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Caribbean Recipes from Roatan Honduras

Sampling the unusual and delicious island style food is a great treat while visiting Roatan. The islanders' cuisine includes many food items that grow naturally on Roatan: bananas and plantains, mangoes and guavas, breadfruit, coconut and cassava, and juicy little key limes.

Seafood, chicken, beans, and rice are also dietary mainstays. Below are some island favorites.

Garifuna Ladies Selling Coconut Bread on Roatan Honduras

See our Roatan Honduras Restaurants Page, too.

Baked Mango Dessert

Slice mangoes thinly to cover the bottom of a large baking pan (Hades mangoes are best). Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the mango slices and cover lightly with sugar. Dot with butter. Bake at 400 until lightly browned, but not too dry. Drizzle heavy cream over top when serving.

A delicious specialty of Paya Bay Resort prepared by Lurlene McNab.

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Banana Bread

2 tbsp. stick margarine, softened
2 tbsp. light cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1 large egg
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tbsp. dark rum or 1/4 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. margarine
2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. dark rum or 1/8 tsp. rum extract
2 tbsp. chopped pecans
2 tbsp. flaked sweetened coconut

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8x4" loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Beat 2 tbsp. margarine and cheese at medium speed of a mixer; add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (banana through vanilla); stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in 1/4 c pecans and 1/4 c coconut. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake at 375 for 60 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Icing: Combine brown sugar and 2 tsp. each margarine, lime juice, and rum in saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute; stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tbsp. each pecans and coconut; spoon over loaf.

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Cassava Bread - Flat, white, cracker-like bread

Bitter cassava
Salt to taste

Directions: Peel, wash and grate cassava. Squeeze out as much of the juice as possible, using either a matapee or by wringing in a towel. Leave in lumps and allow to dry slightly in open air. Pound, sift, and add salt. Heat a griddle and a metal hoop of the size of cake required. Put cassava meal to a depth of about 1/8 - 1/4 inch in the hoop. Cook until set, using moderate heat. Remove the hoop, level the surface and press firmly. Turn onto the other side and cook. When cooked through, remove the cake and allow to dry until crisp.

Note: Cassava bread may be lightly toasted and butter spread on one side for a delicious snack.

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Coconut Bread

4 oz Margarine
6oz Raw cane sugar
10 oz Wholemeal flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
6 oz Freshly grated coconut
1/2 pint soy milk

Directions: Cream the margarine and raw cane sugar until well blended. Sift the flour, baking powder and ground cinnamon in a separate bowl. Stir in the grated coconut. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the soy milk to the creamed mixture, mixing it thoroughly to a thick dough-like consistency. Divide the mixture and shape into buns with floured hands. Place the buns on a greased baking sheet, spacing well apart, and bake in a preheated oven at 180° until risen and brown. Makes 810.

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Conch Soup

CONCH 4 medium, pounded and chopped
2 ONIONS, chopped
SALT and PEPPER to taste
2 cans (28 oz. ea.) TOMATOES, chopped
1 1/2 cup POTATOES, peeled and chunked
4 stalks CELERY, cut into bite-size pieces
4 CARROTS, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups WATER
2 cups sliced OKRA
1/2 tsp. PARSLEY

In a large kettle, saute onions in oil until translucent. Add salt and pepper. Add lemon juice, tomatoes and conch and increase heat. Add vegetables and rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. Remove bay leaves and serve.

Exotic Curry Conch Chowder

8 conchs
1 lg. onion
1/2 c. cream
4 tomatoes (or pt. stewed- tomatoes)
2 tsp. curry powder
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. sugar
1 pinch thyme
2 tbsp. butter
1 sm. can tomato paste

Directions: Grind the conch and boil until tender in water. Fry onion in frying pan with butter until cooked (not brown). Add leaves, thyme. Work curry powder into cream. Add onion to cream, add tomatoes, curry powder and cream to sugar. Also add tomato paste. Simmer 1/2 hour and serve in soup bowls. Add 1 teaspoon of sherry in each serving. Serves 6.

This is a typical CONCH SOUP that originated in the north coast of Honduras, but it is served throughout the country.

1 pound of conch
2 shredded coconuts
3 green bananas
2 carrots
2 pounds of yucca - it is better if you use yellow yucca
2 garlic teeth
2 large onions - yellow or white
2 green peppers
2 bouillon cubes
1/2 cup of coriander - small leaf
1/2 cup of coriander - broad leaf
1/8 cup of margarine
1 cup of coconut milk

Directions: Cut up the onions, garlic, green peppers. Peel and cube all vegetables (except the bananas) and fast fry them in the margarine. Add the bouillon cubes and the coriander. Liquefy together the meat and the milk of the coconuts, sift the mixture - you may need to add some water to get it all out. Should end with approximately 3/4 liter of coconut milk. Add this to the fast fried vegetables, let it simmer around 15 to 20 minutes. Add the bananas and simmer for another 7 minutes or until the bananas are soft. Add the conch, peeled, and cut in small pieces; let it simmer for five more minutes.

Conch Fritters

1 lb conch meat
1/2 lg onion
2 stalks celery
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
Salt to taste
1 egg
1/3 cup self rising cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp hot sauce

Directions: Put conch through food grinder or food processor. Process with onion, celery, red and green pepper and mix with conch, adding salt and egg. Mix well. In separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, and baking powder. Add conch mixture. Mixture should be thick. Add buttermilk and hot sauce. Drop by heaping tablespoon into hot oil until light brown. Drain. Serve with mayonnaise and lime juice.

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Green Plantain Chips (Platanos)

Vegetable oil
1 large, green plantain (about 1 pound)
Salt, optional

Directions: Put 2 or 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large frying pan and heat to 375°. Remove skin from plantain and cut off the fibrous strings. Slice the plantain into paper thin rounds. Deep fry plantain slices, a dozen at a time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve chips warm or at room temperature. Yields 4 servings.

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Guava Jam

Lime juice

Directions: Peel the guavas thinly; put them on to boil (whole) with enough water to cover. Boil until they are very soft. Take them out of the water and rub them through a sieve until only the seeds are left. To each cup of pulp allow 3/4 c. sugar. Put the fruit and sugar into a clean sauce-pan and boil to the consistency of jam. Bottle in sterilized jars.

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Key Lime Pie

1/3 - 1/2 cup key lime juice
4 eggs separated
1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
9 inch pie shell

Directions: Combine milk and egg yolks. Beat with electric mixer at low speed. Slowly add lime juice and continue beating until well blended. Pour into pie shell. Optional: top with meringue or whipped cream or a little grated lime rind. Refrigerate overnight


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Mango Chutney

4 cups under ripe mangoes, diced
1 cup raisins
1 cup dates, chopped
4 oz green ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seed
4 cups sugar
2 oz salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 hot peppers, chopped
4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 lb. onions, chopped

Directions: Add fruit and peppers to vinegar and allow to steep until the next day. To Mangoes, add sugar, ginger, garlic, onions and other seasonings. Boil all ingredients together gently until chutney is thick and brown.

Note: Pears, peaches or apples are good substitutions for mangoes. Serve on meats, rice, or baked potatoes or mix 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of the chutney, and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder for a delicious dressing on salads or hot vegetables.

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Johanna's Mango Salsa "to die for"

Two large mangoes, diced (or several small mangoes), not too small
Large sweet (purple/red) onion, diced
2 leaves of chopped cilantro
2 or 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
Olive Oil and vinegar to taste

Mix this up and serve with meat, pork especially.

Seafood, Chicken, Beans, and Rice

Fish is typically grilled with lime juice and garlic. Chicken is generally fried. Small red beans are the most often used on Roatan, cooked with a little coconut milk and/or garlic. The most popular way to serve rice is to just use your own brand and method of cooking, and then add small pieces of carrot and/or peas and maybe a bit of mild curry.

To the right is a photo of a "tipico", typical Honduran breakfast, ham or balogna, eggs, white salty cheese, fried bananas, and "crema", similar to sour cream. Frequently, refried beans will be on the plate, too.

Typical Honduran Breakfast


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