I previously wrote about how I was going to try and tackle one of the geographically larger countries in Africa… and here we are with another one of the smaller island nations. This ended up being a bit of a last minute pick whilst I was going some online grocery shopping. In no way do I mean to sell Seychelles short because I managed to find two rather delicious sounding recipes without much hassle.
Much like the Maldives, Seychelles really is a cuisine where they take what they’ve got and add in a bunch of the colonial and trade influences that have extended their reach over the years. This means a lot of seafood, tropical fruit, coconuts and rice. This is also a country that eats fruit bats and shark… but try getting either of those in London. Actually don’t, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to eat a cute little fruit bat.
I didn’t quite bank on making another curry so soon, but so many recipes that I found was one sort of curry or another. So in the interest of making something that was another fish curry… I went for this prawn curry recipe. I know the picture isn’t great, but I was hungry and it’s amazing how quickly a curry can go cold if you’re fiddling with your iPhone for ages to get the lighting right.
Since the mas riha curry for the Maldives is so recent it is difficult to not compare the two. Both are coconut based curries using sea food as a key protein and some similar spices, but the similarities really end there. These curries are surprisingly different, with this Seychellois curry being naturally warming and not too complex with the number of spices playing on your tongue.
Whilst I liked the Maldivian curry, I would probably choose this Seychellois curry over it. The spice level is about where I prefer it to be and I liked the inclusion of chopped up aubergine. I think this is something I could easily substitute in chicken or lamb for the prawns, which would make this cheaper and an easier recipe to include in the weeknight rotation.
To be honest, it was finding this recipe that made me choose the Seychelles as the next country. I mean, the idea of something banana related in a thick sauce made of coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla… well somethings are just too hard to resist. Especially when, since this recipe called for raw sugar, I could cross off something from the 1001 list:
To be honest, I have been itching to find a good use for this (which feels like a slightly toned down version of jaggery) and sprinkling a few teaspoons of this over the cut plantains felt like the right time to use it.
Like with my entry for São Tomé, I found the recipe for this dessert on a tourist website for a chain of waterfront hotels in the Seychelles. Am I going to stay at one of these resorts? Probably not, it’s not something I think I’d be able to afford – but at least I know they have decent food there.
The best thing about this recipe is the sauce – after 40 minutes of simmering it essentially tasted like evaporated milk flavoured with mulling spice (which makes this a nice idea for a Christmas dessert with a tropical lilt). Plantains aren’t typically as sweet or as mushy as bananas which works well enough for this recipe, but I think that I’d like to try making this with other fruit before I settle.
Oh yes, this is definitely a repeat-worthy recipe. I mean not only does it have a delicious sauce, but it also great with a fruit sorbet (which I tried on my second bowl) and very easy to make. I think the people of the Seychelles got it right here.
So that’s the first ten countries ticked off, but I will definitely not be calling it quits when I have heavy hitters like Japan, France and Italy to look forward to. Speaking of Italy… next week I will be Italy adjacent as I return to European cuisine in the form of the Sammarinese food. What will this micronation have to offer? Well let’s see, shall we.