Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guyana - Land of Many Waters

Guyana looks to be the largest of the three small South American countries that face the Atlantic and seem almost in the way of the two giants, Brazil and Venezuela. The three countries are Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and they are pushed up together like children standing next to each other in a stair step fashion as if they’re siblings posing for a photograph.

Guyana may still have some old colonial charm but it’s mixed with a heavy reminder of the wicked side of occupation. African slaves were brought to Guyana in the 16th century and the treatment of these slaves was so dreadful it’s compared to Joseph Conrad’s book The Heart of Darkness. Even though it has a horrific history, political instability and an enormous foreign debt, the country has some of the most beautiful and unspoiled natural attractions and often called 'Land of Many Waters'. Hopefully, the government of Guyana will use this to attract tourism instead of depleting it further of its natural beauty.

Guyana cuisine has an East Indian influence, favoring curry and roti. Therefore, for my Guyanan meal I made curried shrimp. It was a flavorful and hearty meal with its mixture of shrimp and potatoes.

Curried Shrimp

1 lb shrimp
Lime juice
Salt and pepper
Thyme, chives and garlic to taste
2 TBSP curry powder
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP oil

Season shrimp and allow to stand 15-20 minutes. Mix curry powder in cold water. Put TBSP oil in pot, heat and add curry powder in water. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until thick. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Cook about 5 minutes, then turn off heat.

If you would like to add potato, cut a potato in thin slices and cook in curry powder before adding the shrimp. When the potato is tender, add shrimp and cook 5 minutes.

(I had trouble with the curry mixture sticking to the pan)


  1. mmm. one of my favourite foods--curry. i remember my mom making roti. she would slide the flat pieces of dough onto a hot oiled griddle called a tawa. when one side was browned and crusty, she would flip it over and wipe a smear of oil over the top with a paper towel. the whole circle of dough would puff up like a whoopie cushion (not appetizing but the same shape). when the bottom was nicely browned, mom would lift the roti off the tawa with her bare hands and flip it in the air, quickly folding it and "clapping" it as it came down, catching it and folding and clapping it a couple more times. the airy bread would fall into flaky folds which were then wrapped in a warm tea towel while the others cooked. eaten warm, falling apart tender, with a goodly mound of curry--heaven.