Top 15 Street Food to Enjoy in Mauritius

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: holidays.airmauritius.com

Mauritius has inherited from the cuisines of both its colonisers and its immigrants. It took from all these cuisines to become what is known today as the ‘Mauritian Cuisine’. The local food here is a real potpourri: Indian dishes, Chinese and Japanese dishes, Italian food, etc – all of them cooked with a ‘Mauritian twist’.

Dholl puri also called Dal Puri – Savoury

Mauritius street food

A flatbread stuffed with yellow split peas (Daal) and usually eaten with lima beans curry, some rougaille (tomatoes braised in oil, onions, thyme, garlic/ginger, salt) and some chillis. There are many ‘dal puri’ vendors on the street and it is sold at affordable prices.

 

 

 

 

 

Gateau Piment – Savoury

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: Global Table Adventure

Called ‘chilli cakes’, these are in fact, daal cakes! They are made with yellow split peas, ground into a paste and mixed with chilli, salt, spring onion, shaped into balls and fried in hot oil. It can also be eaten with bread as a ‘light’ lunch.

 

 

 

 

Halim – Savoury  

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: Cannelle et Cardamome

A soup, made with lentils, spices, beef or mutton, and some wheat. Sometimes, yellow split peas are also added and this soup; it can be eaten with some bread and chilli paste!

 

 

 

 

Boulette­Savoury

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: l’express.mu

Steamed balls made with chayote or even with fish served in a soup. Very popular with locals.

 

 

 

Mine frit – Savoury

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: recette-ile-maurice.com

Fried noodles in a ‘Mauritian style’, served with beef or chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

Briani – Savoury

Mauritius Street Food

Tash Briyani from Perth

Traditional rice dish, made usually with beef, chicken and fish. It can also be made with lamb, mutton or other meat products, or even with only vegetables. Unlike the ‘Indian’ briani, the Mauritian one is not too spicy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macatia coco – Sweet

A sweet bun filled with coconut and sugar. Macatia coco is usually sold by a vendor on a bike and who calls out for customers as he rides by either honking or shouting at the top of his voice “maacaatiaaa cocoooo’!!!

Mauritius Street Food

 

 

 

 

 

Poutou – Sweet

Steamed ground rice, coated with desiccated coconut.

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: recette-il-maurice.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poudine Mais – Sweet

Mauritius Street Food

Mais means corn and ‘poudine’ is a pudding. ‘Poudine Mais’ is Corn powder cooked with some water and sugar; raisins and desiccated coconut can be added.

 

 

Gateau Patate – Sweet

Mauritius street food

Mum in law’s Gateau Patate

A sweet potato fritter made by boiling sweet potato, crushing it and mixing it to some flour; then the ‘dough’ is flattened and cut into round shapes. The ‘circles’ are filled with desiccated coconut and sugar, then folded to form semi-circles and fried in hot oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confits – Savoury

Mauritius street food

Photo: ibolo.mu

Unlike the French confit, the Mauritian ‘confit’ consists of fruits like mango, pineapple, tamarind kept for a few days in some water and vinegar with salt. This is usually eaten with chilli salt and/or chilli paste. And trust me, it is chilli hot!

 

 

 

 

Napolitaine – Sweet

Mauritius Street food

Photo: mysweetmauritius.blogspot.co.uk

Unique to Mauritius, the ‘Napolitaine’ forms part of what the locals call “Gateau Francais” — French cakes. These are in fact french pastries but adapted to the local taste.

Very easy to make, Napolitaines consist of two shortbread biscuits sandwiched together with some jam and covered with pink icing sugar. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gateau de l’huile – Savoury

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: indian-ocean.com

Fritters made by coating vegetables with ground chickpeas (besan flour) and deep frying in oil. Popular ones are made using sliced potatoes, bread, aubergine. Gateau de l’huile (oil cakes) also include gateau piment and samoosas.

 

 

 

Gateau Doux – Sweet

Mauritius Street FoodTranslated as ‘sweet cakes’, these are sweets usually made with gram flour, milk powder, condensed milk, sugar and almond, rose, or vanilla essence. Some popular ‘gateau doux’ are ‘Mawa Samoosa’, ‘barfi’, ‘laddoo’, ‘gulab jamun’, ‘rasgoulla’, ‘sutalfine’.

 

 

Alouda – Sweet

Mauritius Street Food

Photo: ailgingembre.blogspot.com

Sweet milk flavoured with rose syrup and served chilled with some tukmaria seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are numerous other street food in Mauritius like the ‘Poudine Vermicelle’ (Vermicelli Pudding), the ‘Poudine Manioc’ (Tapioca Pudding), ‘Merveille’, ‘Gateau Arouille’ among others.

Do you know any other popular Mauritian street food?

 

Advertisements

Fancy an Immersion into Art and Culture? Head to Katara Cultural Village.

Katara

KataraOne word to describe Katara Cultural Village: charming! What’s striking when you first lay eyes on the village is the architecture. It’s very different from Doha’s city centre which has so many modern skyscrapers with all different shapes. Katara is … charming!

In around 150 A.D. Qatar was known as ‘Catara’ and then later ‘Katara’, hence the name of the cultural village. The buildings and facilities have been built in a way to remind of the Qatari cultural heritage and traditional architecture; when you are there you feel you are walking in alleyways of the olden days. No skyscrapers, no modern buildings with glass exteriors. Some of the buildings have a shallow water canal flowing around them, just like it used to be long ago, when this system was used to keep the surroundings cool in warm weather. Very calm and relaxing.

The village houses heritage centres, libraries, art galleries, an opera house, cafes, restaurants, an amphitheatre, a drama theatre, a beach and several other facilities. You will also find many organisations and societies in Katara, such as: Qatari Society for Engineers, Qatar Fine Arts Society, Qatar Photographic Society, Qatar Music Academy and Theatre Society, Visual Art Centre, Childhood Cultural Centre. Katara Cultural Village prides itself to become “the largest and the most multidimensional cultural project of Qatar”.

It is a place where people come together to experience the cultures of the world. With beautiful theatres, concert halls, exhibition galleries and cutting-edge facilities, Katara aims to become a world leader for multi-cultural activities. — Katara.net

It all sounds a bit hyperbolic but a few snaps of the master plan proves that this vision is well set on its path to become reality.

katara

katara

katara

Katara masterplan

Credit: All Master plan photos by Omar Chatriwala

Accordingly to Katara’s masterplan, only phase I has been completed; phase II is under way; Phases III and IV are yet to be executed.

Some Highlights

(1) The Gold Mosque: Stunning

A mosque covered with beautiful gold coloured mosaic tiles.

(2) Al Jazeera Café: Interesting Concept

You can enjoy some nice food in the café after choosing on the menu app from its tablets! You can also read the news from a teleprompter, edit your final recording and bring it home!

(3) The Amphitheatre: Unbelievably beautiful

Katara

I love the amphitheatre. It is pure beauty. It looks like it comes straight from Greece! With the seating capacity of 5000 people, events held there will be surely grand.

(4) The Beach: Appealing but Pricey

You have to pay to get access to the beautiful beach where you can enjoy various water sports. You could go for a Gondola ride or if you fancy a whole day at the beach, you could rent an air-conditioned tent for the day. All quite pricey.

(5) Numerous Restaurants: Yummy

Parisian, Italian, Egyptian, Indian, Turkish and Armenian cuisines plus a specialised seafood restaurant.

(6) Chapati and Karak:  A Great Favourite

Karak comes from the Indian language meaning strong and refers to the strong tea, truck drivers used to have when they stopped on the side of the road in between their long distance drives. Karak is a spicy sweet tea and is a must have just like the sweet or plain chapati (bread) made with whole-wheat flour.

Karaks and chapatis are well known in Doha and are a ‘must-try’.

One or a couple of visits to Katara is not enough to see everything the village has to offer. I will have to go back; hopefully to attend an event or just for some more karak and more snaps.

The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha: a Piece of Sculpture.

MIA doha

Photo Credit: Dezeen Magazine

I wondered what this building could be: an old fort? A palace? A government building? It is sand coloured and looked more like a one big block formed by many smaller superimposed blocks to me. What could it be? I only understood its beauty when I visited the Museum of Islamic Art (M.I.A), designed by I.M.Pei, the same architect who designed well known structures like L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington DC, Miho Museum, Japan, the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum, France.

From far, it looks like a few blocks but on approaching the building, you will see more specific forms: the shape of the bridge, the arched windows, and the dome itself. The sand coloured M.I.A is built of limestone from France, granite from the United States, stainless steel from Germany and architectural concrete from Qatar.

MIA Doha

Photo: Dezeen Magazine

MIA Doha

Photo: Dezeen Magazine

The structure is a powerful Cubist composition of square and octagonal blocks stacked atop one another and culminating in a central tower. An esplanade of giant palm trees leads to the island. Inside the museum, 41,000 square feet of galleries are organised around a towering atrium capped by a dome, with a narrow beam of light descending from its central oculus. – The New York Times.

According to The New York Times, I.M.Pei wanted to create a ‘building’, which would reflect the “essence of Islamic architecture”. He travelled a lot and did much research to finally come up with the structure of the MIA.

Islam was one religion I did not know, Mr. Pei said in an interview. So I studied the life of Muhammad [p.b.u.h]. I went to Egypt and Tunisia. I became very interested in the architecture of defense, in fortifications. […] The architecture is very strong and simple. There is nothing superfluous. — The New York Times

What I.M.Pei says reflects exactly what I thought when I first laid eyes on the museum; when you look at the building you see something very simple but it is much more than that. Moreover, the musueum has been built on a stand-alone island on The Corniche, created only for it as per I.M.Pei’s request; he didn’t want any future construction to stand in the view of his unique creation.

MIA Doha

View of the Atrium from the 2nd floor

MIA Doha

Photo: Dezeen Magazine

From outside, one cannot imagine the beauty and immense treasures the museum hides inside. When you walk in, you are immediately struck by the huge size of the atrium, the endless marble spiral staircase and of course the unique circular ceiling light. (Wouldn’t that be a piece of art too?). There is a vast collection of objects on display, some dating from the 7th century. It was interesting to learn that Qatar has deep links to the Persian Culture, to the Safavid and Mughal empires among others. There are also unique pieces from India, China, Egypt, Syria and other countries. I saw some antique pieces which I couldn’t have guessed existed: an old key of the door of the ‘Kaabah’, ancient scriptures of the Quran (written around 7th/early 8th century), ancient tapestry, some pieces of clothes used in ancient times, an Indian jade pendant which belonged to Shah Jahan (the one who built the Taj Mahal for his wife), gold coins and royal seals.

An ‘object’ which really impressed me was a copy of the ‘Shahnameh’, also known as ‘The Book of Kings’. It was written more than one thousand years ago by the Iranian poet, Ferdowsi. It is a long epic poem and considered as the world’s longest epic poetry written by one single poet and also considered as a masterpiece due to its influence on both the Persian language and the Persian culture. Now, to the teacher and poetry lover like myself, this was quite significant! The colours and pictures on display are really amazing and worth seeing.

MIA Doha

Photo: MIA

After a full immersion in Islamic art, you can relax at the M.I.A café which offers a stunning view on the Gulf Sea. The café was designed by the French Phillipe Starck (known for designing Steve Jobs’ yacht and hotels all over the world) and is simple elegance. The staff is professional and the food is exquisite. Children are also well looked after. Finally, you can browse all the items and books for sale in the gift shop. You may find something to your taste. Well … I did.

The entry to the museum is free; there are many parking spaces, free WiFi and free guided tours every Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. and every Saturday at 4 p.m. The museum also organises activities for families which you can find on its website. Once you visit it, may be you too will think like I.M.Pei: the Musueum of Islamic Art itself is “a piece of sculpture”.