The fusion of Indian, African, Chinese and European cuisine
The Mauritian cuisine is well known for its amalgamation of Indian, African, Chinese and European cuisine. The wide variety of dishes of the Mauritian cuisine is a reflection of its cultural heritage of Mauritius. Be it veg or non-veg menus you will always discover unique combinations of ingredients that will water your mouth and tempt you to eat the plate!
For majority of Mauritians rice is the staple diet which is also the main feature of the creole cuisine. It is eaten simply fried (fried rice) containing a mixture of fried vegetables such as carrot, baby corn, cabbage, soya bean or tofu, or most commonly rice is eaten alongside with separately cooked vegetables that include bredes (a variety of spinach), chutneys, pickles and rougaille (made of tomatoes and onions sautéed with garlic, thyme, ginger and chilli). Meat or a sea food ingredient can also be included in the rougaille. Vindaye poisson is a common preparation of fish which combines vinegar, saffron, garlic and other spices. It is commonly eaten with rice but many also enjoy it with roti (thin wheat bread). Throughout the year a whole variety of vegetables are available as ingredients for Mauritian dishes.
Biryani is another famous Indian dish with rice as its main ingredient. It consists of delicately spiced potato and meat in a yoghurt based sauce. If not in the hotel, you can taste a biryani plate in the many small ‘snacks’ as you pass through the villages. Visiting a market fare is the best occasion to taste local delicacies at one go. At one spot you will find many vendors of gateau piment (round fried dholl mixture containing chilli), bhajias (fried spicy batter), gateau patate (fried mixture of sweet potato and coconut) and dholl puree. Dholl puree is a thin pancake containing ground dholl inside. It is normally served with a spread of tomato chutney and is sold in pairs. In the capital, especially during lunch time, you will notice people queuing near dholl puree vendors and many standing in the shadow and appreciating the pancake together with a glass of lemonade.