Mauritius | Melting Pot of Flavours
Often described as the ‘melting pot of flavours’, Mauritius offers a wide variety of food from different cuisines. A number of markets sell global food products in Mauritius. It is interesting to know that there is no distinct Mauritian food; the island was uninhabited until the Portuguese found it on their voyage through the Indian Ocean. With colonial governments turning Mauritius into a plantation colony, slaves from and indentured servants from South Asia and swaths of Africa were brought to work in them. Eventually, voluntary migration also took place. Over the generations, their cuisines also got mixed into a Creole. It is clearly evident that their diverse food is a must-try.
Curries – Popular Mauritian Cuisine
Curries have become a major component in the Mauritian cuisine due to strong Indian influence. They are however different from the traditional Indian curries. The Creole curries have garlic, onion and curry leaves as their base. Often savoured with rice and bread, curries of Mauritius are not too spicy when compared to their Indian counterparts. The octopus curry on near Gris Gris beach will be a delight to your taste buds.
Farata – The Mauritian Version of Parata
Sounds similar to parantha, right? Farata is the Mauritian variety of Indian parantha. It is often eaten with curry or chutney (read more on chutney later). Besides Farata, Roti Chaud is also served with chutney and curry. They are widely sold on the streets alongside all Indian restaurants.
Alouda – Almond Flavoured Faloda
Sounds familiar again? Alouda is the variant of Indian Falooda. It is either pink or green in colour and is made by dissolving agar agar( which is in turn obtained from seaweeds), basil leaves and milk with essence. The best place to try Alouda is Alouda Pillay in Port Louis. It is also sold widely in the central market of Port Louis so that you won’t miss it anyway.
Bois Cheri Tea – Mauritian Chai
Bois Cheri grows black tea, which is later added with imported flavouring substances. After taking a tour of the Bois Cheri tea factory, sit in the Bois Cheri café and enjoy a sip of this black vanilla tea. One great piece of advice- also take stock of Bois Cheri tea from the shop, you will miss the taste for sure.
Dim sums – Momos of Mauritius
Dim sums are a part of the Sino-Mauritian cuisine. All Chinese restaurants in Mauritius serve dim sums. They are small bite-sized portions of vegetables or meat. Dim sums are wrapped in dough, or steamed and fried. They are often served with chutneys. Don’t you find it similar to the Momos sold in your street? Momos and Dimsums are in fact the same dish. Momo is the Tibetan name for Dim sums of China. Some Chinese restaurants in Port Louis will quench your hunger for Dim sums.
Mauritian Biryani – A Hyderabadi Variant of Biriyani
Apart from being another Indian dish, Mauritian biryani is very similar to Hyderabadi Biryani. The flavoured rice is made with a huge list of spices, long-grained Basmati rice and yoghurt. Also, potatoes are placed at the bottom to prevent the rice from burning or sticking to the vessel. Le Tandoor, near Grand Bay, is touted as the best place to enjoy Mauritian biryani. Crunchy Socarrat, don’t you love the crust of biryani rice that forms a layer at the bottom of the pan?
Seafood – Mauritian Sea Dish
It is very obvious that an island surrounded by waters has some great seafood in store. Mauritian cuisine is said to be sea-food heavy as it forms a major part in stews and curries and other dishes as well. Crab curry, coriander and chilli fish, fried squid, Vindaye ourite, Vindaye poisson and other seafood based dishes are a must-try. The best seafood of Mauritius is found along the beach roads and in the stalls along the beach. Get ready to eat the fresh catch from waters!
Dholl Puri – Wheat Pancake Stuffed with Ground Peas
Dholl Puri is the best street food of Mauritius. Thin wheat bread is stuffed with ground split peas. It is served with curries, pickle and chutney. It is sold all over the island, and you cannot afford to miss this dish.
Sugar from L’Aventure du Sucre
True, Sugar can never be a dish. For centuries Mauritians used sugar as a currency. Sugar is Mauritius is the most exported commodity of the island. You get to taste all types of sugar manufactured in this island at L’Aventure du Sucre, a sugar museum. You will have to visit this museum to taste variants of sugar for free!
Mithai – An Indian Dish turned Mauritian
Sounds very Indian? If you are a sweet-toothed tourist, Mithais of Mauritius will be a delight to your taste buds. Mithais are sweet and buttery. Bombay sweets Mart, located in Port Louis will let you taste all most of their sweets.
Coconut cakes – A Sweet Dish
Though coconuts are available everywhere, you should not miss drinking from a coconut on a beach in Mauritius. Coconuts are extensively used by Mauritians to make chutneys and cakes. Made from grated coconut and sugar, coconut cakes of Mauritius are delicious cookies. They are called tomahto in Mauritius, though they are not made using tomatoes. Many restaurants in Port Louis sell delicious coconut cakes.
Mine Frites – Fried Noodles
It is another street dish in Mauritius. A fried noodle, this dish is topped with fried onions and chilli. The best place to eat this Chinese food is from any stall in the China town. The noodles are fried in soy sauce; you will love it if you are a fan of Chinese cuisine.
Food in Mauritius is undoubtedly a melting pot of cuisines. With these dishes in your list, your food tour in Mauritius is going to satisfy your taste buds.