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Mauritian Cuisine

Restaurant of Mauritius Island

Mauritius cuisine is a blend of Chinese, African, Indian and European influences, a reflection of its multi-cultural population and history. A great many dishes and culinary traditions were inspired through the ages by former slaves, Indian labourers and Chinese migrants as well as European colonists, including tomato based rougailles, curries, daubes (stews), and fried rice or noodles to name just a few. Most ingredients can be locally sourced with a great selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, including of the exotic variety, available from local markets and supermarkets, as well as locally grown meat, chicken and fresh fish from the surrounding sea. With the superb gastronomic range available in Mauritius there is sure to be a dish to delight even the most demanding of gourmets!

Indian cuisine in Mauritius is influenced by the mountainous north of India with its Persian roots providing the aromatic Basmati rice popular throughout the island, to the subtropical south, where Portuguese influences are evident, giving rise to the no meal passes without freshly baked bread, usually flattened and in plate size form. Chinese cuisine whose exclusive aim is to accentuate the specific flavours of the dishes and by ingenious spicing to delicately underline them.

Chinese food in the Indian Ocean

Chinese cuisine in Mauritius has evolved into a speciality of its own but is clearly influenced by a variety of traditional Chinese cuisines, often with different regions of Mauritius adopting a particular style. In the south of the island you can often find Cantonese cuisine with its thin, clear sauces and delicate aromas that reflect the subtle flavours. The central and western regions favour Sichuan cuisine with the rich and spicy flavours with generous lashings of chilli, garlic and bean paste that produces hot dishes with a strong taste. The eastern coastal areas love adding sugar to most dishes, with subtle seasoning that is aromatic but not hot and spicy.

Indian food flavours of Mauritius

When Indian workers were brought to Mauritius, they brought their cuisine with them and since they came from different regions in India, traces of both southern and northern Indian cuisine can be found on the island. From mountainous northern India with its Persian influences, aromatic Basmati rice is a popular staple of the Mauritian diet and thanks to Portuguese influences on Indian cuisine to the subtropical south, freshly baked bread and rotis and naans are never far from the Mauritian table.

Langouste in Creole Gastronomy MauritiusThe Creole cuisine of Mauritius is not dissimilar to that of the other islands of the Indian Ocean like Seychelles and Reunion, or even of the Caribbean and Louisiana in the USA, thanks to the common African heritage. Rice is often the basic carbohydrate component of Creole food and tomatoes the most popular ingredient in accompanying dishes, that inevitably are sauce based. Tomatoes are the base for one of the national dishes of Mauritius, the rougaille, which is derived from the words rouge (red) and ail (garlic), implying the mixing of tomatoes and garlic. The sauce also includes onions, ginger, chillies and coriander and meat, chicken, eggs, or seafood can be added to it, or it can be eaten plain or with peas.