How long can we go without talking about delicious food, Fazendeiros? You guessed it right, not very long really! This is why we’re back with a delicious recipe courtesy of our Executive Chef Fran Martinez to continue our ‘How To Make’ series. This time we’re learning to make Moqueca.
Moqueca is a traditional dish from Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), and it is a really simple fish and seafood stew. This recipe goes back over 300 years and its origin has African influences in Brazil.
The first version of this dish was created by indigenous Brazilian Indians. In their language, moquém meant fish, giving this ancient meal its first name. It was during the 17th and 18th centuries that the African presence in the country influenced this dish as they added dende oil and coconut milk, embellishing this dish and turning it in what we know today.
This ingredient, dende oil, is actually the only ingredient that isn’t commonly found in supermarkets. However, it can easily be substituted for chili oil. Dende derives from palm kernel and it has quite a characteristic and strong flavour.
In our Non-Meat Menu, we have two dishes inspired by this traditional recipe: a lighter option in our pescetarian section that we call Bacalhau Bahiano, and a vegan version where we have swapped the cod and the prawns for fresh vegetables that we call Moqueca.
This is a great one-pot recipe (preferably a cast-iron one), in which you will cook and serve this delicious dish.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)
250g King Prawns
60g White Onion (chopped)
120g Mixed Peppers (sliced)
80g Tomato Sauce
200g Cherry Tomatoes
600g Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Sunflower / Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp Dende Oil / Chili Oil
½ tbsp Smoked Paprika
½ tbsp Cumin
½ tbsp Turmeric
½ tbsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Salt
Start adding both oils at medium heat and add the chopped onion. When the onion is halfway cooked, add all the spices and seasoning, then mix everything. Remember to be careful in order to not burn the spices.
At this point, it’s time to add the fish. If you choose to leave the skin on, start with the skin facing down to get nice crispiness. Cook on this side for two or three minutes, turn around and proceed to add the prawns, peppers, and tomatoes and continue to cook for another two minutes.
It is now time to add the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Mix everything carefully so all flavours come together nicely. Put the fish aside on a place presented in a nice way, and let the rest to simmer for 8-10 minutes, and your Moqueca will be ready to be enjoyed.
Back in Brazil, this dish will always be shared with rice and Farofa (Cassava fried flour) on the side, and some fresh coriander on top. For this recipe, we have decided to blend the fresh coriander with oil and vinegar to obtain a refreshing and sharp Salsa Verde to pour over the dish.
If you like to taste the flavours before you are giving it a go at home, remember you can order one of our versions from our Non-Meat Menu when you next visit one of our sites!
Will you try this delicious recipe at home, Fazendeiros? If you do, don’t hesitate to share it with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Alternatively, you can leave your impressions in the comments box below!