D H A L P U R I - CUMIN & LENTIL FLATBREADS - M AU R I T I U S

Makes 12 small flatbreads

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil, for frying

For the filling:

100g yellow split peas

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin

For the dough:

250g plain flour, plus extra for kneading

½ tsp baking powder

Ponch sea salt

1 tbsp veg oil, plus extra for oiling

Method

1. 2. Place the yellow split peas in a large mixing bowl filled with cold water and leave to soak overnight. 3. The following day, drain the yellow split peas and place into a large, deep saucepan. Add 1 litre water and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, add the turmeric and salt and bring down to a medium heat. Let this cook uncovered for 25–35 minutes, until the peas are just cooked – if you press one between your fingers it should crush easily. 4. Once cooked, drain the peas and keep the cooking liquid in a separate bowl. The liquid will be used to make the dough later as it has extra flavour, so it’s not to be wasted! Set the peas aside to cool down completely.

5. Meanwhile, in a small, dry frying pan, toast the cumin seeds (or ground cumin) for 30 seconds until fragrant and grind to a powder using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.

6. In a large mixing bowl, put the flour, baking powder, salt and oil and gradually add 150ml of the reserved cooking liquid (it’s fine if it’s still warm) to create a ball of dough. If it’s too dry add a little more water, and if it’s too wet add some flour until it’s the right consistency.

7. Knead this for 5 minutes on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is soft and smooth. When poked lightly with your finger it should slowly spring back. Form into a ball, then smear the dough all over with a little oil and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

8. In a food processor, blitz the cooked split peas until you have a smooth yellow powder that clumps together. Add in the ground cumin and mix together well.

9. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Divide the dough into 12 balls, about 3cm in size. Take one piece and flatten into a circle using your fingers, cup the piece in your palm and fill with 2–3 teaspoons of filling.

10. Pinch the edges to enclose the filling securely back into the shape of a ball. Repeat with remaining pieces.

11. Roll the balls into circles about 3mm thin, turning 90 degrees every now and then. Make sure the surface is floured well to prevent the dough sticking or splitting.

12. Brush a tawa (flat cast-iron pan) or non-stick pan with a smear of oil and place on a medium-high heat. Add one flatbread and cook for 30 seconds, then brush liberally with oil, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. (If dark brown spots appear, it is cooking too quickly so reduce the heat slightly.) Sometimes they will also puff up, which is a good sign!

13. Once cooked, the flatbreads will be a light yellow colour. Place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper, and repeat the process with the rest of the flatbreads, putting a sheet of greaseproof paper in between to stop them steaming or sticking together.

14. These are best eaten straight away. Traditionally they are filled with chutney and a little curry, but you can also enjoy them just as they are or smeared with some butter. The flatbreads can also be cooled, then wrapped in foil or placed in a Tupperware, and kept in the freezer. To reheat, warm them in the microwave for 1 minute on full power, or defrost them fully and then warm through in the oven.

ROUGAILLE SAUCISSE , RÉUNION - S A U S A G E S I N S P I C Y TOMATO SAUCE

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 smoked or herb sausages

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 red chillies, finely sliced (add more if preferred)

1 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp smoked paprika

6 ripe tomatoes (600g), roughly chopped

Pinch of caster sugar

1 spring onion, finely sliced

Method

1. Fill a deep saucepan halfway with water and bring it to the boil. Gently drop in the sausages whole and boil for 10 minutes.

2. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the ginger, garlic, chillies and salt to a paste for 3–4 minutes until combined well. Set aside.

3. Drain the sausages and pat dry with kitchen paper, place on a chopping board and allow to cool slightly. Cut each sausage into three or four pieces.

4. In a large frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and fry the sausage pieces for 4–5 minutes until slightly browned all over, turning frequently. Take out the sausages and set aside.

5. In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat. Tip in the onion and sweat for 5–7 minutes, then spoon in the ginger, garlic and chilli paste made earlier and stir well. Add the thyme, turmeric and paprika and stir into the onion until coated. Cook for 2 minutes.

6. Tip in the tomatoes and combine with all the other ingredients. Add 100ml water and the sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook slowly for 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Add the sausages back into the pan to cook for a further 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, scatter with spring onion and serve with rice.

DHON RIHA - MALDIVIAN TUNA CURRY – MALDIVES

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

500g tuna steak, cut into

2.5cm pieces

1 tbsp coconut oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

10 curry leaves, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely sliced

1 onion, finely sliced

½ tsp ground fennel seeds

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp black pepper

400ml tin coconut milk

1 cinnamon stick

Sea salt Coriander, to garnish

1. Lightly salt the fish and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, warm the coconut oil over a medium heat until simmering. Add in the garlic, cardamom, ginger, curry leaves and chilli. Let this sauté until fragrant – usually around 30 seconds. Add the onion slices and cook until softened, around 5–7 minutes. Add the rest of the spices: the fennel, cumin, turmeric and black pepper. After around a minute they will mingle together and become aromatic.

3. At this point, transfer everything into a food processor and blend to a coarse paste. Return the paste back to the pan over a medium heat, pour in the coconut milk, holding back one tablespoon for drizzling at the end, and pop in the cinnamon stick and ½ teaspoon salt.

4. Bring to a simmer and gently add the fish pieces to the sauce. They will cook fairly quickly. After 5 minutes, the fish should be tender, opaque and cooked throughout and the curry will be ready to serve. Drizzle over the extra coconut milk, scatter with the coriander and serve with a heap of rice

LADOB - SWEET POTATO WITH NUTMEG & CINNAMON – SEYCHELLES

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes (400g), peeled

3 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

1 tbsp light soft brown sugar

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

400ml tin coconut milk

Method

1. Cut the potatoes lengthways, then in half again so you have 4 long pieces. Slice these in half lengthways (they don’t all have to be the same size).

2. Repeat with the rest of the sweet potato so you have 16 pieces in total. Place these in the base of a large, deep pan or flameproof casserole dish, so they all snugly fit together.

3. Tuck the cinnamon sticks into any spaces between the potatoes, add the vanilla seeds, then lay the split pod on top. Scatter over the light brown sugar, nutmeg and salt. Finally pour over the coconut milk.

4. Place the dish on a medium-high heat and bring up to a brisk boil. Let the potato cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. The liquid will reduce slightly. Turn down the heat to a low simmer, place a lid on the dish and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender but not completely falling apart. The sauce will have reduced to a thick, glossy, light brown coating.

5. Serve the ladob warm in bowls. I like mine topped with a little ice cream or whipped cream.