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Story Seychelles > Blog > Seychelles Food: Traditional Creole Delights

Seychelles Food: Traditional Creole Delights

A seafood salad with prawns and coconut by the beach in Seychelles.

There’s something incredibly alluring about the Seychelles, from its azure waters, gleaming sands, to its exotic flora, but as much as it’s a paradise for nature lovers it also presents some extraordinary meal opportunities. Seychelles food, with its Creole touch and diverse influences, has captured the hearts and taste buds of many. The dishes range from fresh seafood prepared simply but perfectly, to desserts featuring local fruits. Here’s our curated list of some must-try Seychelles foods when you visit. 

1. Fresh Grilled Fish

Red Snapper.

As an archipelago, the Seychelles is blessed with an abundant variety of fish. You’ll see local fishermen selling their fresh catch at the Victoria market, or straight off their boats. The sound of a conch shell being blown is a traditional indicator that fresh fish has just landed. One of the best ways to enjoy it is grilled over hot coals, often fired by coconut husks, infusing the fish with a unique, smoky aroma. Minimal seasoning is needed—just some garlic, ginger, and chilli stuffed into slits in the fish, which is then grilled to perfection. Barracuda is particularly tasty when prepared this way. 

2. Salted Fish (Pwason Sale)

This is a nostalgic Seychelles dish, a testament to the times before refrigeration when preserving food was a challenge. Salting was one of the traditional preservation methods. Although less common today, you can still find salted fish, or Pwason Sale, if you know where to look. 

Plate of chicken curry and rice.

4. Creole Curry

Creole curry is a must-try when in Seychelles, a dish that defines the rich blend of cultures on the islands. Prepared with a generous amount of spices, this aromatic dish can be made with either fish, chicken, or octopus. Historically, bat and goat were key ingredients, but nowadays, you’re more likely to find curries made with chicken or fish. While each version is unique, all Creole curries are typically combined with a luscious blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves, and for a unique secret ingredient in some creole curries, a generous amounts of freshly made coconut cream. 

The curry paste, made by grinding turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin, and other spices, is the star of the dish. It is cooked slowly to allow the flavors to fully meld. The curry is usually served with rice and is often accompanied by chatini, a spicy condiment made from coconut, chili, and other spices. 

As mentioned, a very special and adventurous version of it is fruit bat curry. A true Seychelles delicacy, reflecting the islands’ unique biodiversity. The dish is traditionally prepared by first marinating the bat in spices and then cooking it in a spicy curry sauce. The meat is said to have a unique taste, slightly gamey, somewhat like rabbit or venison, with a hint of sweetness. 

While it might seem a little daunting to try for some, many locals and adventurous foodies swear by its unique taste and consider it a culinary experience you shouldn’t miss when visiting Seychelles. 

Curry is a much-loved dish, however, brace yourself—the Seychellois do enjoy their curries spicy! 

5. Shark Chutney

An interesting dish not for the faint of heart, shark chutney is a unique culinary experience that one must absolutely try in the Seychelles. With the star ingredient being shark, the dish is an exquisite blend of flavors and textures that show the boldness of Seychellois cuisine. 

The preparation of shark chutney starts with boiling about a kilogram of skinned shark. It is then finely mashed, presenting a smooth and tender base for the chutney. What sets this dish apart is the use of bilimbi juice and lime, which infuse the shark meat with a tart, vibrant zest. This acidity is perfectly balanced with the addition of finely chopped onions, pepper, salt, and turmeric, adding depth and warmth to the dish. 

The crucial step in preparing shark chutney is frying the onions in oil until they turn a beautiful golden brown. Once the onions are cooked, the mashed shark and spice mix are added, and the mixture is cooked until the flavors are well integrated. 

Shark chutney is typically served with lentils and shredded green papaya on rice, resulting in a plate with a wide spectrum of flavors and textures.  

6. Bananas in Every Form

The Seychelles is home to at least 23 different banana species, and these are used in a plethora of dishes. From bananas flambeed with rum or brandy or fried as chips to desserts like bananas fried with sugar and butter or baked with coconut milk that, bananas play a crucial role in Seychellois cuisine. 

Banana ladob is a traditional Seychelles dessert, enjoyed both as a sweet treat and a savory meal. The sweet version is usually served as a dessert, made with ripe bananas and sweet potatoes, simmered slowly in coconut milk, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla. The result is a warm, comforting dessert that perfectly balances sweet and spicy flavors. 

The savory version of Ladob, on the other hand, involves cooking salted fish with bananas, cassava, and breadfruit in coconut milk. Both versions exemplify the clever ways Seychellois have utilized the bounty of their tropical environment. 

Bananas flambe with nuts.
Roasted Breadfruit on rattan plate.

7. Breadfruit

Consider breadfruit as a giant, more versatile potato—it can be boiled, baked, mashed, or fried. Breadfruit is an essential part of the Seychelles diet and is utilized in numerous dishes. One traditional Seychelles dessert is Breadfruit ladob, same as banana ladob, where breadfruit is cooked with coconut milk and sugar.  

Another delightful way it is used is in the form of breadfruit chips. These are slices of breadfruit fried until they become crispy, much like traditional potato chips. They are often seasoned with salt and can be enjoyed as a snack on the beach or as a side dish to your meal. 

However, for many, the best way to enjoy breadfruit is to roast it whole on an open fire, crack open its charred skin to reveal the steaming creamy white flesh, and slather it with butter. 

8. Satini

Satini in Seychelles refers to a type of salad, comprising finely grated ingredients. These can be unripe fruits like papaya or golden apple, mixed with spices and onions, or even ground fish like shark. It can also have quite a lot of chilli, so be prepared for a spicy kick! 

9. Smoked Fish Salad

In the Seychelles, smoked fish, particularly those with darker meat like swordfish, sailfish, or tuna, make an excellent cold salad. The salad can also feature tangy unripe fruits such as mango or papaya, which adds a fresh zest to the dish. 

10. Traditional Seychelles Snacks

When hunger strikes between meals, turn to traditional Seychelles snacks for a quick fix. Some favourites include banana chips, breadfruit chips, and “molouk,” a kind of deep-fried bread dough. While not the healthiest, they are indeed delicious. For a healthier alternative, fresh coconuts make for a nice snack choice. 

In Seychelles, every meal is an opportunity to explore its rich culinary tradition. The Seychelles food is a testament to its culture, history, and the ingenuity of its people, who have created such a varied and vibrant cuisine. So, when you visit, be ready for a gastronomic journey unlike any other. The Creole dishes are sure to leave you wanting more! 

Banana chips.