Imagine the freshest seafood, flavoured with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, limes and chillies, and cooked to perfection by chefs who know how to make a thousand different fish dishes! Creole cuisine combines the subtlety of Asian food with the spices of Indian cooking, all moulded by fine French flair. Rice is the staple and fish is eaten almost every day. Soup is a tasty starter and is often made from tec-tec, a tiny shellfish. Bouillon blan, a fish soup that uses a whole, small fish with loads of garlic, ginger and chilli, is a meal in itself. Curries are traditional – usually fish or octopus – and quite delicious.
A typical Creole recipe: Bouillon Blanc
As prepared by Philip the boatman on Aldabra
One clean, whole fish of about 1kg
300g king prawns
20g fresh ginger 3ml mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
5ml dried thyme
100g purple onions
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
3ml spice for fish
One litre water
20ml tomato sauce
50g fresh tomato (if available)
Cut the fish (including the head) into three or four chunks and coat with herbs and turmeric. Pound the garlic and ginger with the salt. Slice the onions and fry gently in a little oil. Add the fish, peppers, garlic and ginger, stir and add water. Simmer for about ten minutes.
Add tomato sauce, and about 50g of finely chopped fresh tomato if available. Continue simmering for another ten minutes. Add the prawns until heated through. Remove the fish and strain the soup. Remove the bones from the fish and return the flesh to the soup. Enjoy!
Chicken Curry à la Seychelloise (for two)
Presented by Chef Wilson Lesperance from the Coco de Mer Hotel, Praslin
450g chicken breast (cut into cubes)
2tbsp cooking oil
100g aubergine (cut into cubes)
100g red or yellow pepper (diced)
45g turmeric or 20g saffron powder
50g garlic and ginger paste
Two cinnamon leaves/cinnamon stick
40g hot/mild curry powder
Three curry leaves
Salt and pepper
350ml coconut milk
Handful of chopped coriander
Marinate the cut chicken with the turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat the pot with cooking oil, add the aubergine and cook for two minutes, then mix in the marinated chicken, stirring with a wooden spoon and cook for another two minutes.
Cover the pot and cook on a medium heat for three minutes. Add the garlic and ginger paste, cinnamon leaves, curry leaves and coconut milk. Mix well and allow it to cook uncovered until the gravy is thick and the meat tender.
Finally, season with salt and pepper and coriander. Serve hot with fresh herbed rice or plain rice and a pumpkin or aubergine chutney. Bon appétit!