Travel is all about new experiences. And if you’re anything like us, a major part of any trip is tucking into as many delicious new dishes and flavours as humanly possible.
One of the best destinations for gastronomic delights is Mauritius. You may not know much about Mauritian cuisine, but by rights it should be world-famous.
As Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, its chefs have access to a fantastic range of fresh fish and seafood. They can also take their pick from the juiciest fresh fruits, including mangoes, lychee and Victoria pineapples only found on the island.
This East African gem is also known as a cultural melting pot, which means that its cuisine is richly influenced by Indian, Creole, Indian and Chinese cooking.
Here are just 5 of the many quintessentially Mauritian dishes you absolutely must try if you visit this beautiful island…
Translated as ‘Upside Down Bowl’ in English and known locally as ‘Magic Bowl’, this Chinese influenced dish is ridiculously comforting and moreish. It’s a rice dish made with thick stir-fry sauce, vegetables, and chicken or shrimp. It’s cooked like a chop suey, but during plating each of the ingredients is layered up inside a bowl. This is turned out into what can only be described as lip-smacking, bowl-shaped deliciousness, all topped with a crispy fried egg.
Dholl puri and roti is a staple of many street food stalls and markets in Mauritius, as it’s perfect for a quick, cheap and tasty lunch. The puri is a wheat pancake stuffed with yellow split peas and butter bean or Creole tomato-based Rougaille curry, while the roti is a pancake-like flatbread.
A spicy curried fish dish originating from India, vindaye is cooked with tender chunks of fish or octopus (although you can also find versions with chicken and vegetables). The fish is deep-fried and coated with spices, then cooked with whole shallots and garlic. You’ll mop up every last drop of the delicious sauce with roti, rice or bread.
You can buy these Mauritian-style dim sum on most street food stalls, where they’re best enjoyed hot. They’re tasty steamed dumplings filled with fish, shrimps, chicken or Niouk Yen (steamed meat and a tropical squash-like vegetable called Chayote). Once steamed to perfection, the boulettes are served in a warming broth sprinkled with chillies and spring onions.
Another street food favourite in Mauritius, you’ll want to eat buckets of these lentil and chilli fritters once you’ve tasted them. This popular spicy snack is made from dhal balls, seasoned with chillies and spring onions before being deep-fried to crispy perfection.
Of course, these are only a handful of the many wonderful flavours and dishes in Mauritius. Special shoutouts also have to go to Mine frites fried noodles, Manioc goujons and Daube de poulet fried chicken stew.
If reading this has made you feel utterly ravenous, let’s talk. Get in touch with Blank Canvas to start planning the foodie trip of a lifetime to Mauritius in 2021.