Authentic Fijian Fish Recipe from Gabriele Galimberti's book 'In Her Kitchen'
For us at Boom Shankar life is all about family, friends, food and love… So when we stumbled across ‘In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World’ by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti, we fell in love with the concept behind the book, the recipes and the beautiful simple imagery.
Plus, who doesn’t love grandmas AND good food!!
The recipe we chose to cook up for our 'Island Life' dinner, is by 62 year old Fijian grandmother, Balata Dorote, who cooks up Miti Ika, which translates to, fish in coconut sauce with Dalo.
Dalo (Colocasia esculenta), otherwise known as Taro, is a dense, slightly purple, potato-like root vegetable that can be mashed, boiled, fried, or steamed. It is an important staple food for Fijians and most Pacific Islanders. It’s commonly grown throughout Fiji and has cultural significance to the I-Taukei community. During Fijian traditional ceremonies, dalo is usually presented as ‘magiti’ or special ceremonial food, and its cultural importance is celebrated on ‘Taro Day’, which takes place on the first full moon each May.
We put a little twist on the recipe to suit what produce we could find here on the Sunshine Coast, plus we made a fresh summer salad of rocket, mango and fennel to accompany it. The end results were delicious! You could use the fish marinade of coconut, onion, lemon/lime and chilli on anything.
Miti Ika Fish in Coconut Sauce with Dalo (serves 4)
- 3 small dalo or taro roots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 coconut (not a young coconut)
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 1 small red chilli pepper, such as jalapeño, chopped
- A few small Fijian chillies, such as Junglee Mircha, or birds eye chillies, finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- One 2.5 - 3 pound white filleted fish of your choice, such as red snapper
- 3 bunches of fresh spinach (about 8 cups)
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Place the dalo in a large pot of boiling water, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until fork tender, 40 to 50 minutes. When the dalo is ready, drain and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to keep warm to serve as a side dish for the fish.
Open the coconut and add it’s water to a bowl. Seperate the white coconut flesh from the husk and grate it into the bowl with the coconut water. Stir the mixture, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, using your hands, squeeze the mixture into another bowl, reserving the liquid. (Discard the solids.) Add the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, the chillies, and the onion to the coconut liquid. Stir to combine, then set aside.
Fill a large roasting pan or fish poacher three-quarters full with water. Bring to a rolling simmer, add the fish, and cook until the fish is opaque, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
While the fish is cooking, bring a medium saucepan with water to boil. Add the spinach and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the spinach, season well with salt and pepper, and place on a serving platter.
When the fish is ready, carefully remove it from the watering slice into serving size pieces. Season it with more salt and pepper and set it on top of the spinach, arranging the fish in it’s original shape. Pour the coconut sauce over the fish. Add the dalo to the platter and serve.
“In Her Kitchen is an evocative, loving portrait of the power of food and family, no matter where in the world you sit down for dinner.”
‘In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World’ features recipes from over fifty grandmothers, all around the world, that cooked for Gabriele Galimberti whilst on his journey for nearly two years. Each one is photographed in their kitchen to illustrate “both the diversity of world cuisine and the universal nature of a dish served up with generosity and love”.
Be sure to check out Gabriele Galimberti’s other books (they make wonderful presents!) and especially Dui’s favourite ‘Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favourite Things’ - it’s sure to bring a smile to your face! ☺️ And don't forget to follow him on Instagram!
SHOP THE BOOM BABES LOOKS!!
Shayne wears our 'Alofa' cotton/rayon Zazu Dress in Solomon ~ BUY NOW!
Dui wears our 'Alofa' cotton/rayon Sage Dress in Solomon ~ BUY NOW!
Ajanta wears our 'Alofa' cotton/rayon Indra Jumpsuit Solomon ~ BUY NOW!
I recommend listening to Bobby Alu for the best "Island Life" cooking and dining experience... and don't forget to make yourself a spiced rum with fresh lime and ginger beer too 😉