The tomato sauce known as rougaille is used as a base in many Mauritian recipes. It is a unique combination of the European (onion, bay leaves and thyme) with the Asian addition of ginger. It is delicious with seafood and dried salt cod (baccala or stockfish), or meats like beef or good quality sausage.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (17 votes)


  • 500 g brown lentils
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp finely diced ginger
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 4 hours

Wash the lentils in a plastic or pyrex bowl, cover with water and soak for 4–5 hours (preferably in the fridge).

Using a pressure cooker, fry onions until soft, add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two.

Add diced tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves, cover and simmer until tomatoes are cooked. Add lentils and water, cover and allow to cook on high until the pressure cooker starts to whistle.

Lower the flame and allow to simmer for approximately 2 hours, checking the level of water. Add salt to taste. You can of course use a conventional saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. In that case, you should simmer the lentils in the rougaille for about 1 hour all up.