Forget warming winter treats, in Indian Ocean cuisine cinnamon is used to add a rich depth of spice and flavour to soups, curries and spice-rubs.Pineapple and watermelon sandwich with cinnamon french toast
The warm, spicy fragrance of cinnamon infuses the cuisine of the Indian Ocean and is used in both savoury and sweet dishes across the region.
Grown originally in Sri Lanka, cinnamon is one of the oldest spices in the world with evidence of its use stretching as far back as Ancient Egypt.
By the 18th century it was so popular amongst Europeans that cultivation of the Cinnamomum tree was introduced to other Indian Ocean islands including Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius.
In Mauritius, the cinnamon bark is used to add an aromatic depth to dishes including fish curry cari poisson, while in the Seychelles cinnamon leaves are often used in traditional chicken curries. In Madagascar cinnamon is often paired with the nation’s famous vanilla to create delicious puddings and sweet treats.
Recipes to try at home
- Create a spiced Seychellois treat with our recipe for duck legs and roast pineapple with smoked bacon.
- Make a traditional Mauritian pumpkin soup with cinnamon and ginger.
- Or for a tropical sweet treat try a pineapple and watermelon sandwich with cinnamon French toast from Constance Le Prince Maurice.
- Discover more about Madagascan cuisine
- Take a foodie tour of the Indian Ocean
- Find out more about gastronomy holidays in the Indian Ocean
- For more information about how cinnamon is used in Mauritian food read Selina Pariampillai’s guide to Mauritian flavours on spicekitchenuk.com.