The Creole Cuisine of the Seychelles finds its inspiration from its amalgam of the various origins present on the island. Herbs and spices (pepper, ginger, anise, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, nutmeg and chilli of course) subtly enhance fish, meat and vegetables preparations. Many recipes use massala which is a mixture of Indian spices.
Dishes are often served with this satinis or chutneys, composed of fruits or vegetables (mango, green papaya, bilimbi, carrot …) which are grated and marinated with chili, saffron, onion and pepper in a lime juice. But the authentic “Seychelles Touch”, it is the coconut milk curry: coconut milk is added after cooking and you get a smooth and fragrant sauce that goes wonderfully with chicken, seafood and vegetables.
A casual Seychellois Table
In Seychelles, you will not be totally disoriented by the table habits, as they are quite similar to the world’s. Breakfast is substantial and includes jams, toast, hot drink, exotic fruits (bananas, papaya, mango …) and fresh fruit juice, sometimes with eggs in various forms.
The lunch is usually light and quick, on the go in a take away (especially in the capital Victoria). For dinner, it is advised to take your time. It is served relatively early and this is the most important meal of the day.
On Sundays and feast days, islanders willingly engage in the joys of a barbecue or a picnic on one of the wonderful beaches of the Seychelles! On each island of the Seychelles archipelago, a multitude of tourist restaurants and hotel establishments welcomes travelers looking to experience the true Creole Food Experience(around € 25 per person). A tip to make your choice: If you see customers queuing outside a restaurant for a table, it’s a good sign! And if you are looking for a safe bet, go for the “Boat House” located at Beau Vallon on the island of Mahé.
Cook the Creole way!
Do not look for hypermarkets, you will not find any. It is only in the capital of Victoria on Mahé that you will find two supermarkets worthy of the name. As for boutiques (small local stores), they will not offer you more than pasta and cans. You should rather stop at a roadside to pick up fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. And try to visit the picturesque Victoria bazaar. Its colorful and well-stocked market will allow you to buy all the spices that will give your meals all the flavors of the Seychelles.
The fish is the main ingredient used for most dishes in the Seychelles. You should not miss tasting the fish in its various form on the islands of the Seychelles. Ultra-fresh, it is prepared and served in every imaginable form, from the simplest to the most refined: grilled, oven roasted, skewered, raw (marinated in lime juice, minced, sashimi and tartare), fried, cooked in broth or wrapped in a banana leaf, simmered in curry or rougail … one stay will never be enough to go around all the recipes!
It must be said that the Seychelles are home to a multitude of species of fish, each offering a different flavor and texture. The mains remain bouzwa (or bourgeois, whose succulent white flesh lends itself perfectly to grilled meats), marlin (smoked, served with salad), tuna , bonito, captain, bream, parrot, mackerel, in rougail or curry … and even shark, which is yet an endangered species…
Crustaceans, shellfish and octopus are not to be omitted. The zourite (octopus), crab, clams, shrimp, tec tec (small shell), also find their way into the composition of delicious entrees and soups.
Dishes for everyone
For those who prefer meat, the creole cuisine has everything. Recipes made with beef, pork, chicken and goat are also popular on the island. Curried, grilled or in stews, you will find dishes for all tastes. But beware meat pieces are cut and cooked with their bones. The more adventurous and those in search of new flavors should taste the fruit bat. This local specialty can be enjoyed in several restaurants on Mahé and on Praslin.
The Curry refers to a fragrant stew, whose composition comprise of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, thyme and saffron or turmeric. Curry marries particularly well with meats. Do not forget to taste the rougail sausage (sausage and lentils with a spicy condiment made of tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chili, Just as on Reunion Island).