Mauritian cuisine native to the Indian, African, French and Chinese roots brings along endless aromas, spicy flavours and colourful dishes. The multi-cultural society of Mauritius has brought a lot of culinary diversities to the dining table, making the Mauritian food a never ending gastronomic and aromatic experience that will tickle your taste buds, flirt with your senses of smell, tease your sight and satisfy your tummy. Here are a few examples of the variety that you will meet while visiting Mauritius!
The Indian pancake-styled flat bread…aka rotis or dholl-puri.
Walking the charming streets of Mauritius, it is without any doubt that you will come across the local street food while staying or even living in Mauritius. Local women in small stands and huts alongside roads, public beaches and street corners are serving and selling homemade roti, dhol-puri and faratas, an indescribable, tasty Indian pancake-styled flatbread accompanied with different curries, spices and veggies. You will get them freshly made enjoying them right on the spot, a la Mauritian style, and many places you will be able to buy a sweet local made tamarin juice to go along with the spicy flavours and curry aromas. A “mari bon” experience as the local would say! The roti or dhol puri has its origin from Bihar in the northern part of India and is a very integrated dish in the Mauritian cuisine and street food. Book the Port Louis Street Food Tour
Samousa and Gateau Piment – the snacks over all snacks!
While the rotis and dhol-puri are amongst the local favourites, the Indian-Mauritian cuisine offers many other delicious dishes that will appeal to your taste buds. Samosas and gateau piment, the snacks over all snacks! A snack that is highly appreciated amongst locals as well as foreigner visiting the country and easily available on every street corners and snack shops. It is “the go to” snack when the silent hunger is creeping up on you and often they are served before a meal as a light starter and taste buds teaser. The samosas and gateau piment is originated from India and is a rooted part of the Mauritian food sharing. Visiting a local family for dinner or joining a local BBQ you are guaranteed that you will try either one of the snacks. The samosa is a fried or baked dish with a savoury filling, such as spiced and boiled potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, tuna, chicken or mince not to forget the curry powder and refined herbs. They are shaped in a triangular shape and fried until light brown often served with chili or a nice mint and coriander chutney locally called a “satini cotomili.” The Gateau Piment, consist of, as the name rightly indicates “piment” in other words, chili and therefore also known as “Chili Cakes”. The Mauritian people not only enjoy this tasty snack during the day, they actually eat it for breakfast often in a white round bread with butter and cheese and a banana on the side. Old School Mauritian breakfast at its best! The Chili cakes are made of yellow split peas and seasoned with chilies and coriander and gently fried until light brown. They are as the samosa available in almost all food corners and snack shops.
Local Rougaile, Curries and Briyani – spice it up.
The Mauritian culinary experience is wide and should you ever visit a restaurant or even a local family while staying in Mauritius we advise you to try the beloved Mauritian Rougaile! A super tasty dish that many Mauritian enjoy during the day or for dinner. This typical dish is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and herbs like thyme and coriander and is often cooked with “poisson sale,” salted fish, and served as a side dish with other curries, but if you are not a salted fish lover, there will be many other varieties of the rougaile to choose from, such as peas, soya, fish, shrimp, meat, sausages and many others. You can also find the rougaile while ordering your roti or dhol-puri! Rougaile is only one out of many tasteful dishes and you will cheat yourself if you don’t try the Indian-Mauritian curries whether it is a Chicken Curry (Carri Masala poule), Lima Beans Curry (Masala Grois Pois), Beef and Bitter Gourd Curry (Carri Masala Mangoz) and many other curry variations. If you wish to try a local signature dish the Indian-Mauritian Briyani is calling for you - a very tasty meal made with basmati rice, lots of herbs and spices for the flavour, potatoes and beef, chicken or seafood. The flavourful Briyani is very well known to the Muslim community in Mauritius who specializes in it and offers it across the island – but you better be quick, the Briyani is sold out fast once it has been cooked!
The best of the Chinese-Mauritian cuisine
As Mauritius is composed of different cultures and different culinary roots you will also be able to find the Chinese cuisine that offers the famous and highly appreciated Boulettes also known as dumplings which are steamed balls made of meat, chicken, tofu, shrimps, or vegetables and served in a clear stock garnish with fresh chives and sometimes eaten with fried or boiled noodles. You can find them everywhere in Mauritius and a local tip is to spice it up with freshly made chili or even a sweet chili sauce! Book the China Town Food Tour
Chili Fruit Salad, Alouda and refreshing coconut water
Speaking off chili! Mauritians love chili! The local Fruit Salads is a unique experience but requires that you love chili. (you may get it without chili if you ask but then you’ve missed the point.) The salad consists of sliced fruits like pineapples, mangos, red guavas, olives and cucumber which is served with chilies and tamarind sauce and often enjoyed as a day snack. This type of salad is favourable amongst locals and can be found at popular street corners, vegetables sellers, markets and small snack stores. At the Central Market of Port Louis, you will for sure find the unique fruit salad not to forget the local drink called “Alouda” which is a pink sweet milky beverage with tapioca seeds, flavoured syrup and ice cream. A cool milkshake’ish beverage that is lovely to enjoy when the sun stays high on the sky and if you in general have a sweet tooth. Another enjoyed beverage amongst locals is the coconut water which is offered freshly from the fruit at markets, vegetable seller and beaches around the island, you may ask your vendor to cut your coconut in half after finishing the coconut water, so that you can enjoy the beneficial and extremely delicious white flesh.
Mauritius offers the whole package for you and your taste buds, go and enjoy the Island’s many culinary experiences and don’t be afraid to eat outside high class restaurants, it is often at the street food sellers and small local restaurants that you get the real and authentic taste of the local cuisine.