Food and Recipes of Fiji
In general, native Fijians and the Fijian-Indian populations use their hands to eat. Meals are eaten on the floor while the family sits on mats. If you make a Fijian meal to share this month, consider incorporating these eating customs into your meal plan.
food of Fiji:
Rice, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, cassava, fish & coconut
LovoA communal village feast for special occasions such as weddings, festivals or the inauguration of a new chief. Lovo is prepared by digging a large pit and lining it with dry coconut husks. The husks are set on fire, then stones are heaped on top. When the flames from the coconut husks die down, the food is wrapped in banana leaves and lowered into the pit. Meat and fish are always put in first, and the vegetables are put on top. Everything is covered with more banana leaves and stones and left to cook for about 2 ½ hours. When it’s ready, it’s a feast for all!
Sweet Potato and Pineapple Bake
Although this dish sounds like an unlikely combination of
flavours, it is quite scrumptious and the ingredients are
easily attained. If you don’t eat dairy, use the second
recipe for a Cheeze Sauce – not as traditional, but
it works well if you can’t (or won’t) handle dairy.
2 medium sweet potatoes, baked, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slabs
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slabs (or use 1 can or pineapple rings if you cannot get a good fresh pineapple)
½ cup freshly grated coconut
¼ cup green onions, chopped
2 cups cheese sauce (see below)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Arrange each layer (sweet potato, pineapple, coconut, green onions) in a lightly oiled pie plate in that order, seasoning each completed layer with the sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Pour cheese sauce over top.
3. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Cheese Sauce - traditional
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
2-1/2 cups light cream
2 tsp dry mustard
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Combine flour and butter in heavy pan over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, until flour starts to brown. Slowly stir in the cream. Stir constantly until desired consistency achieved, then add cheese, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted, remove from heat and use immediately.
Sauce - non-dairy
1 cup nutritional yeast
6 tbsp flour (can use wheat or rice flour)
2 ½ tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Mix dry ingredients in a medium pot. Add water and oil, whisk thoroughly and heat over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Use immediately.
Banana Cassava Cake
A very simple 4 ingredient cake. Tastes great served warm or cold. Look for the cassava and coconut cream in large supermarkets, or specialty grocery stores. The sugar can be replaced with sweetner of your choice is you prefer to avoid refined sugar (we used Sucanat)
1 tbsp Sugar
1 cup Coconut Cream (be sure to use coconut cream; not coconut milk)
4 mashed bananas
1 ½ - 2 pounds Fresh Cassava, peeled and grated
1. Preheat the oven 350 F and lightly oil an 8 inch square cake pan.
2. Beat the coconut cream and sugar together.
3. Add the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly
4. Add the grated cassava and mix thoroughly.
5. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes until the top is a golden colour.
A traditional Fijian dish that tastes much better than it sounds. The traditional dish is prepared with mahi-mahi; we used halibut, but you can use white fish of your choice. Again, very simple to prepare – just be sure to leave enough time to marinate the fish in the lime. You’ll need a minimum of 6 hours.
2 White Fish Fillets
Juice from 3 large limes
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup Coconut Cream (be sure to use the cream and not the milk)
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 hot pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
2 Tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
1. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and place in a glass or plastic bowl (avoid metal as it will react with the lime juice and ruin your dish) Add the lime juice and salt. Mix well, cover and marinate in fridge for 6-10 hours.
2. Just before serving, add coconut cream, onion, and the pepper. Stir thoroughly then place onto serving platter using slotted spoon. Top with chopped tomatoes and serve with a flourish.
Lentil and Potato Curry
A very delicious curry that tastes great topped with coconut chutney (recipe below). All spices and seeds are easily found in a large supermarket.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 small chillies, minced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup dry lentils
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt to taste
1 tomato, chopped
3 cups water
In a medium size pot, heat the olive oil then add the onions, cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Cook over medium heat, stirring for one minute. Add the minced garlic, tumeric, chillies, ginger and curry powder. Stir and cook for another minute. Add the lentils, potatoes, salt and water. Stir and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils and potatoes are both tender, adding water if necessary. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve with rice.
2 cups freshly grated coconut
1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
sea salt to taste
Combine ingredients and keep in fridge until ready to serve. Will keep for 1-2 weeks.
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