Like the Solomon Islanders, the indigenous Fijians are descended from the Lapita peoples.This seafaring group arrived from eastern Indonesia and the Philippines around four thousand years ago. Later, Melanesians from the west and Polynesiansfrom the east, also descendants of the Lapita, came to the islands to settle.
During the nineteenth century,the Europeans arrived; planters and traders attempted to set up a colony on the model of those of Australia and New Zealand.
Sugarcane plantations were suggested by the British as a means by whichthe islands could gain economic self-sufficiency. To preserve the traditional way of life of the Fijians, the first Indian indentured labourers were brought to the islands in 1879 to work on the plantations. Conditions for these workers were harsh, but many chose to remain after their contracts ended because of the depressed economic situation in India.
Fijian cuisine adopted methods and ingredients from these cultures, but even to this day, Fijian and Indo-Fijian dishes differ.However,the Fijians have adopted chili peppers, unleavened bread, rice, vegetables, curries, and tea, and the Indo-Fijians have accepted taro and cassava as part of their diet.
This recipe uses a traditional staple, sweet potato, and mixes it with other foods that would be readily available to the Fijians
Today’s recipe makes use of the macadamia nut and is easy to make.
What you need
2 medium sweet potatoes, baked, peeled and cut into 10mmthick slices
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 5mm thick slices
30g freshly grated coconut
25gspring onions, chopped
240ml cheese sauce (see below)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
What to do
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Layer a lightly buttered casserole or pie dish with the sweet potato, followed by the pineapple, coconut and finally the green onions.
Season each completed layer with the sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Prepare the cheese sauce as described below, then pour the sauce over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
What you need
600ml light cream
2 tsp dry mustard
200g cheddar cheese, grated
What to do
Combine flour and butter in heavy pan over medium heat.
Cook for 2 minutes, until flour starts to brown.
Slowly stir in the cream. Stir constantly until the desired consistency is achieved**, then add the cheese, mustard; salt and pepper to taste.
Stir until cheese is melted, remove from heat and use immediately.
If the sauce is too thick, add some milk to the pan; if too thin, add some more flour mixed with a small amount of water.