Mauritius cuisine blends Creole, Chinese, French, and Indian flavours, sometimes all within the same meal. French dishes such as bouillon, tuna salad, daube, civet de liévre, and coq au vin show the prevalence of French cuisine that has stayed with Mauritius. These dishes have often been adapted to incorporate the exotic ingredients that are found on the island.The main meal you will find on your holiday in Mauritius is curry with rice and roti, a type of bread. Common ingredients in other dishes include tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chillies cooked with spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
Vindaye is a dish that takes fried fish or octopus and preserves it in a combination of chilli, mustard seeds, garlic, oil, and vinegar. This pickled dish has been popular since before refrigerators, as it keeps for a long time. It is great served hot over rice or bread or kept in the refrigerator and served cold the next day. It is made with onions and a good quality fish that doesn’t fall apart easily (swordfish, tuna, or barracuda, for example) and soaked in vinegar with mashed garlic, mustard, curcuma, ginger, onion, and coriander.
This popular Mauritian dish is made with garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chillies, thyme, red chilli powder, and onions and served with rice. You can easily add sausage, beef, chicken, fish, or prawns, or leave it without meat for vegetarians.
This is a classic Mauritian chicken dish infused with cloves, cinnamon, thyme, chillies, onion, garlic, and ginger. The dish is simmered so it becomes stew-like, then is garnished with a small handful of chopped coriander leaves.
Mauritian curries are unique in that they don’t contain coconut and they often include European herbs, such as thyme. Some curries contain meats not traditionally used, such as octopus or duck. The traditional Mauritian curry combines curry powder, curry leaves, onion, garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds, coriander stems, and thyme to make a unique flavour that virtually explodes in your mouth. Chopped potatoes are softened in the curry and simmered, then the dish is served with rice and a dollop of sour cream.
On holiday in Mauritius you will notice a plethora of readily available and tasty street food. Almost everything you order you will be asked if you want it with piment or not. Piment (a thick, green, homemade chilli sauce) is served on the side so you can taste it or discard it as you choose. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean and fresh, as well as cooked right in front of you.
Gateaux piment translates literally as ‘chilli cake’, yet these delicious little snacks are actually quite mild. They are deep fried balls of mashed or ground lentil with chopped spring onion, fresh coriander, spices, and a little chilli. They end up tasting a bit like an onion bhaji with a lentil flavour. They are nice on their own as a snack between lunch and dinner or stuffed in a bread roll or wrapped in roti chaud with piment sauce.
These filling snacks are made of lentils, tomatoes, and chillies and spooned into a thin, powdery pancake that has a delightful corn flavour. You can request it be avec chilli (with chilli) or sans chilli (without chilli).
These flat bread-style pancakes are thinner than the ones used for dholl puri. Found at most street vendors, this flavourful street food often comes with meat, fish, or vegetable fillings and a spicy tomato sauce. Wrap the roti chaud around some gateaux piment for an authentic, Mauritian treat.
Boulette is definitely more Chinese than Creole and is similar to dim sum served in a flavourful broth. The mouth-watering, steamed dumplings are filled with fish, pork, beef, or prawns and served in a chicken or fish stock made with ginger and spring onions. The overall flavour of the broth is sweet, yet slightly spicy.