constance Lémuria love to create recipes combining sumptuous fresh, local seafood with fragrant Seychellois spices.

Fresh crab recipes at Constance

Fresh crab recipes at Constance

Make this an authentic Seychelles meal by accompanying it with basmati rice, tomato or mango chutney and vegetable pickles (achards).

Crab with saffron and coconut

Ingredients (serves 4–6)

  • 1.5kg (3.3 lb.) fresh Crab (we use Giraffe Crab)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp of finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 fresh red chilli peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • liquid from 2 grated pressed coconuts (or 1 if preferred)
  • 400g can of cream of coconut
  • a few curry leaves

1. Cut the crab into two pieces and season with salt.

2. Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric over a low heat until the onion begins to colour. Add the coconut milk.

3. Add the crab pieces. Stir gently, coating the crab with the sauce. Season with salt, add the cardamom and curry leaves, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and cook a few minutes longer until the liquid has evaporated. The sauce should be thick and creamy.

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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’.

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