Savouring the flavours of Seychelles |29 May 2021
A trip to the Seychelles islands is incomplete without sampling the local cuisine. We’re sharing some of the must-try Creole dishes you should tick off your list during your next holiday.
Turquoise waters, pearly white beaches and emerald rainforests aren’t the only riches the Seychelles islands have to offer. With a heritage as opulent as its surroundings, it's no surprise that the Seychelles Creole cuisine captivates the taste buds of travellers from all corners of the globe.
Boasting a bold assortment of flavours, passed down from their ancestors, Creole cuisine is renowned for its fusion of herbs and spices, reflecting the community's diverse heritage in each dish.
Creole cuisine largely encompasses lush spices and flavours such as chilli, turmeric, masala, ginger, garlic, products of Indian and Chinese immigrants who added their twist to the French and English dishes introduced by the colonisers. For those wishing to indulge their sweet tooth, the islands also offer dishes containing soft hints of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and citronella.
When exploring paradise, we suggest you take your palate on a gastronomical voyage of discovery with some of these tantalising dishes.
Grilled fish – Pwason griye
The perfect beach day dish, grilled fish is one of the most popular fish dishes in Seychelles among both locals and visitors. Prepared on an open grill with freshly caught fish, the meal is flavoured with crushed chilli, garlic and ginger. This staple can be found at every festival or intimate gatherings, nothing says creole like a perfectly grilled fish served over rice or with sweet potato and tomato chutney on the side.
Soup ‒ Bouyon bred
This light Seychellois soup is most often made with moringa, locally known as bred mouroum, a plant grown in almost every home garden in Seychelles. Alternatively, the tender leaves and shoots of variety of greens including bok choy and Chinese lettuce (soudsin), bred lanmar, or pumpkin shoots to name a few may be used in place of the bred mouroum. The greens are chopped into pieces and cooked into a bouillon containing stir-fried onions, ginger, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. As a twist, the refreshing broth can be spiced with some fresh chillis and served with steamed rice, lentils and fried fish.
Creole comfort food at its finest, katkat banann is a traditional Seychellois speciality that blends the fine flavours of green bananas and fish cooked in fresh coconut milk. The plantain is usually simmered with the coconut milk, mashed and combined to cook with shredded fish fillets giving off subtle hints of ginger and garlic which are added to the dish. As with many of the creole dishes, this is typically accompanied by chilli and rice.
Octopus coconut curry ‒ Kari koko zourit
What is Seychelles without its delectable octopus coconut curry? Preparing the dish involves cutting the octopus into small pieces, boiling it and cooking it in the coconut milk before adding the various herbs and spices which brings together the meal. Although each Seychellois household has its version, the main ingredients remain consistent: eggplants, garlic, fresh ginger, curry leaves, cinnamon leaves, curry powder, saffron, masala, chilli powder, turmeric, and green hot chilli peppers.
Salted fish ‒ Pwason sale
This staple tells the tale of the islanders’ predecessors who had to preserve their food using various methods such as pickling and salting. The freshly caught fish goes through a process whereby it is salted and dried in the sun, leaving the fish with a strong distinct flavour that blends smoothly in any dish. Salted fish can be found in a variety of local dishes including chutneys, curries and even a tomato-onion sauce known as rougay, it can also be fried and served alongside rice and lentils.
For those who love to end their meal on a sweet note, this traditional dessert will not disappoint you. With a base of plantains, breadfruit, and cassava gently simmered in coconut milk, the creamy ladob flaunts silky notes of nutmeg and vanilla that will leave you yearning for more.
A popular dessert, the dish can also be prepared in a savoury version with salted fish simmered in coconut milk with plantains, cassava, nutmeg, and salt.
Contributed by the tourism department