Every country has their own food specialities, Spain has Paella, Italy pizza, America burgers, Holland Stamppot, etc. When looking at the Mauritian cuisine, we can feel the multicultural influence of the country. It has an incredibly rich and diverse food culture, infused with influences from its mélange of inhabitants (Creole, French, Chinese and Indian people). The Mauritius language and religion is a mix of all of these influences, melting together, as is the Mauritius traditional food. Read below for an overview of the Local Mauritian Delicacies.
No holiday is complete without trying one of these delicious Mauritian foods and drinks. It is considered one of the great Creole cuisines and is famous for its exciting street food scene. Delve in and enjoy the goodness.
Don’t stay in your resort when you visit Mauritius – get out and explore the island and its amazing food. Below is a list of some tantalising Mauritian delicacies and drinks:
Top 10 Local Mauritian Delicacies
1. Dholl puri / Roti / Faratha
If Mauritius had a national dish, this would probably be it. The roti is an unleavened flat bread made with oil, flour, salt and water served warm with a choice of toppings from ‘rougaille’ a Mauritian creole sauce of rich tomatoes, thyme, chilli and coriander, butterbean curry ‘cari gros pois’ and ‘satini’ a raw chilli chutney either green or red (green is mint and coriander and red is red chilli and tomato). Dholl Puri are what all Mauritians dream of when they leave the island, it is made in a similar way to roti with the addition of turmeric and yellow split peas (chana dal) which is ground and placed in the middle of the dough and rolled out so thin like a crepe. These are also served with the same condiments but are always served as in pairs as one is never enough!
The best place to eat a Dholl Puri is at Dewa in Rose-Hill or Mimosa in Port-Louis, they both serve up the best, the most thin and most tasty dholl puri on the island. This delicious treat is a must-try for anyone visiting the island. And, if you’re worried about prices in Mauritius, this kind of street food is easy to find in Port Louis, and cheap too!
Port Louis market is one of the best places to try alouda, a traditional, sweet Mauritian drink derived from the original Indian falooda. This wildly popular beverage is made from milk flavoured with a syrup such as strawberry, raspberry or vanilla, with added sweet basil seeds and agar agar for texture. Be sure to sip it poured over plenty of ice for a sweet refreshing burst of energy after a morning’s shopping.
3. Gateau Piment
Crispy on the outside and soft as snow on the inside, these tiny balls of fried chilli goodness are an iconic street food of Mauritius. Chana dal (split peas) is mixed with spring onion, turmeric, and chilli and served on a warm baguette with a drizzle of hot sauce.
They are so addictive so when you have one you’ll want 10! Mauritians love to get a fresh warm baguette and add some butter to it then take a few hot gateaux piment with a drizzle of hot sauce, this is the perfect afternoon snack if your peckish. These are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! This snack is very popular in Mauritius and is easily found in almost all food corners.
4. Mine Frite
Mine frite (fried noodles) is another popular street food that you can get in most of the beach stalls or stalls along the streets. It is a really simple dish of fried noodles with a soy-sauce, mostly topped off with spring onions, chili and some vegetables, You can choose to add chicken, egg, shrimps etc to your Mine Frite if you like! As it’s a Chinese-influenced dish, the best place to eat mine frite is, unsurprisingly in Chinatown, at a street stall. It has a subtle flavour, a hint of sweetness and a lot of cooling down power.
This is a classic celebration dish brought over to Mauritius by the Indo-Muslim community, a dish made up of rice, chicken/fish or lamb with potatoes, peas and lots of spices but what gives it the classic flavour is fried onions and saffron. The ‘briani’ you find in Mauritius are served up in extra large ‘dexi’ which is the Mauritian creole word for ‘cooking pot’ and these briani pots are usually sealed up with roti (bread) dough to keep all the moisture inside when cooking to ensure the rice is fragrant and fluffy and steamed all the way through.
6. Ananas Confi (Victoria Pineapples)
These aren’t just any regular pineapples. The tropical plant found in Mauritius is like no other. Devoured in sweetness and succulent juices, a Victoria pineapple is ideally eaten by the sandy beaches or as a special treat after dinner. We serve this with a sweet tamarind sauce with some chilli and it’s then placed into a small plastic bag and given a shake. This is a wonderful assault on the senses as the flavour is sweet, sour, salty and hot and it’s the perfect refresher in the tropical heat.
Don’t leave Mauritius without drinking from a coconut. It may sound tropical-island-cheesy (and it probably is) but it’s also so tasty and not something you find at home much. And coconut water is deliciously refreshing. Like the pineapples, the best place to find coconuts is on the beach – buy one from a beach vendor, sip it dry and get a photo of yourself (nothing says ‘I’m on holiday on a tropical island’ like drinking a coconut on the beach) before taking it back to the vendor to cut up so you can eat the flesh.
8. Boulet (dim sum)
Do you like the Chinese Dim Sum? Then you would definitely love Boulet! Boulet are dumplings that are served in a lot of different ways, boulet chicken, shrimp, vegetarian etc. They will be served in a light bouillon so it is like dim sum in a light soup. They are sometimes eaten with fried or boiled noodles. You can find them everywhere in Mauritius but certainly those from ‘Ti couloirs’ or the ‘Fabrice’ eatery in Grand Bay have the best taste!
9. Vindaye Poisson (Fish Vindaye)
You can’t visit an island without tasting some of its fresh seafood. In fact, it’s hard to miss out on it. Mauritian cuisine is very much centered around fish, especially in its curries and stews. Influenced by the traditional Indian dish, Vindaloo, Vindaye is a pickled fish drowning in delicious spices like turmeric, mustard & vinegar. Make sure to eat it with rice, lentils or chutneys on the side – you’re guaranteed a party in your mouth.
10. Gajak (The Mauritius ‘Tapas’)
Do you want a quick, cheap although very good snack? Try some Gajak! Gajak is a simple snack that is mostly fried. Gajak include things like Samoosas, Gateau aubergine, cassava chips or gateau patate. All this types of Gajak can be eaten with chilli! Gajak is mostly being sold from the back of a motorbike or at the stalls along the streets/beach! They’re battered in chickpea flour and flavoured in herbs and chilli. You’re licking your lips, I know.
The best food markets in Mauritius
Port Louis Central Market
Address: Corderie Street, Port Louis, Mauritius
When to go: Get there in the morning before 9 am to avoid the crowds
Rose Hill Market
Address: Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, Mauritius
When to go: Anytime during daytime
Address: Central Flacq, Mauritius
When to go: Wednesdays and Sundays
More attractions in the South of Mauritius