3 classic Fijian dishes you can cook at home

Everyone returning from their getaway at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort praises our fresh food based on classic island recipes! No wonder – food is important to Fijian culture as a way for communities to gather, share stories and celebrate what the islands have to offer.

Whether you are missing your holiday stay on the tropical islands or want to warm up your taste buds with some post holiday treats, here are three easy Fijian dishes you can cook at home:

1) Kokoda

Kokoda is the Fijian version of ceviche, the raw fish dish cured in acidic juices. You use lemon or lime juice to soak any fish of your preference (though snapper suits best). Red onion, chillies, and tomatoes are kokoda staples, with this blend then soaked coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • 1kg fresh fish, skinned and cubed.
  • Juice of 10 limes and 3 lemons.
  • 2 medium-sized red onions, finely diced.
  • 3 red chillies, finely diced.
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomato.
  • 4 cups coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

First, you need to dice the fish into small cubes, carefully removing any bones.

Then, you mix the fish, citrus juices and chilli in a bowl and leave to marinate for two to three hours, or until the fish is opaque.

Next, drain the juices from mix and add your onion, tomato, spring onion and coconut milk.

Lastly, mix well and serve!

2) Goat curry

Goat curry is enjoyed by both Fijian-Indians and Native Fijians, and is the perfect example of the nation's rich culinary history. Lamb or beef can also be used as a substitute.

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves of garlic crushed with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin.
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder.
  • 5 small red chilies, crushed.
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  • Half a cup of coriander, chopped.
  • 1kg goat or lamb, cut into 3cm cubes.
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped.
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 eggplant, diced.
  • One third cup of natural yoghurt.

Method

Mash the garlic and salt together, adding water to make a paste. Add the dry spices and chilli and continue pounding, adding water to the mix as needed.

Transfer the paste to a large pan and add half of your coriander. Add two cups of water and cook over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.

Add the meat. Stir to coat it and partially cover the pot, stirring occasionally. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Add half of the chopped onion, the potatoes and the eggplant, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Lastly, add the rest of the chopped onion, stir in the yoghurt, and sprinkle the remaining coriander on top. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Coconut chutneyFresh grated coconut gives the chutney a rich creamy texture.

3) Coconut chutney

A classic side with any Fijian curry, this chutney is rich in flavour and can last in the fridge for  several weeks! Plus it only takes a minute to make, so you'll be ready in no time!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut.
  • 1 cup coriander, chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced.
  • 1 green chilli with the seeds and stem removed, minced.

Method

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least one hour to blend the flavours.

For more about Fijian dining at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, check out the website!