We’re serving up two dishes from Sunshine Kitchen: Delicious Creole recipes from the Heart of the Caribbean by Vanessa Bolosier, published by Pavilion Books.
Carnival equals sweet fritters! These treats are traditionally served in the Caribbean every Sunday throughout January and until Ash Wednesday.
Banana & rum fritters
• Four ripe bananas
• 60g/2¼oz/5 tbsp golden granulated sugar
• Two eggs
• 125g/4½oz/1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
• 1tsp baking powder
• One vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise
• Grated zest of one lime
• A pinch grated cinnamon
• A pinch grated nutmeg
• 1tbsp white rum
• 1 litre/1¾ pints/four cups sunflower oil
• 1tbsp icing (confectioners’) sugar
PREP: 2 minutes
COOKING: 5 minutes
1. Peel the bananas, put them in a bowl and mash with a fork. Whisk in the sugar and eggs, then the flour and baking powder. Using a small knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the mixture, then stir in the lime zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum.
2. In a deep pan, heat the oil over a medium heat until it reaches 180°C/350°F, or until a cube of bread browns in 30–40 seconds. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot and start to smoke. Gently drop tablespoonfuls of the batter into the oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, turning occasionally, until dark golden all over.
3. Scoop the fritters out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve hot.
I like to add a tablespoon of unsweetened desiccated (dry) coconut to my banana fritters to add texture.
• 2 tbsp coriander seeds
• 2 tbsp ground turmeric
• 1 tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp mustard seeds
• 1⁄2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
• 1 clove
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
PREP: 15 minutes
COOKING: 32 minutes
Creole rice (also called riz melangé) is a housewife’s godsend. When she serves this — to which you can add chicken or fish — it means she was either in a rush, or just used whatever was in her cupboard. It’s also a favourite to bring when spending a day on the beach with the family and barbecuing some chicken wings in situ.
Many of the migrants who arrived around 1862 came from southern India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), so this is how their spice mix acquired its name. Make your own by putting all the spices in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle and grinding to a fine powder. Sieve it, keep in an airtight container and use within two or three months:
1. Put the eggs in a saucepan of cold water, bring to simmering point and simmer for 7–10 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, spring onion, garlic, Colombo powder and tomato purée and cook until the onions start to soften.
3. Add the rice and corn. Stir to coat the rice. Add the water, cubes & bay leaf and stir well. Season. Cover and cook over a low heat for 25 minutes, stirring two or three times so the rice doesn’t stick Cut each egg into six and stir into the rice.
4. Remove the bay and serve hot, for example with chicken fricassée.