One of my favourite ways to experience a culture is through the food. Every country has its own dishes and beverages that are unique to that area. What makes a dish special can be the way it’s cooked, the spices used, combinations of flavours or even how one item is paired with another. Some dishes date back to hundreds of years ago and some are modern customizations of past traditions. Whatever it is that makes a dish unique to a country, gives you all the more reason to try it.
While island hopping in Seychelles, Siya and I had the chance to take a cooking class with a Creole Chef at the Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa. Throughout a one hour time frame, we learned how to cook 3 traditional Creole dishes which can easily be made wherever you are in the world. Not only are each of these dishes extremely flavourful, they are quick and easy to make on the days where you don’t want to spend much time cooking but still want a cultural experience that will sure impress.
Let’s get cooking!
Note: All recipes serve 4-6 people.
Smoked Marlin Salad
1 mango, thinly sliced
Half a pineapple, thinly sliced
4 roma tomatoes, thinkly sliced
Slices of smoked marlin
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Combine mango, pineapple, tomatoes and smoked marlin into a bowl.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top.
Mix all ingredients together and top with fresh parsley.
1 large octopus – cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
3 cups of fresh coconut milk
Half a red onion
1 handfull of fresh curry leaves
2 large fresh or dry cinnamon leaves
2 tablepsoons of mild Creole curry powder
Half a large chilli
1 tablespoon of cloves
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of coriander powder
Salt & Black pepper to taste
Cut your octopus into bite size pieces and boil until tender.
In a pan, heat the oil. Then add the onion and sauté until golden.
Add your curry leaves and garlic paste. Sauté for another minute.
Add your octopus. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
Add the spices, cinnamon leaves, chilli and cloves in with the octopus. Toss to coat.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer till the liquid is reduced.
Add in some salt and black pepper to taste.
1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
3 cups of coconut milk
5 large, ripe, plantains
1 cup of sugar
Peel the plantains, cut in half and then half again lengthways.
Place the cut up bananas in a heated pan, then pour the sugar and nutmeg powder on top. Cooked for a minute.
Add your coconut milk, bring it to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
I challenge you to cook up at least one of these dishes in your own kitchen. After you do, come on back here and let us know how your dish turned out by leaving a comment below.