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Discovering the Culture and Cuisine of the Seychelles

Article by GVI


Posted: February 26, 2023

Seychelles is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. Its remote location gives it a unique culture, language and cuisine, which mixes diverse influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe. From heavenly white-sand beaches to flavourful dishes that reflect its vibrant culture, Seychelles offer a tantalising adventure for both novice and expert travellers.

Traditional Cuisine of Seychelles

The traditional cooking of Seychelles is a unique blend of African and Asian influences. Fish is by far the most popular ingredient in Seychellois cooking, with many dishes involving a variety of marinades and sauces. Recipes usually call for a combination of the ‘Curry Family’ condiments, such as cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, chilli powder, cardamom, coriander and cumin. Fruit is also widely used in dishes, particularly in desserts.

Rice is another staple ingredient in Seychellois cuisine and is often served with fish or meat dishes. Coconut milk is also a common ingredient, used to add flavour and texture to many dishes. Vegetables are also widely used, with dishes such as ‘Ladob’, a stew made with okra, eggplant, and other vegetables, being a popular choice. Seychelles is also known for its unique desserts, such as ‘Flambé’, a dessert made with bananas, sugar, and rum.

Popular Dishes in Seychelles

Among the most popular dishes, ‘cari ros’ or breadfruit curry stands out. This dish generally combines boiling green fruits, curried spices, boiled herbs and aromatics. Coconut cream is also widely used for this dish. Another popular dish is ‘tamiri’, or grilled coconut fish. A combination of spices and coconut milk gives this dish a unique flavour. Fruit pies are popular desserts as well; particularly pineapple and banana pies.

Seafood is also a popular dish in Seychelles. Grilled fish, such as red snapper, is often served with a side of rice and vegetables. Lobster is also a popular dish, and is often served with a garlic butter sauce. For a unique twist, some restaurants serve lobster with a spicy coconut curry sauce.

The Influence of African and Indian Cuisine

As Creole cultures developed on the islands, African-style curries and stews started being prepared with local ingredients found in the tropical climate. The influence of Indian cuisine can be found in the Curry Family condiments used to give Seychellois dishes colour and flavour. Many dishes include variations on Indian bread mixtures like roti or chapati. Roti and other types of bread are often served with curries or sauces.

In addition to curries and breads, Indian-style desserts are also popular in Seychelles. These desserts often feature tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and coconut, and are often served with sweet syrup or cream. Indian-style sweets are a popular way to end a meal and are often served with tea or coffee.

Mahe Seychelles Islands March 2018, people selling food at the market of Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market.

Exploring Local Markets and Restaurants

Visitors to Seychelles can sample this unique cuisine at local markets and restaurants. Some restaurants specialize in traditional flavours like curry-style dishes. Others focus on seafood specialities like grilled fish with creamy tropical fruit sauces or stews flavoured with herbs.

The local markets are a great place to find fresh produce and ingredients to make your own Seychelles-style dishes. You can find everything from tropical fruits and vegetables to spices and herbs. You can also find a variety of seafood, including fish, shrimp, and lobster. Be sure to try the local speciality, the coconut crab, which is a delicacy in Seychelles.

Enjoying Local Drinks and Desserts

Teas, coffee, herbal teas and rum punches are popular drinks in Seychelles. Tropical fruits are often added to drinks to enhance flavour. Fruit juices are also popular. Desserts include coconut custards, banana fritters and casseroles.

In addition to these traditional desserts, Seychelles also offers a variety of cakes and pastries. These include the popular vanilla cake, which is made with fresh vanilla beans, and the traditional coconut cake, which is made with freshly grated coconut. Other popular desserts include pineapple tarts, mango mousse and passion fruit mousse.

Learning About Seychellois Culture Through Food

One of the best ways to learn more about a country is through its food. Every dish tells a story about the land it comes from and its culture, and tasting what is on offer can be both educational and enjoyable. While exploring Seychelles, visitors can get a taste of its diverse culture with every bite.

Seychelles is home to a variety of dishes, from Creole curries to seafood dishes. The cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s French and African heritage, and the flavours are unique and delicious. Many dishes are cooked with local ingredients, such as coconuts, cassava, and tropical fruits. Visitors can also sample traditional dishes such as the national dish, the cari bœuf, which is a spicy beef stew.

Tips for Exploring the Cuisine and Culture of Seychelles

To make your experience truly special, start by getting to know something about the cuisine before you arrive: read about it online or talk to Seychellois friends to learn about the ingredients used, popular dishes and local customs related to food. When ordering food in local restaurants, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lastly, don’t forget to try some local drinks too!

To find out more about the kind the culture, cuisine, and adventure you can experience in Seychelles, why not sign up for one of GVI’s fully immersive ethical travel expeditions to Seychelles?

Be sure to also explore the local markets and street food vendors to get a taste of the local culture. You can find a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood, as well as traditional dishes like curries and stews. Don’t forget to try some of the local desserts too!

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