How amazing is Africa. It is beautiful and abundant in everything. Everything about this great continent is colourful, alive and unique to its character. From nature, to the food to people, everything over there is distinctive and diverse.
I Love Africa!
Mauritius is home for numerous sugar cane, tea and vanilla plantations and produces several other things like cocoa and coffee beans. It is also home to some real good RUMs made out of sugar cane. It is therefore originally rich with flavours. When it comes to cooking the Mauritians are known for their Creole cuisine. Creole cookery reflects the full-flavoured combination of the best of French, Spanish and African cuisines, and intermingling amongst those cuisines while being very much influenced by Asian flavours due to the Asian Immigrants who have made homes over there. Derived from previous colonial influences Mauritian creole cuisine had been evolving through the years to what is now specific to the Mauritius. Usually tomato-based, seldom creamy, yet the few cream-based dishes are just divine as they are based on coconut milk. I find coconut milk to add that depth of flavour with an intensity of the exotic, especially when spicy. The combination of sweet and hot makes it so appetising and keeps your palate asking for more. Coconut Stews and curries are usually served with steamed white rice in the Mauritius, which adds a comfort factor eventually rounding up the flavours and experience into a fully satisfying one.
When I was at Mauritius I stayed at the Hilton Resort in Flic en Flac, a very relaxing spa resort atmosphere in one of Mauritius quieter neighbourhoods. The Chef was creating brilliant Creole dishes all the time, but this one was just great! I had to have the recipe, so he very generously agreed to share it with me. There you go many years later I share a little piece of my Mauritius with you...
|Creole Spices: Mild Curry spice mix, Powdered Saffron, Hot Curry Spice Mix, Hot Chili Powder....|
4 Chicken breasts (washed & pat dried), cubed or largely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can Coconut Milk or fresh coconut milk
2 Cinnamon leaves or if not available Sticks
1 tsp Turmeric
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
1” Ginger root, crushed
Handful of chopped coriander
Can add chopped green chilis if desired for more spicy flavour
In a large Bowl place chicken cubes, salt, pepper, Masala, Tumeric, Garlic & Ginger and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil, add chicken, cinnamon leaves or sticks and stir to seal chicken. Once sealed add coconut milk and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with chopped coriander. Serve warm with Steamed white rice and enjoy. I close my eyes and think of the Mauritian Islands every time, takes me right back :)
Which Cuisine did you come across while Traveling? Has any cuisine influenced your everyday cooking by trying to fuse its flavours into your own cuisine? Share with us, we love to hear your experiences...