A fusion of flavours from African, French, Chinese, Indian and English cooking makes up this unique and delicious cuisine: Seychellois’ Cuisine. With its broad ethnic diversity, the Seychelles will not only conquer you with its magnificent beaches but also with its mouth-watering delicacies.
Over the years, its variety of spices have been combined to create a unique piquancy. These combinations of vast selection of tangy, sweet, rich and spicy makes the Seychellois cuisine a tourist attraction in itself. With hundreds of such aromas, Seychellois gastronomy and brews have an exclusive place in the world of cooking.
Cooking With Spices
The intense and vibrant flavour unique to the Seychelles comes from the warm spices the Seychellois use in their kitchen.
As a producer of spices for the British Empire in its colonial past fresh, fragrant spices such as chilli, ginger, garlic and cinnamon are at the heart of Seychelles cuisine.Some of the key spices used in the Seychelles and some mouth-watering delicacies to motivate you to visit those wonderful islands are:
There are more than 10 different varieties of chilli used in Seychellois cooking each having a distinct flavour and used for different dishes.
Recipe with chilli: Chatini/Chutney. Is made by pickling various fruits or vegetables in spices. Of Indian origin. Mango, tamarind and green papaya are common varieties.
With a gentle warmth and intense flavour garlic represents the perfect fusion of European food with the heat of African and Asian cuisine.
Recipe with garlic: Ambrocal A stew with rice, beans, saffron, garlic and pork as main ingredients.
Ginger has always been central to Indian cuisine and is an important ingredient to many aromatic and sweet dishes in the Seychelles. It has been popular with islanders for its medicinal properties.
Recipe with ginger: Ambrocal A stew with rice, beans, saffron, garlic and pork as main ingredients.
Grown on the hillside plantations of the Seychelles the kind flavour of cinnamon is used in curries, chutneys, desserts and pickles.
Recipe with cinnamon: Ladob banan, a dessert made with banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and sugar.
Seychellois’ cooking is typically based on seafood and chillies. With very little local transport of goods, the ingredients are super fresh and often directly from a garden or fishing boat. Roasted, grilled, fried, curried or raw fish is usually served with chatini or cooked vegetables including pumpkin, green mangoes or eggplant. The fish can also be served with raw fruits and vegetables, which in their turn, may be served with vinaigrette.
Coconut and breadfruit are also two traditional bases for many Seychellois dishes. The coconut milk, meat and heart of the palm tree are used in most recipes. Some other locally produced ingredients commonly used can be:
• Golden apples
The Freshest Seafood
The fish dishes that visitors will have the opportunity to try in the Seychelles are shark, barracuda, parrot fish and kingfish along with the usual squid, octopus, grouper, red snapper and jack fish. Seychelles beef is a local name for turtle meat. A typical combination plate may include jackfish terrine, breadfruit and chicken salad, gratin of palm heart and papaya flowers chutney served with rice.
On the other hand, Red snapper or bourzwa is normally grilled with ginger and garlic and served with salad, rice and vegetables. Tuna and king fish make great steaks grilled in garlic butter and served with Creole sauce. Creole sauce is made with tomatoes, onions, green bell pepper and cayenne pepper. Octopus is made into zourit, a creamy curry, is a popular delicacy as is Tec Tec, a small white shellfish.
Palm wine or calou, an alcoholic beverage that is locally made from coconut sap is used in the preparation of many Seychellois dishes. Bacca, another alcoholic beverage which is made from sugarcane liquor is served for ceremonial events. Coco d’Amour is a delicious tropical coconut liqueur made with coconut extract. The great Local beers, which should not be excluded, includes Ekyu and Seybrew.
Seasonal Fresh Fruits
The variety of tropical fruit in Seychelles is huge with a huge varieties of bananas. There are also grapefruits, oranges and limes. The Jamalac, a cone shaped fruit that has soft skin and tastes like an apple can also be found in the Seychelles. There are plenty of mangoes, pineapples, jackfruit, papaya and custard apples. And most of these fruits are used to make fresh salads, juices, pickles or chutneys.
Octopus salad is a very popular Seychellois snack. Its combination of fresh octopus, onions and tomatoes with a squeeze of lemon juice makes it a délice to our taste buds. It is usually served just before the main course.
For a morning or afternoon snack accompanying tea, Carotte Bananas is the perfect option. This exotic local dish is prepared by wrapping bananas in banana leaves with honey and vanilla. It is allowed to dry and tastes great. Its resemblance to the carrot when prepared gave this dish its funny name.
Some Unusual Dishes
Rousettes can be seen spotted menus. This atypical dish is prepared with fruit bats. It is served in many restaurants with several different styles of preparation. It tastes a bit like venison but is more challenging to eat since there are many tiny bones to avoid.
Shark chutney is a typical Seychellois dish made from shark meat that is boiled and mashed then cooked with bilimbi, a small cucumber and lime juice. It is commonlly served with lentils and rice.
Ladob is a two-purpose dish. It may be eaten as a snack or a dessert.
Seychellois’ cuisine is unique because its blend of flavours makes it different. Cultivating their own coconut and breadfruit, as well as the abundant fresh and lively seafood, the Seychellois have created something crispy and different. The main flavours are rich, hot and spicy. The hundreds of combinations make each dish flavourful and special. It is a must to look for traditional, local food to experience the true aromas of the Seychelles. Hotels, villas and local restaurants will definitely deliver this awesome blend of cultures in their dishes delivering the real thing.