Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 21, 2017
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Zanzibar: Spice-dusted avocado with mango and crab

The avocado is one of the most nutritious fruits there is, and it grows willingly in tropical climates. Still, it is often viewed with suspicion in eastern Africa, where it is sometimes referred to as “fat dog fruit” after the surprisingly chubby dogs living under avocado trees.

The mangrove crabs that can be found along the Swahili Coast of the Indian Ocean are delicious, vicious and totally capable of living on land. They see captivity as just another obstacle, often cutting their way out of the grocery bag or box with their powerful claws — occasionally escaping as you carry them home from the market.

This is a great, fresh-tasting starter. The fatty avocado integrates the spices nicely while still respecting the fresh sweetness of the mango and the fragile flavours of the crabmeat.

2 tsp. (10 ml) cumin seeds

1 cardamom pod, slightly bruised

1 clove

1 tsp. (5 ml) paprika

1 tsp. (5 ml) chili powder

2 tsp. (10 ml) coarse sea salt

2 large ripe avocados

fresh lime juice for brushing the avocados

½ c. (125 ml) mango chunks

½ c. (125 ml) cooked crabmeat

2 tbsp. (30 ml) scallions, finely chopped

2 tsp. (10 ml) mint, finely chopped (optional)

Dry-roast the cumin seeds, cardamom and clove in a small skillet, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, to release the flavours. Combine the spices and the salt in a mortar and crush to a fine powder using the pestle. Discard the husks from the cardamom.

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Brush with lime juice to prevent browning. Sprinkle with the spice mixture and arrange on plates.

Combine the mango, crabmeat, scallions and mint, and mound in the avocados. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a starter.

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