Imagine my delight when I received a package in the post full of goodies such as tropical lychee wine, chilli sauces, vanilla tea bags and a delicious looking cookbook by former MasterChef winner, Shelina Permalloo. Read on for a superb, spicy coleslaw recipe and a chance to win a luxurious holiday for two on Mauritius, the source of Shelina’s culinary inspiration.
These and other tasty treats were all from the magical island of Mauritius, which lies off the south African coast in the Indian Ocean. An exotic destination if ever there was one. Think translucent seas, waterfalls, palm trees and a cuisine to die for.
Sunshine on a Plate
I delved straight into Shelina’s book, Sunshine on a Plate, and was instantly transported to her mother’s kitchen. I could almost smell the garlic and ginger and the roti bread fresh from the pan. “Mauritius has often been described as a melting pot and that’s also true for the island’s food, which is a brilliant mix of Creole, Indian, Chinese, European and African cuisines” explains Shelina. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Flipping through the recipes, I loved the colourful photos of both the food and the island. I picked out a recipe for a spicy Mauritian coleslaw, that looked quick and straight forward. In fact, Shelina set out to make all the recipes in her book as easy as possible, encouraging you to have fun and to experiment with new flavours. Here’s how I prepared this tasty salad.
Spicy Mauritian Coleslaw
- 100g white cabbage
- 100g carrots
- 100g green beans
- 1 small shallot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- 8 green chillies
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Slice the carrot, cabbage and green beans into thin strips and place to one side.
- Finely chop the shallot and garlic cloves keeping each separate.
- Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Cook them until they start to ‘pop’.
- Add the garlic, turmeric, chillies and 3 tablespoons of water, continually stirring for around 3 minutes, until it thickens up.
- Add the shallots and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, carrots, green beans and a teaspoon of salt.
- Mix up all the ingredients in the pan, while cooking for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t over cook as you want the vegetables to remain crisp.
- Remove from the heat and add the white wine vinegar.
- Leave to cool before serving.
The result was a very tasty, crunchy and spicy coleslaw that was delicious with cold chicken and a babyleaf salad. The Lychee wine was a wonderful aperitif, sweet and crisp with notes of grapefruit but the Phoenix Beer from Mauritius was more suited to compliment the spicy coleslaw.
Notes: Shelina’s recipe calls for a tablespoon of salt but I tend to use only a little in my cooking so to me that seemed excessive. She also uses 3 tablespoons of mustard seeds but I found this too strong for my taste. I used 7 green finger chillies. 5 to 10 was the amount suggested, depending on your taste for spicy food.
There are plenty more recipes in Shelina’s book that I’m longing to try. How tempting do these sound, ‘Mango Mojito with spiced Rum’ and ‘Beef and Green Papaya Curry’.
To get your copy it costs from £6.99 from Amazon, Sunshine on a Plate.
Win a Luxury Holiday for Two in Mauritius
If this post has got your taste buds tantalised and you are now longing to visit Mauritius for yourself to try their eclectic cuisine, than enter this great competition on Facebook to win a 7 night holiday for two at Trou Aux Biches Resort and Spa. Closing date is Monday 27th April 2015.
Disclosure: This post contains an affliate link so that if you buy a copy of Sunshine on a Plate, I earn a few pennies towards buying another book to review.
Photographs of the hotel curtesy of Trou Aux Biches Resort and Spa, Mauritius.