A spicy vegetable pickle also known as achard isalways present on the table and generally contains mustard seeds, turmeric, chilli and garlic as flavourings.
Tomatoes are romantically known as "pomme amour" and are the cornerstone of Mauritian cuisine. They are the main ingredient in the Creole rougaille sauce, an addition to curries and the basis of chutneys.
Eschallot are comprised of a cluster of golden papery-skinned bulbs with a more delicate and sweet flavour than their onion relation and are one of the many examples of the French influence in Mauritian cuisine.
In Mauritius, chillies are eaten from a young age. A common snack crushes them with salt to sprinkle over slivered, crunchy green mango.
Shallots are generally added to a dish at the end to maintain their crunch, both the green and white sections of shallots are widely used.
Mustard seeds are dark brown or black seeds commonly used in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking are cooked in oil at the start of a curry or pickle so the oil becomes mildly nutty.
Thyme is predominantly associated with the Mediterranean. Thyme is often used in Mauritian curries and in the many braised French-derived meat dishes.
Mauritians used both fresh and dried forms of tumeric widely – fresh in achards, pickles and curry pastes and dried in curry powders.
Bananas are used green in curries, cooked with sugar to fill lattice-topped sweet tarts and fried to perfection to make beignets.
Fruits such as mangos and pineapple are popular snack foods, often shredded or sliced and dipped in chilli salt.
Murunga leaves are rarely seen in Australia but are commonly grown in Mauritian backyards. Stir-fried with onion and garlic or made into protein-rich soups, their slippery texture and tangy flavour is loved across the island.
Finely grated, coconut is combined with mint, dried chilli and garlic for a refreshing chutney in Mauritian cooking.
Curry leaves are used widely in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, their sharp clean flavour is also used in many Mauritian curries and pickles. The small green leaves are usually fried in oil first to release their flavour.