The cuisine in the northeast of Brazil is African influenced, especially in Salvador da Bahia, until the 19th the center of the slave trade was there.In addition to numerous deities (orixás), the slaves also brought their culinary preferences with them.
The dishes have such euphonious names as Moqueca de Peixe (a kind of fish stew), Bobó de Camarão (a shrimp dish), Casquinha de Siri (with crayfish), Vatapá (with fish, shrimp and coconut milk), Acarajé (batter of shelled beans, street food).
The delicious dishes live through highly aromatic spices and the typical ingredients of the country. Very important is dendê, an orange-colored palm oil with an unmistakable aroma. Coconut milk and a strong pinch of Pimenta Malagueta (a chili variety) enrich the flavor canvas.
Ground peanuts or cashews give the dishes a very unique touch.
Coconut, dendê oil, peanuts, fish and shellfish, wonderfully contrasting and yet so harmonious.
Some recipes from Salvador are very complex, but this Xinxim is makeable! Xinxim is a fusion of African heritage, Portuguese colonization and Native American influences.The dish also plays an important role in Candomblé, where it is offered to the Orixá Akeran at certain festivities.
Rice is a perfect accompaniment, but Brazilians also like to serve roasted cassava flour, sometimes toasted with a little butter or spiced up with a few olives. My drink recommendation: ice-cold beer, or coconut water, directly from the freshly peeled fruit (ok, the latter is not available here, but maybe you sail in the Caribbean or off the Brazilian coast).
some more tips:
- I use 1 cup of dendê, but the oil is very intense in flavor, if it tastes too strong for you, just use less! Add it by the spoonful until you are satisfied with the result. A mixture of olive oil and dendê has worked very well for me, you can control the flavor great with it.
It is always difficult to find a good chicken that has been allowed to live with some dignity, outdoor chicken is best, also the corn chicken is characterized by fine taste. If you use the legs, I recommend peeling off the skin
Why? Quite simply, with a grilled or baked chicken, the fat is reduced by the high heat, and on the plate you will have the crispy piece of poulard. But with Xinxim, the poultry is braised, less or no skin means less fat, means lighter dish!
- The chicken breast stews at the beginning and then again at the end, in between we take out the white meat so it stays nice and juicy. The parred and skinned drumsticks, on the other hand, party the whole time in the cooking pot, they then become butter tender and take on all the flavors.
- Dried Shrimp
Dried shrimp are an integral part of Salvador da Bahia, they are ground, mortared or added whole. If you don’t have them at hand, there is a trick: simply cut small pieces of shrimp into the broth, and they will stew happily, leaving behind their wonderful aroma, a greeting from Yemanjá, so to speak.
- Peanuts, Cashews
At home I chop the nuts with a blitz chopper, on board I improvise. Maybe a mortar? Or one gives the nuts in a tea towel, in order to treat them then with the heavy shell, from one of the dangerous dives.
I recommend the cook to warm up with this hymn to the wonderful city of Salvador da Bahia, maybe a little Caipi to go with it? So that you understand what is being sung, I have translated the lyrics of the song hurriedly.
Bahia, my eyes are shining
My heart beating with so much happiness
It’s the queen of universal beauty
My dear Bahia
Long before the Empire was the first capital
Old Black Benedict already said
Happiness also lives in Bahia
Your history, your glory
Your name is tradition
Bahia of the old market
The Conceição Hill
It’s so rich in minerals
It has cocoa, it has carnauba
Famous jacaranda trees
Land blessed by the gods
And the oil gushing out
A tray of quindim
Every day she’s there
In the church of Bonfim, oi
On the hillside there’s capoeira
Zum, zum, zum, zum, zum, zum
Preparation time: 1,5h
Ingredients for 6 people
- 800 G fresh chicken breast, preferably cornish hen
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 1 bunch of spring onions (if not available on board, ordinary onions will also do)
- 3 chili peppers
- 5 fresh garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup dendê or palm oil (there are also organic products)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for frying (I mix it with dendê)
- olive oil to taste for the marinade
- 100 G peanuts, roasted (without scale: 2 handfuls)
- 100 G cashew, roasted (without scale: 2 handfuls)
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (or parsley, which works just as well, coreander is often polarizing)
- 100 G dried shrimp – a handful- (the Smut may also omit this if it cannot be found)
- Fresh ginger, half of a medium bulb, grated or cut into tiny pieces
- 2 cans of coconut milk (usually there are 400 G in it)
- 800 G king prawns (good frozen or of course fresh, it should be possible)
- Without scales I would say: at least 24 nice big shrimps, rather more, for the hungry sailors.
How to prepare:
For the chicken
Remove the skin and vision from drumsticks, break the leg at the joint and cut each into 2 pieces. Then cut the breast into even pieces, it is up to the smut how he does it.
If he is economical or even stingy, like Lt. Comdr. Philip Francis Queeg on the Caine, then he takes smaller pieces. If he is more generous, perhaps like Long John Silver on the Hispaniola, then he may give the crew the full broadside and cut larger pieces.
- For the marinade, crush one of the garlic cloves, mix with the juice of one lime, some dendê and olive oil, add a little salt.
- Put the chicken pieces into the marinade and rub them well from all sides. The chicken does not have to stay in it for long, it just wants to get familiar with the lime, garlic and dendê, which will be the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
- Chop the spring onions (or onions) and garlic.
- In the largest pot that the galley (for you it’s probably more like a pantry), leave out 2 tablespoons of dendê oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat. Saute the onions and garlic together with the dendê. Chop the cilantro and/or parsley, add and stir everything nicely. Stirring is a good keyword by the way, you have to do it affectionately all the time.
- Peel and chop 8 shrimp and add to the amusing simmering broth.
- Now add the breast and drumstick and fry cheerfully on all sides. When the breast has taken on color, remove it and put it to one side. Be careful with the ship’s dog, which has long since smelled a rat and can only be driven out of the galley with iron severity. Small tip: Dust poultry lightly with flour before braising, this will result in a creamier consistency at the end. Simmer drumsticks quietly at low to medium temperature for about 40 minutes. A little coconut milk may also go in. Season to taste with dendê.
- Peel, fillet and add the tomatoes
- Now it’s time to add some malagueta (chili), the skipper should consult with the crew, but usually nothing knocks out a sailor so. 3 hot peppers should be enough. Cut lengthwise, remove the seeds, then dice and off you go.
- Small tip: You can influence the spiciness a little by the time, the longer the Chilies cook, the spicier it will be at the end.
- In the meantime, peel the remaining shrimp and remove the shells. Heat a mixture of olive oil and dendê in the pan again (or just olive oil), some garlic will also fit in the same pan. Fry shrimp for about 3-4 minutes on all sides, so that they still remain a little glassy, set aside. They are served at the end.
- Nos you really need to check whether the navigator on the bridge is still focused. Uncontrolled escaping Xinxim vapors are still a great danger for international cruising as well as for ambitious sailing. Sad examples abound:
Nos you really need to check whether the navigator on the bridge is still focused. Uncontrolled escaping Xinxim vapors are still a great danger for international cruising as well as for ambitious sailing. Sad examples abound:
14 April 1912, about 9:40 p.m..
300 nautical miles southeast of Newfoundland, the Titanic glides majestically through the glassy sea on a starry night. Also on board is the Brazilian Gum Baron Antonio César Souza de Andrades-Limões, a great gourmet. In his private suite, he asks for Xinxim with an extra portion of malagueta. A little later, the personal chef brings the order, and as always, the portions are very generous. The eccentric magnate decides on a whim to send the remaining leftovers to the bridge, the officers should have some too. A short time later, the proud ship is heading straight for the catastrophe that is still imprinted on humanity’s memory today.
- Grate ginger or cut very small, add, do not forget to taste again and again.
- Optional: add half of the Dried Shrimp (ground).
- Peanuts and cashews somehow get small and add half each. Stir well.
- Coconut milk
- 1 can usually has 400 ML content. Add the contents of one can of coconut milk first, then the other can towards the end. Everyone should have enough sauce to provide plenty for the chicken, rice and shrimp.
- Return chicken breasts to pot, stir. Turn temperature to lowest setting and let chicken cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Add in remaining coconut milk, ground nuts and remaining chopped parsley (or cilantro).
Serve immediately with the Rice.