- Tazama Restaurant at Four Points has introduced crocodile meat to its menu and Chef Pandey gave us a taste of what will be on offer.
- The Executive Chef cooked three different variations of crocodile meat dishes.
- The cubes were used to make a curry with coconut milk, mango and chilli, which was served with lemon rice.
Trying out rare dishes can take you to a world of the creamy taste of foie gras, or even to enjoying a slice of sizzling crocodile meat.
So have you thought of preparing crocodile meat?
Chandra Pandey, an Executive Chef at Four Points by Sheraton in Nairobi knows just what to do with this nutritionally rich meat.
“It is my first time making crocodile meat, and I had to research quite a bit, experiment and combine the meat with different spices and herbs to come up with the dishes that will be added to the menu,” says Chef Pandey.
He first brings out the raw pieces of meat in various forms, cut in chunks, minced and pre-cooked. It is similar to fish in colour, and prawns in texture.
“We source the meat from Mombasa and we get it at Sh3,700 per kilo. It’s packed in fillet form. This meat is expensive because it takes a long time for the animal to grow to the ideal size. I prefer fillet from the crocodile’s back, it is more tender,” he adds.
Crocodile in curry
Tazama Restaurant at Four Points has introduced crocodile meat to its menu and Chef Pandey gave us a taste of what will be on offer.
The Executive Chef cooked three different variations of crocodile meat dishes. The cubes were used to make a curry with coconut milk, mango and chilli, which was served with lemon rice.
“This type of curry is popular in Srilanka and Cambodia,” he says. While one would imagine crocodile to be tough hence its meat needing more cooking time, this was quite the opposite. Chef Pandey made three dishes within 30 minutes.
For the curry, he first marinated the meat with salt, garlic, turmeric, basil and galangal root which is in the ginger family. The combination of mango and whole chillies was a fantastic sweet and sour combination.
A tip he shared was that whole chillies are best to use when the spicy flavour is all you want as opposed to the heat.
The taste of the meat was not distinct. It could easily pass for crab or prawn and there was not much of a fishy taste as would be expected.
An interesting dish the chef made was the crocodile meat popsicles on sugarcane sticks.
“I used minced crocodile meat and I had to mix a little minced chicken to help the crocodile meat to hold together. The texture of the meat is too light for it to hold on its own when making unique shapes such as popsicles,” said Chef Pandey.
He first fried the popsicles on a pan then moved them to the grill. Fish sauce, flour, cream and basil were mixed into the popsicles.
The most bizarre but delightful treat he made were the macarons filled with chilled cream cheese and pre-cooked crocodile meat at the centre.
These little treats were unexpectedly delicious. The addition of parsley into the cream cheese mixture made these macarons irresistible.
Tazama Restaurant also serves rabbit and ostrich meats.