To learn about Mauritius' culture, you should immerse yourself in its gastronomy. Mauritian cuisine is one of the world's unique flavor fusions, incorporating Indian, French, Chinese, and African influences.
Mauritius is a culinary and sensory paradise, with cuisine reflecting the ethnic diversity of the local population.
The warm climate, friendliness of the locals, and variety of cuisine make this volcanic island, also known as the Republic of Mauritius, a dream vacation spot.
Top 10 Most Popular Mauritian Foods
Most Mauritanians are trilingual, speaking Creole, French, and English. Palm-fringed beaches, turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs surround the island's coastline. It is a beautiful country with a diverse range of flavors and aromas.
Mauritius uses both local and imported products. Meat is imported from other countries, but venison is produced locally. Seafood is sometimes caught locally but can also come from nearby islands like Madagascar.
The Mauritian Vindaye is a slightly altered variation of the Indian Vindaloo, an Indian dish. Although it does not contain the exact blend of spices, it is still reasonably spicy, keeping it accurate to the Indian version.
It is a "dry curry," though meat, chicken, and vegetables can also be used in place of the frequently used ingredients of thick fish chunks or octopus. Before being coated with a ground mixture of turmeric, mustard seeds, ginger, and chilies, thick slices of fish are deep-fried.
Additionally, whole shallots and garlic cloves are added along with some vinegar. Although it can also be enjoyed with rice or as a "gajak," an appetizer or snack, it goes best with bread, roti, or dhal puri.
Boulettes, also known as Mauritian Dim Sum, is made by the Cantonese people of Mauritius. Dumplings in Mauritius include "saw mai," "niuk yan" (meatballs), "en pow niuk" (steamed fish fingers), and "teo kon."
Depending on the variety, these steamed dumplings are typically made with fish, minced meat, prawns, calamari, and chayote. The dumplings can be served on their own with a hot chili sauce or chives and stock in a clear broth.
Although boulette is played all over the island, Grand Bay is probably the best location to try it. Boulette is an ideal dish for rainy days or during the Mauritian winters when it can keep you warm.
Biryani is a favorite of almost every Mauritian and one of the island's most famous dishes. Though initially from Mauritius' Indo-Islamic community, this dish has been adapted to suit Mauritian taste buds with a flavorful blend of spices.
Mauritian Briyani is made with basmati rice and various herbs and spices, such as cloves, crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon, star anise, saffron, and cumin.
The potatoes are added, along with beef, chicken, or seafood, and it is slow-cooked, usually in a steel pot called a 'deg.' This delectable menu is always available, especially during festive occasions like weddings and religious festivals like Eid Ul Fitr in Mauritius.
Otherwise, you can purchase a plate of briyani from vendors in Port Louis and almost every central town in Mauritius.
Roti and Dholl Puri
The two street foods that Mauritanians love the most are undoubtedly Dholl Puri and Roti. Both are flatbreads in the Indian style, available everywhere at street stalls and even in some restaurants.
A street vendor with a long line of customers is usually one where you can choose your fillings and get a cheap but satisfying meal.
Over a century ago, indentured laborers from Bihar introduced these. It is distinctively Mauritian because of the ingredients, particularly those used in the dholl puri.
Roti is just a flatbread that resembles a pancake, whereas Dholl Puri is a flatbread filled with yellow split peas. However, both are universal recipes that go well with anything and are toasted on a griddle.
They are typically served with sautéed spinach, a tomato-based sauce (Rougaille), butter bean curry (Gros Pois), and either pickles or a hot coriander chutney in Mauritius.
The Bol Renversé is served alongside other well-known Sino-Mauritian dishes. This translates to "Upside Down Bowl" in English, but it is also known as "Magic Bowl" and can be found in most local restaurants and eateries.
Bol Renversé is a rice-based dish with a stir-fry sauce reminiscent of chop suey. The thick sauce is made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, vegetables such as Bok Choi (Chinese cabbage), mushrooms, and carrots.
The chop suey is then topped with an egg over easy, chicken, shrimp, or thin strips of meat, though chicken is the traditional choice.
This dish's presentation is noteworthy; the ingredients are layered into a bowl, starting with the egg and moving on to the chop suey base and cooked rice. The bowl is then served as an "upside down bowl" by turning it over on a plate.
Fried rice is a well-liked street food worldwide, including in Mauritius. This dish is so typical in Mauritius that its preparation is comparable to that of the Mauritian Mine Frite.
Mauritian fried rice is prepared creole without adding a thick gravy or sauce, unlike traditional Cantonese fried rice. Instead, chicken, shrimp, eggs, soy sauce, and fish sauce are tossed into a wok with the other ingredients for an additional flavor boost.
Garlic sauce and chili paste are also used to serve this. It is easy to prepare, and this dish is a favorite among families, especially when there is leftover rice. Nearly all restaurants and eateries in the country serve Riz Frite.
The Gateau Piment is the only snack that, besides Mauritian meals, honors Mauritius. This snack, which can be found at almost every food stand, is very well-liked by the locals.
Although it is frequently not as spicy as it sounds, the Gateau Piment, also known as Gateau Dhal, is a cake made with chilies. For flavor, the snack is made of yellow split peas (dhal), spring onions, and green chili slices. For a milder flavor, the chilies can be left out.
Small balls of the mixture were then formed and fried in oil until golden brown. Although it can also be eaten for lunch or as an afternoon snack, most
Mauritian mornings begin with a hot handful of these snacks served with bread and butter.
Not only are fried noodles a typical dish in eastern Asia, but they are also popular in Mauritius. The Cantonese/Hakka word for noodles, Mein, and the French word for fried, Frite, are combined to form Mine Frite.
This dish, which is famous locally under the name Mine Frite, is essentially Mauritian-style fried noodles. With cabbage, carrots, other vegetables, chicken, shrimp, and occasionally thin strips of meat, fresh noodles or egg noodles are stir-fried in a heated wok.
Salt, pepper, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce are used to season the food. For those who like spicy food, it is garnished with strips of fried egg and served with garlic sauce and chili paste.
Although it is a dish that can be made quickly and easily, it is also readily available in hotels, restaurants, and street stalls all over the island for those who don't want the hassle.
Even though Sept Cari (7 curries) is traditionally associated with particular occasions and events, all of the island's ethnic groups enjoy eating it. Though it can be found in restaurants, this vegetarian meal is typically served at Hindu weddings or other special occasions.
A fried flatbread served on a banana leaf called "ti puri" is served alongside seven or more vegetable curries. Butter bean curry, spinach, rougaille, mashed pumpkin, chou chou (sautéed chayote), and banana curry make up the traditional seven curries;
However, you may also come across other specialties like jackfruit curry and "gato piment" curry. Different sauces and foods may be served depending on the particular community.
For instance, in the Tamil community, rice is served rather than fried flatbreads, along with various curries, including a spicy soup, rasson, and a sweet serving of sago pudding with papadum.
Nothing is more uniquely Mauritanian than the traditional Rougaille dish. However, this typical Creole dish is adaptable and goes with just about anything.
Rougaille is essentially a tomato-based sauce. Herbs like thyme and coriander are braised with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chillies to create a rich sauce.
This sauce can be served plain or with additional fresh ingredients like meat, chicken, seafood, or the beloved Mauritian dish of salted fish (poisson salé).
Additionally, vegetables and other unusual ingredients like sausages, corned beef/mutton, and canned sardines can be included. Rougaille is frequently used as one of the roti fillings, as a side dish, or topping for rice.