Surinamese food (Indian community)
- Allan Evans
There is an enormous Hindu-Moslem Surinamese community in Holland. Last summer they had a weekend fete at South (Zuid) Park in The Hague, nearly 80,000 people, dozens of gastonomic stands: this happens annually around the 3rd week of July. Also had the joy of eating at home with several musicians there. Before trekking around Richmond Hill's Guyanese markets for ingredients, I wonder if anyone here has espied Kaupila (smoked fish resembling a humongous porgy), tajerblad (chest-sized collard-spinach type leaf), or the Kousband - string beans 3 feet long? As these terms are Dutch-derived, the Guyanese markets may have them under different names (former British colony).The simple preparation of these luscious mineral-rich vegetables made a strong impression. Also the fish, which is soaked only for 10 minutes and then added to rice, seasonings and vegetables.
By contrast, the many Javanese of Suriname have had their food transformed by the Chinese community, who mix their dishes with Chinese and Creole: their restaurants in Holland were uninspired, the curry smell bloody awful (like the use of curry here in Chinese restaurants - probably best as decongestant). No sight of any Indian Surinamese eatery in Holland but the festival was amazing.
One memorable dessert was Boyyó (like saying Oh Boy! reversed with the accent on Oh!): grated cassava baked with a dusting of sugar, some coconut milk, and generous mix through of cinnamon. Oh Boy!
Any leads deeply appreciated.
A similar cassava dessert is often served in Bajan restaurants, called "pone." Try Culpeppers,
1082 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, 718-940-4122. As for the other stuff, ask the nice lady at Sorrento Bakery, 88-17 Jamaica Ave, Queens, 718-846-0313, the city's only Surinamese cafe/Italian bakery.