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Siba Mtongana’s island food discoveries on her trip to Seychelles

Cassava cake. Picture: Supplied

Cassava cake. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 27, 2022

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Everything about Seychelles is so captivating and enthralling.

The amazing island nation is known to offer unforgettable experiences to tourists who flock to this place from all across the globe.

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The unmistakable features, such as lush tropical vegetation, beautiful beaches, and a wide variety of marine life in this republic, result in a range of things to do and places to visit.

Talking about its beautiful beaches, celebrity chef Siba Mtongana was recently in Seychelles on a well-deserved holiday with her husband, Brian.

The couple was holidaying at the brand new eco-chic Exclusive Collection Resort Club Med Seychelles, which is located in a protected reserve and is a 220-hectare slice of paradise – a quick five-hour direct flight from South Africa with Air Seychelles.

And other than Mtongana thoroughly enjoying her time away in the paradise destination, as a bona fide foodie, she shared her island food discoveries and took us on a culinary journey that exposed us to indigenous items such as soursop, rambutans, and jackfruit.

In honour of her trip, for those considering a romantic or family getaway to Seychelles, here’s a menu sample of dishes to try when in the beautiful country.

They say the best way to truly experience a destination and immerse yourself in its culture is through its cuisine.

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Breadfruit. Picture: Supplied

Snacks

Breadfruit

A staple in tropical countries, breadfruit has a similar taste to potatoes but with an amazing aroma of baked bread. In Seychelles, it is mostly made into mash or chips or roasted over an open fire. Grab yourself a pack of breadfruit chips to snack on and a glass of Buka rum to sip on while you explore the island.

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Palm heart salad. Picture: Supplied

Starters

Salad palmis

Using the heart of palms, which is a soft milky white core surrounded by delicate flesh as the main ingredient of this dish, The salad palmis, also known as the ‘Heart of Palms Salad’ or ‘Millionaire’s salad’ due to the labour that comes with getting the palm hearts, is a local delicacy consisting of coconut, red peppers, green tomatoes, avocados, green mangoes, coriander, and mint. A tangy sweet and sour ginger and lime dressing finishes off the dish.

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Octopus salad

A local dish that can be found all over the island from corner cafes and street vendors to hotels, octopus salad is a fresh, zesty dish made from fresh octopus (zourit) cooked with papaya and mixed with tasty fresh vegetables and fruit such as green mangoes, pineapples, onions, tomatoes, avocados, and a splash of lemon juice. Octopus salad is served as an appetiser and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy a serving of Octopus Salad with a glass of Kalou wine.

Mains

Grilled fish

Being an island destination, seafood is a dominant feature on any menu in Seychelles, and one of the most common and most loved dishes is grilled fish. Popular fish types include the exotic sailfish, snapper, jackfish, red snapper, and believe it or not - barracuda. The fish is either first marinated in, or stuffed with, a simple yet delicious mixture of ginger, lemon juice, chilli, and lime before being roasted over hot coals on an open fire. It's the perfect ocean-to-plate experience best enjoyed with an ice-cold Seybrew beer!

Shark chutney

They always say try everything once, and this is one of those dishes for the bucket list. Chutney is a condiment that is loved the world over. However, Seychelles has vamped it to create their own version of shark chutney. Made with ground shark meat, bilimbi, lime, and turmeric, shark chutney is served with many of the creole main dishes.

Sausage rougay

Sosis Sale (salted sausage) and sosis kreol (creole Sausage) are two types of sausages found in Seychelles, and they make up this popular household dish of sausage rougay. This tomato-based stew has hints of thyme and garlic and is deliciously served with rice.

Cassava cake. Picture: Supplied

For your sweet tooth

Cassava cake

Two types of cassava are found on the island of Seychelles, a sour one and a sweet one called mayok dou, which is the one used as an ingredient in making cassava pudding cake - vanilla infused baked treat topped with coconut for some crunch. This gooey sweet treat can be enjoyed with or without custard.

Ladob

This is a versatile dish that can be prepared as a savoury or sweet dish and can be served hot or cold. When prepared in its savoury form, it is mixed with salted fish and cooked with coconut. However, as a sweet dish, the salted fish is replaced with nutmeg, vanilla pods, and sugar.

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