ORIGIN: Garifuna, also known as Garinagu (plural), are the descendants of an Afro-indigenous population from the Caribbean island of St Vincent & The Grenadines who were exiled to the Honduran coast in the eighteenth century and subsequently moved to the Southern Coast Belize.
The Cuisine consists mainly of fresh coconut milk, coconut oil, plantains, green banana, cassava and fish. Description: Sere Lasus (meaning soup) is a rich coconut broth served with fresh fish and/or sea crab called ‘ratty’ along with a dumpling made of green and ripe plantains called ‘Hudut’. This is another labor intensive dish as the coconuts are husked, grated and strained to extract the milk. Green and ripe plantain are boiled in water until soft then beaten in a large wooden mortar and pestle called mata bowl and hahna stick.
The fish and crab are then seasoned and simmered in the coconut milk with wild basil called ‘baseng’. The Sere is then served with a dollop of the mashed plantain hudut and enjoyed by eating with your fingers. My offering offers the crisp of the Garifuna Cassava Bread which is made by grating the cassava root and drying it into a powder. This is then baked on a large ‘comal’ over fire wood forming a thin flat bread known as ‘ereba’.
- 4 large green plantains, peeled
- 2 large ripe plantains, peeled
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 whole habanero peppers
- 1 bunch fresh basil Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 medium sized snappers
- 4 large sea crab ‘ratty’
Direction: Place the green and ripe plantain in a pot of salted water and boil until soft. While still warm, puree in a food processor adding water to keep the consistency of porridge. Place the coconut milk, onion, garlic , habanero and basil in a soup pot and bring to a gentle simmer stirring occasionally to avoid curdling. Add the fish and the crab to the rich coconut broth and continue to simmer until the fish is fully cooked. Add seasoning to taste. Serve by placing a large spoonful of the plantain Hudut in the soup with fish and crab. You may also enjoy with cassava bread soaking up the coconut broth. Contemporary versions add briny pigtails for extra flavor!
Thanks to Chef Sean Kuylen for the recipe!