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Andaman Cuisine

Inspired by the 2008 game: Tomb Raider: Underworld, I tried out an awesome recipe Coconut Prawn Curry - from the amazing cookbook "Tomb Raider The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide" written by Tara Theoharis, Sebastian Haley, and Meagan Marie. Inspired by the culture along the Andaman Sea.





One of my favorite blends is that of coconut milk, and curry, whether it be curry powder or curry paste. I decided to try out a coconut curry recipe from one of my Geeky cookbooks. I am a bit of a gamer, and I do have quite the collection of games. I do also own quite a lot of cookbooks, so today I decided to crack open one of my Geeky gamer inspired cookbooks, that of the "Tomb Raider The Official Cookbook And Travel Guide." This book contains recipes inspired by various locations you can travel to while playing the different Tomb Raider games that have been released for the past decade. The author of the recipes is Tara Theoharis, and the authors of the travel guidebook portion are Sebastian Haley, and Meagan Marie.


First let me start off by praising how awesome this book is. I am a fan of the Tomb Raider game series, and one thing I love most about these games is the adventure of course, but also Lara Crofts love of history, and her desire to learn of other cultures. I share this same desire, and I love that you can explore various cultures and unique locations in the games. This cookbook is awesome in that you can try recipes inspired from these various locations featured in the Tomb Raider games, but you can also learn interesting facts and travel suggestions for these locations. To purchase the book you can click the link below, and check out the book on Amazon.




The recipe I decided to try was the Coconut Prawn Curry inspired by Andaman Cuisine. This location was featured in the 2008 Tomb Raider: Underworld game where Lara faced off with her enemies on a yacht on the Andaman Sea.


If you're like me, you're probably wondering "where is the Andaman Sea?" The Andaman Sea which is also know as the Burma Sea is southeast of the Bay of Bengal, south of Burma, west of Thailand and east of the Andaman Islands, India; it is part of the Indian Ocean.



The name Andaman is presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as Handuman. Hanuman is a Hindu god and a divine vanara companion of the god Rama. Hanuman is one of the central characters of the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Often described as the "son of Pawan", the Hindu god for wind, Hanuman is known for his extraordinary daring feats, strength and loyalty. This archipelago has around 572 islands but only 36 of these islands are open to tourists. The islands are made up of Southern Indian, Southeast Asian, as well as smaller ethnic groups. The most widely spoken language on the islands is Bengali followed by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Andaman Creole Hindi is also widely used as a trade language in the Andaman islands.


One thing I learned as I was researching the Andaman Islands, is that these islands are home to some of the largest turtles in the world. The four species of marine turtles that you can find in the Andaman Islands are the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Green sea turtle, and the olive ridley. During the nesting season, you’ll see female turtles make their way to the sandy beaches where they dig a hole and lay their eggs. A mother sea turtle can lay around 100 eggs per nest, which she can make up to 7 nests per nesting season.


The Andaman islands are also home to one of the most isolated paleolithic tribes in the world. Located on the North Sentinel Island, the Sentinelese people are related to other indigenous groups in the Andaman Islands, but due to their long period of isolation other indigenous groups cannot understand their language. Not much is known about this group of indigenous people due to the fact that they dont like unwanted visitors. But what is known, is that they live in huts, they build small outrigger canoes that they use to fish and harvest crabs. They are a hunter gatherer group, and they live off of fruits that grow in the wild, eggs from various birds and turtles, and they hunt small game. They hunt with bow and arrows, and carry spears and knives. The Sentinelese people find iron washed up on their shores, and use it to fit their needs, such as using them on the tips of their weapons.



Leather-back Turtle Nesting on the Beach on the Andaman Islands.



Madhumala Chattopadhyay, an Indian Anthropologist. The first woman to make contact with the Sentinelese people. Image by National Geographic.




The Cuisine of the Andaman Islands


Andaman cuisine is heavily influenced by all the cultures that came into contact with the region. Food in the Andaman's is delicious and spicy. Highly influenced by the arrival of such religions such as Hinduism, Sikh, Muslim, and Christianity. You can find many delicious fruits such as Mangoes, Bananas, Pineapples, Guava and much more. You can also enjoy a refreshing coconut water drink, straight from the coconut. As there are many delicious dishes in the Andaman Islands, the recipe featured in the Tomb Raider cookbook was Coconut Prawn Curry. You'll find many delicious curry, and seafood dishes in the Andaman islands, but this one really appealed to me as I love curry, coconut, and I love prawns!


Recipe Review


The recipe was taken from the "Tomb Raider The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide" book written by Tara Theohairs, Sebastian Haley, and Meagan Marie. I decided to make the Coconut Prawn Curry Recipe, inspired by the Andaman Sea featured in the 2008 Tomb Raider: Underworld game. The recipe was relatively very easy to make, and the ingredients were not hard to find in my local grocery store. The book gave some great notes and insightful information about the origin of curry. The book featured a beautiful finished photo of the dish, as well as some great easy to follow instructions. I used all of the ingredients listed in the ingredients list such as "prawns, coconut oil, yellow onion, garlic, ginger, red curry paste, full fat coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, lime zest, basil, and jasmine rice. The only ingredients I did not use was cilantro, because my family greatly dislikes cilantro, not including myself. I was unable to find snow peas, so I used snap peas instead, they still tasted great, and I substituted fish oil with Tamari soy sauce. I used the 50% lite Tamari as I don't like to ingest too much sodium.


The overall preparation was so easy and quick, and not messy at all. The cooking instructions in the book were easy to understand, with no confusing details. I would say any home chef could take this recipe and be successful at it, no matter what your cooking skill level be. There was not many dishes to clean up, and I particularly find cleaning as you go the best way to cook anyways.


The dish was absolutely delicious. It was so creamy, but the taste of the red curry was prominent but not overbearing. It was not spicy at all, it was creamy and sweet. You could taste the ginger, and the garlic, as well as the earthiness of the Tamari oil. The sweet zesty tang of the lime zest and lime juice topped it off just nicely. I made this recipe with my father as a father daughter project and it was a lot of fun. This is a great recipe to make with friends and family, and a great way to taste flavors from around the world. I highly recommend this recipe, as well as this cookbook. This recipe was so good, it made 4 servings, enough for my dad and I and enough for us to have leftovers tomorrow. The flavors were so good, it inspired me to research the Andaman islands, and to learn about the geography, the food, and the people.


I look forward to trying more recipes in this cookbook, and to learn about the other exciting locations featured in this book.



My finished dish.


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