Mauritian Cooking is a blend of Creole, Chinese, European and Indian, with many dishes created unique to the island of Mauritius. Dishes from France are very popular. Former slaves, Indian workers and Chinese migrants during the 19th century have also brought dishes and practices into the Mauritian cooking traditions.
Seafood is a staple of the island nation’s cuisine. The popularity of French dishes like the bouillon, tuna salad, civet de lièvre and coq au vin served with a good wine, show the prevalence of French culture found in Mauritius. Over the years some recipes have been adapted to take in to account the more exotic ingredients of the island and to confer some unique flavour to the dishes. The Chinese are credited with making rice the staple diet of the island, and for making both steamed and fried noodles popular dishes. It is true to say that Mauritius has an incredibly rich and diverse food culture.
The most common ingredients used in Mauritian cooking are tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies, which are cooked with spices into a delicious fresh tasting sauce known as rougaille. Vegetables, meats and seafood can be cooked in the rougaille and eaten with achards (pickles) and dhal or rice. Spices are also a big part of Mauritian cooking with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves used liberally.
While the Indian population has had a huge influence on the cuisine, Mauritian curries are unique. For example they rarely contain coconut milk and also often feature European herbs, such as thyme. Many think that if Mauritius had a national dish it would be Dholl puris, thought to be derived from Indian flatbread, paratha. Indian immigrants to Mauritius couldn’t get the ingredients to make the bread on the island, and their substitute, a fried thin bread stuffed with ground yellow split peas, and served in a pair with bean curry, atchar and chutney.
Gajak are Mauritian snacks, generally of the deep fried variety. You willll find them being sold from glass boxes on the back of motorbikes and food stalls near markets, beaches and on the side of the road.
Desserts range from elaborate French influenced tarts filled with bananas, almonds or pastry creams to cute pink raspberry shortbreads sandwiched with jam called napolitaines. And, of course, there is also abundant tropical fruit to finish of your meal. Mauritian pineapples are sweeter and more delicious than South African ones.
Book your holiday to Mauritius to try the delicious food.