One of the great Creole cuisines, Mauritian food is a combination of native African, French, Chinese and Indian, with many dishes created that are unique to the island of Mauritius. Indian curries, breads and pickles are cooked alongside slow-braised European daubes and stir-fried noodles from China, all using locally available ingredients.
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1 Jul 2008 - 9:00 AM  UPDATED 14 May 2015 - 2:36 PM

The most common ingredients used in Mauritian recipes are tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies, which are cooked with spices into a delicious fresh tasting sauce known as rougaille that is widely used. 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 cuisine with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves used liberally.

Another common dish is vindaye, a dish of fried fish or octopus that is preserved in a combination of mustard seeds, chilli, garlic, oil and vinegar. It was created before refrigeration but even now that whitegoods are widely available it’s still highly popular as an easy and delicious protein hit that can be served hot or cold with rice, pickles and dhal.

While the Indian population has had a huge influence on the cuisine, Mauritian curries are unique. They rarely contain coconut milk and, interestingly, also often feature what are more typically known as European herbs, such as thyme. Curries also often feature more unusual meats and seafood like octopus or duck, along with the more typical meat and vegetable varieties.

Everyone loves the readily available delicious street food of Mauritius, which includes falafel-like spiced, fried split pea cakes called gateaux piment. The other big favourites are dholl puris, a flatbread spread with a thin layer of yellow split peas, which are then rolled up with a variety of pickles, cooked vegetables and chutneys.

Desserts range from elaborate French-influenced tarts filled with banana, 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 a meal.

 

View our Mauritian recipe collection here.

Mauritian Food Safari recipes
Dholl puri

These Mauritian flatbreads have a filling of cooked yellow split peas. They’re served warm wrapped around curries, achards (pickled vegetables) and chutneys to make a yummy snack – search our website for some recipes.

Banana tart

These little banana tarts are one of the most popular Mauritian desserts. Mashed bananas cooked in shortcrust latticed pastry – a taste of the tropics! Eat them warm straight from the oven with ice-cream, or at room temperature for afternoon tea. They are best eaten on the day of making.

Coriander chutney

A fresh-tasting chutney that works its magic in dholl puris and alongside any grills or barbecues. Best eaten on the day it’s made.

Mauritian duck curry

Try this Mauritian recipe for delicious, simple, falling-off-the-bone duck curry in a rich, thick sauce. It's full of flavour but less tricky to make than other curries as it relies on curry powder rather than paste.  You'll find the best curry powder at Indian grocers. This dish is lovely served with shallot achard (pickled vegetables).

Pickled vegetables (achard)

Here are two different recipes for crunchy pickled vegetables – one using shallots and one using mixed vegetables. These spicy Mauritian side dishes are traditionally served with rice and curry.

Fish vindaye

Pickled fish in a jar sounds unappetising until you try this beautiful, easy recipe for white fish fillets infused with ginger, garlic and spices – it’s filled with flavour, low in fat (which always helps!) and high in protein and omega 3. I add vindaye to steamed rice for lunch or an easy dinner ... and I imagine that if I lived in tropical Mauritius, I’d want to eat this all the time to maximise the time spent under a palm tree rather than in the kitchen! 

Prawn rougaille

This simple recipe of prawns cooked in Mauritius’ favourite spicy tomato sauce, takes less than 30 minutes to make.

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