Seychelles food is all about simple, big flavours. We’re really into sharing food, getting your hands dirty and having a really relaxed experience. There is nothing better than loading the table with various tasty dishes for friends and family to dig into, accompanied with fresh salads, fluffy rice, local “Seybrew” beer and some Sega tunes to complete the perfect island vibe.
If you want to start cooking Seychelles-style food, then you need a few things in your cupboard. Cumin, coconut milk, masala, turmeric, cinnamon bark, chilli power, ginger, lime and garlic are the base for everything else.
Rice is a staple in the Seychelles and goes with absolutely everything. One delicious “Creole” way to serve rice is to mix basmati rice with turmeric, sunflower oil, onions, peppers and/or peas. We can it saffron rice, but it doesn’t actually have any saffron in it, nevertheless it is light, fluffy and delicious and a must for any table.
As we’re only a few days away from Christmas Day (our favourite time to over-indulge) we thought we would share with you a local festive favourite which will have your guests drooling with delight and coming back for more…..
Saffron Coconut Crab
- 1.5kg fresh Crab (we use Giraffe Crab)
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp of finely grated fresh ginger
- 3 fresh red chilli peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 3/4 tsp salt
- liquid from 2 grated pressed coconuts (or 1 if preferred)
- 400g can of cream of coconut
- a few curry leaves
1.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add crab one at a time, cover, bring back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
2.When crab is cool enough to handle, clean and quarter crab, crack claws but leave them attached. Refrigerate until required.
3.Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric over a low heat until the onion begins to colour. Add the coconut milk.
4.Add the crab pieces. Stir gently, coating the crab with the sauce. Season with salt, add the cardamom and curry leaves, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the lid and cook a few minutes longer until the liquid has evaporated. The sauce should be thick and creamy.
6.Serve with fluffy saffron rice and a variety of pickles, salads and chutney.
- 300g basmati rice
- 200g chopped onion
- 3 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 200g diced bell pepper or whole peas
- 8 curry leaves
- 1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
- 30g garlic
- 30g ginger
- 5g cloves
- 2 Tbsp turmeric powder
- salt and ground cumin to taste
- 2 cups water
1. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, cloves and then add curry leaves and cinnamon powder.
2. Add turmeric and cumin.
3. Add rice, season with salt and pepper, and stir.
4. Add water and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until fluffy. Stir before serving.