Food from Fiji

DEEE....LICIOUS spiced prawns with almends

DEEE....LICIOUS spiced prawns with almends  

The food in this island nation has strong Indian elements

Though a vast archipelago, the islands of Fiji have a kind of cuisine that borrows heavily from neighbours. Thanks to the many Indians in the country, the islands' food is essentially a fusion, made with local produce. With strong Indian and Polynesian influences, these recipes won't disappoint you.

Spiced dal soup

IngredientsYellow lentil: 200 gms
Water: Enough to soak and boil the lentils
Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Strong vegetable stock: 1 litre
Vegetable oil: 2 tbsp
Garlic, chopped : 2 tsp
Onion, chopped : 2 tbsp
Dried chillies, crushed: 3
Carrots, chopped: 1 tbsp
Celery, chopped: 1 tsp
Curry powder: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder: a pinch Method: Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with water and leave to soak for about one hour until softened. Drain and rinse well in fresh cold water. Return the lentil mixture to the saucepan, add the stock and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil stirring continuously. Then reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, fenugreek and mustard seeds and onions and cook over a medium high heat, stirring all along, for about five minutes until lightly browned. Add the crushed chillies, carrots and celery to the lentils, mix well and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Allow the soup to cool a little and transfer to a food processor and process until pureed. Return the soup to the saucepan, together with the salt, curry powder and bring to a boil once. Serve hot.

Pineapple and sweet potato bake

Ingredients Medium sweet potatoes, cooked and thinly sliced: 8 Fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced: 1
Coconut, freshly grated: 4 tbsp
Spring onion, chopped: 4 tbsp
Cheese sauce: 300 ml
Salt to taste
Pepper:10 gms Method: Preheat the oven to 180C and grease an ovenproof casserole dish. Arrange the sweet potatoes, pineapple, grated coconut, spring onions and cheese sauce in layers in the dish, seasoning each completed layer with salt and pepper. End with a layer of cheese sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Grilled aubergine in lolo

Ingredients: Eggplant, sliced: 4
Vegetable oil: 4 tbsp
Lemon juice: 2
Coconut cream (lolo): 100ml
Spring onion, finely chopped :1
Green chilli, finely chopped : 2
Tomatoes, finely chopped: 1
Salt to taste Method: Preheat the grill to very hot. Place the aubergine slices on the grill rack, brush with oil then grill on one side for 4-5 minutes. Turn the slices, brush with more oil and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Once done, keep aside in a plate. Add lemon juice, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes and chopped green chillies. Let it stand for some time. In a plate, neatly arrange the grilled aubergine slices with steamed rice. Pour the coconut cream on top. Serve warm.

Spiced prawns with almonds

IngredientsPrawns, shelled and de veined : 600 gms
Vegetable oil: 3 tbsp
Bay leaf: 2
Cinnamon stick: 3
Green cardamom: 4
Onion, chopped : 1
Garlic, crushed : 1 tsp
Ginger, chopped : 1 tsp
Refined flour: 1 tbsp
Ground almond: 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Coconut cream: 300 ml
Green chilli, chopped: 1 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste Method: Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom and sauté for two minutes. Add the prawns and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the prawns and set aside. Reheat the oil, and add the ginger, onion, and garlic, and fry for five minutes, stirring continuously as it fries. Add the flour, almonds, and turmeric, and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk, chillies and sugar, mix well and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Return the prawns to the pan, season with salt and continue to simmer for about five minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir in the limejuice and add salt. Remove from heat and serve immediately. The writer is Executive Chef at ITC Hotel Kakatiya Sheraton & Towers

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