World Dishes

Crossing food borders

\\ Text Maria Cruz
\\ Photography ©PMC

For a balanced life you need healthy food. By healthy we mean anything that re-establishes behaviour that is beneficial to everyday life through essential nutrients. To eat healthily you need variety in your choice of ingredients, otherwise the body starts to show signs of imbalances. For this reason is it vital to appreciate what you eat. In this issue we want to show you two entirely different concepts, which are special in their own ways. One suggestion is a typical dish from Mozambique, prepared by mother Sara Gonçalves. The other three equally tempting suggestions are a new concept from her daughter, Sílvia. 

Peanut Chicken Curry

We all know that it’s not the amount we eat, or the energy content of dishes that makes a diet healthy. What does is the kind of food we eat, with the right nutrients to ensure good health. So, let’s pull up a chair and taste these dishes. First up its Peanut Chicken Curry with Coconut (image 2), which took two hours to make: «first you prepare the ‘peanut milk’, while the chicken sautés with the onion and the tomato. The coconut and the peanuts were cooked separately and these are what give the dish its final look. When they’re added it all goes creamy», explains Sara. This is a dish that is typical to Mozambique and can be enjoyed at Soul Bistro, in Maputo. The plating up is simple: first you put a layer of pasta, then the peanut curry on top and, then, you just have to serve it piping hot.

The dishes that Sílvia prepared involved more work (in their presentation). Let’s begin with the mango: it contains ‘coconut rice’, which is a traditional rice, cooked in coconut milk; then the mango is cut into small cubes, and seasoned with a sauce made from citrus fruit, ginger, chilli pepper and garlic – nothing more. Delicious?!  The look alone has us begging for more (see image 3). The dried coriander, the black sesame seeds and way the dish is garnished makes it all the more appetising, because tasting involves the pleasure of its appearance, its aroma, its flavour and its harmony. Eating is composing and giving the dish its own story.  


Avocado an crab

Smoothies made the banana

Sílvia started by making this menu just for herself, at home, because she wanted to start eating healthily. She searched for the flavours of her childhood and put them into her dishes. «More and more I believe that we are what we eat, and as someone once said: ‘I don’t want to be cheap or quick’. We have to find what is close and accessible, from nature, and which can make us better», the author of this dish reveals. The traditional Mozambican customer still has reservations about this new concept, but Sílvia is broadening her horizons and is going to focus on other markets, such as Portugal. Her idea involves setting up a pop up during this summer, because it is obviously a product that makes sense in this season. An infusion of Mozambican, Indian and Portuguese flavours will bring more colour to summer. 

Moving on to the second dish (image 4): avocado with lemon and salt; crab, cooked in salted water, shredded and seasoned, with olive oil, lemon, chopped chives; sesame seeds and two secret ingredients: «love and chilli pepper », reveals Sílvia. The sauce made of moringa (a food that is rich in vitamins and protein) brings more sheen to the dish. Finally and no less delicious, we present the smoothies (image 5) made of banana, mango, passion fruit, cashew nut, ground with the banana... And there you have a balanced meal. Food is emotion, whether in more traditional dishes, or in more modern inspirations. And, of course, eating boils down to an act of pleasure and fun.