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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Solomon Islands Recipe of the Week: Sikaha Ha'ania Kiu (Eggplant with Shell)

This week's recipe: Sikaha Ha'ania Kiu (Eggplant with Shells)....

Last week's recipe, Kasume (Fern) Curry was tried and field tested at the Casa Turchese Kitchen last Friday.  Our intrepid friend James (the volunteer of steel aka the man who lives on his own island and wrestles Mr. Snouty, his local crocodile, for fun) did the cooking.  To be fair to James, we had to deviate from the recipe somewhat because we forgot to get a can of coconut milk and I am still unsuccessful in finding a coconut scraper.  I will find you, cursed coconut scraper!!!!  

The curry was...interesting.  Without the coconut milk to provide sweetness and a bit of creaminess, the curry tasted, well, too curry like.  James also used whatever veggies he could scrounge from our vegetable tray and had to be a bit...creative.  Now, just a word about veggies in the Solomons.  Because everything is organic, stuff goes off very, very quickly.  Sometimes I bring tomatoes home from the market and the next morning, they have already split and are stinky.  Yes, it is that fast.  So having a supply of veggies is difficult to maintain; the things that last the longest are beans, onions, and eggplants.  Most everything else needs to be used in a few days, so regular visits to the market are necessary.  Luckily, I work less than 20 metres from the second largest market in Honiara (and my personal favorite).  Someday I'll have to write a review about the different markets of Honiara....but I digress.

Tessa, James and I enjoyed our Fern Curry, sitting on our balcony overlooking the ocean.  Personally, I thought the curry was fine but James just shook his head, truly unhappy with the results. I, however, am not the best judge of food because I'm a volunteer and I eat cold fish heads for breakfast.

Anyway, on to possibly the most challenging recipe yet: Eggplant with Shells!

I've also decided to chill out on the editorial comments on the recipes for now because some people just prefer the straight recipe.  So here it is.

  • 10 eggplants
  • 2 dry coconuts (or a can of coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 20 (!) Mud shell crabs (Kiu) or fresh fish
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 1 packet of noodles or rice
  • Handful of Home Mushroom or Button Mushrooms
  • More salt (a pinch)
  • 1 bundle of shallots
  • Cut eggplants into pieces
  • Scrape coconut milk and put it in the pot (or open the can and put milk in the pot)
  • Open the Mud shell and scoop out the meat
  • Slice tomato into pieces
  • Cut shallots into pieces
  • Put the pot with coconut milk on the fire till it bubbles (boils) and put all th eprepared veggies into the pot
  • Put the lid over the pot for about two minutes until well cooked.
  • Serve with Kumara or Rice
  • To be served for ten (!!!!)
So, my cooking adventurers, enjoy this week's recipe.  If you do try a recipe and want to give feedback or write a review feel free to email me at

Till next week,