Sunday, 29 April 2018

Carri baba figue

Severe Tropical Storm Fakir barrelling past Reunion recently meant that we found ourselves with three stalks of bananas blown over. The bananas were inedible as they weren't ripe enough, but we were able to recover three banana flowers, known locally as baba figue, to make a popular local dish: carri baba figue (carri is the general name for Réunion's 'national' dish, normally consisting of meat or fish cooked with onions, garlic, turmeric (safran), thyme, salt, pepper and sometimes tomatoes. Normally served with white rice, rougail, lentils and traditionally leafy green brèdes).

three baba figues 

The first step was to peel the purple outer layers off the baba figues, leaving the central white core.

peeled baba figues

close-up of one of the peeled baba figues

They can they be chopped up and put in a bowl of water with salt for 24 hours. This helps get rid of their bitter taste.

chopped up baba figues in a bowl of water with salt

The next day after draining the chopped baba figue, slice up about 300 grams of boucané (smoked pork meat) and 300 grams of smoked sausages and let it fry in the bottom of the pan with a little olive oil for 10 minutes.

boucané in the process of being chopped

chopped sausages and boucané in the pan

You will also need to dice 3 tomatoes and one large onion.

dicing the tomatoes 

This should be added to the meat in the pan along with a teaspoonful of turmeric and two pinches of salt.

adding turmeric to the other ingredients 

Cover and cook for 10 minutes, before adding the baba figue and 50 cl of water; leave to cook for 20 minutes over medium heat.

cover and leave to cook

Stir half way through cooking.

stir half way through cooking

Serve hot with white rice, rougail, lentils and brèdes (leafy greens). Bon appétit!

Finished carri baba figue!

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