Food in Technicolour

22 Mar

PRP3

I have landed … in grey England. In my head I had expected to get back to Spring time, warmer weather, sunshine and the start of colour. Instead I felt like I was doing a dorothy in reverse, going from Technicolour to black and white.

My first reaction – Hibernate.  In short I spent 10 hours in bed and then got up and baked some banana muffins.

Whilst I felt more human again, it didn’t really get rid of the nagging feeling that I wanted more colour in my life.

So now time for tactic number two – pretend like it is spring. I have written about acting as if, a few times before and it certainly has helped me hold on to that sunshine. So other than listening to my summer playlist and a load of beach boy songs, I have been in the kitchen trying to recreate some of my favourite Mauritian dishes.

One of the best things about Mauritius is the food. They amazing diverse options, from Mine Frit to Dahlpuri and Roti Chaud, Fresh Pineapple with Chillies to Neapolitan. Everything is so flavoursome, Mauritius is a place where bland doesn’t seem to exist.

So the question was what to tackle first. I decided on my favourite meal, Prawn Rougaille with Pumpkin and Roti. I love this meal it is the perfect combination of flavours and a real joy to eat. Even though I have seen this made so many times and eaten on a lot of occasions I have never attempted it myself and was a bit daunted by trying it out. I think it’s because I know how it should taste, so I had a pretty high bench mark with which to compare myself to.

How did it go you ask? Well not quite up to Mauritian standards but for a first attempt it was pretty delicious so I feel it was worth sharing.

So on these increasingly grey and cold days if you need sunshine lift I really recommend get in the kitchen and bringing some colour.

Prawn Rougaille 

Ingredients

1 Onion

1 Red Chilli

thumb size piece of Ginger

2 gloves of Garlic

handful of Coriander

handful of fresh Thyme

tin of Plum Tomatoes

1 packet of cooked Prawns

Method

  1. Heat some oil in a pan and add chopped onion, chilli, garlic and ginger, fry off for a few minutes until softened, then add finely chopped coriander
  2. Then add the thyme and plum tomatoes, and cook for about 15 mins
  3. Finally add the prawns to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 mins until cooked

RPR2

Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients

The flesh of ½ a Butternut Squash or ¼ regular size Pumpkin

1 Red Chilli

2 cloves Garlic

1 Onion finely chopped

thumb size piece of Ginger

handful of Thyme

Sugar to taste

Method

  1. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and some thyme for a few mins
  2. Chop the squash or pumpkin into fairly small chunks and add to the pan, stir for a few
  3. Next add a generous teaspoon of water to the pan, cover with a lid and leave to cook for 15 mins or until the pumpkin has softened (Note: the water is just there to help create a bit of steam, you don’t want anything to boil – so make sure you only add a dash, but keep checking your pan and giving it a stir to allow the pumpkin to cook evenly)
  4. Once the pumpkin has softened add the leaves of rest of the thyme, season with salt and pepper, stir your mixture and then mash until you have the right consistency
  5. Finally add about 1 and ½ tsp of sugar so you have a dash of sweetness ( or less/ more depending on how sweet you like it) then it is ready to serve

RPR1

I suggest serving this with Rice or a hot Roti, it is an absolutely delicious combination.

A perfect dash of Technicolour in a drab and grey world.

On another note it is nearly Easter, so get prepared some some chocolatey delights next week. Hurray!

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