Mauritian Cuisine – What type of food is there in Mauritius?

Mauritian cuisine is the epitome of perfection. A paradise for the palate and senses derived from the variety of aromas and flavours, spices and ingredients. The Mauritian Cuisine has been inherited from the different historical migrations to the island.

Influence on the Mauritian Cuisine

Mauritians have picked up culinary traditions from India, China, Africa and France, which have been passed on through generations. The most common spices found in the dishes range from saffron/turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves to curry leaves, coriander and star anise seeds. These give off a powerful, yet beautiful flavour.
Spices in Mauritian Food!
Mauritian dishes are also accompanied by dhals, vegetables, beans and, none but the least, the typical ‘achards’ (pickles). Spicy and savoury, the achards are pickled fruits or vegetables such as mango, lemon, and apple (to name a few).

Mauritian Cuisine – Cultural Influence

Originally an Indian delicacy, the Dholl-puri and Roti have become the go-to for the people of Mauritius. These are similar to a flatbread or a salted crepe and are accompanied by curries and chilli. 

Another famous dish is the Biryani which descends from Mughal cuisine. This dish is typically prepared by the Muslim community and mainly consists of spiced rice. This is often mixed with meat and potatoes. 

Although the British took over Mauritius from the French back in 1810, there is still a strong French influence. This can be seen not only in the cuisine but also in the islanders’ practice of serving good quality wines. 

As for the dishes, the Coq au Vin, Civet de Lievre and Bouillon are still very popular on the island. Along with the classic French desserts, Mauritians have created a delectable raspberry shortbread filled with jam called Napolitaines. 

“Chana Puri”
“Coq au Vin”
“Bouillon”

The influence of the Chinese migrants to Mauritius has brought yet another exquisite culinary tradition. You can easily find Chinese restaurants or food booths serving popular dishes such as the fried noodles, fried rice and boulettes (dumplings). 

The fried noodles dish is made with sautéed egg noodles, soya sauce, vegetables and depending on your preferences, prawns, beef or chicken. Do not forget to season your portion with the garlic sauce!

Over the generations and years, each community has mixed and adapted the different cuisines to their liking, and thus, resulted in what we now call, the Mauritian cuisine. This can be prominently seen in the Creole cuisine which is a perfect blend of traditional ingredients.

Mauritian – Creole Cuisine

The legendary Creole ‘Rougaille’ is a typical and staple dish in the kitchen of many on the island. Back then, when people could not afford eating meat, the ‘rougaille’ was a true classic. This dish is essentially a tomato-based sauce, with incredibly rich flavours from the combination of spices used. Once you have the base sauce, you can either eat it with rice and dhal or you can add anything you want to it, such as eggs, peas, salted fish (poisson salé), sausages, dried shrimps (sevrette), etc.
“Rougaille”

Street Food in Mauritius – Spicy, Colourful and Varied!

Mouth-watering street food is readily available in Mauritius. There is nowhere else you could find this mingling of Indian, Chinese, European and African cultures than in the backstreets of the island’s capital, Port-Louis. 

A diverse range of delicious dishes is offered by local vendors at every corner of the streets. Dholl-puri, roti, boulettes (chinese dumplings), gateaux arouille (taro root fritters), gateaux piment (spicy deep-fried split pea and chilli cakes), du pain frire (bread slices fried in batter), chana puri (fritters with a centre of curried yellow split-peas), to name a few. 

These fritters are usually a typical Mauritian afternoon snack served with a warm baguette, butter and hot tea! 

You can also find various ‘confit’ such as the anana confit (chili salted pineapple), a hot weather snack that would beat any ice lolly! These pineapples are usually expertly carved by local vendors and drizzled with sweet tamarind sauce, chili and salt. The end result is a perfect symphony of sweet, sour, salty and hot to the tastebuds. 

There are also cold and savoury beverages to taste during the summer. You can find the unique freshly-squeezed sugarcane juice with its ambrosial taste in Port-Louis. You also have the Alouda, a cold drink widely loved by Mauritians, made with milk, basil seeds and agar-agar jelly which is especially refreshing on a hot summer day.

The proof of the rich diversity of Mauritius can be found not only in its people but also in its cuisine!

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