Sister island to Mauritius, Reunion island (also known as Bourbon), has a style of cooking similar to that of Mauritius’, many recipes being simply done differently. However, some of her culinary specialities are unique and impossible to duplicate elsewhere for the ingredients are hers alone. Bichiques, young fish which are caught at the mouth of rivers and used to make excellent curries, are practically unknown in Mauritius.
The culinary terms used on the sister island are frequently at odds with each other. A rougail in Reunion is in fact a chutney. . . The bush yielding the spicy curry leaves is called carripoule in Mauritius and caloupille in Reunion, and the gateau piment (chilli bite) becomes the bonbon piment (chilli candy) even though it has not a trace of sugar,
We are pleased to share with our readers some unusual and exciting recipes from Reunion:
CURRY OF BABA FIGUE
The baba figue is the purple bud, or flower, of the banana tree. It emerges at the end of the flowering stalk and is the precursor of the banana bunch. Many Mauritians don’t know that the flower is eatable and in fact a delicacy.
The baba figue curry is endemic to the Island of Réunion.
Unknown to Mauritians, the baba figue curry will surely make you fall in love with its deliciousness.
6 baba figue
4 tablespoons oil
1 small onion
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 ripe medium-size tomatoes chilli to taste
salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley
Carefully remove the purple petals and small underdeveloped bananas of the baba figue.
Chop the -babas and place to soak in a bowl of vinegared water for 2 hours.
Then drain thoroughly and boil tor 20 to 25 minutes. Heat the oil.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric powder, and saute tor 1 minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes until sauce is thick and unctuous.
Add the chopped baba figue.
Season with salt, pepper, and herbs and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes
Et voilà! The final product is a real delicacy.
Enjoy your Baba Figue Curry…