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
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
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
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!
Boulette – Savoury
Steamed balls made with chayote or even with fish served in a soup. Very popular with locals.
Mine frit – Savoury
Fried noodles in a ‘Mauritian style’, served with beef or chicken.
Briani – Savoury
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’!!!
Poutou – Sweet
Steamed ground rice, coated with desiccated coconut.
Poudine Mais – Sweet
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
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
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
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
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
Translated 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
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?