Smaller Default Larger

Langouste in Creole Gastronomy MauritiusRice is the basic carbohydrate component and tomato the most popular ingredient. It goes in just about all the sauces. In fact. it is said of somebody who gets involved in a great variety of activities that he is a 'pomme d'amour" (love apple), which is the local name given to the small tomatoes in Romantic Mauritius! These are used in the famous "Rougail" -which is derived from the words Roux (brown) & Ail (garlic)... the browning of the garlic sauce in hot oil. The sauce comprises onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and tomatoes. of course. It can accompany any sort of meat or seafood. (See recipe in insert).

The Vindaye, although written with a different orthography than Rougail, in Mauritius, is derived from Vin (Wine) & All (Garlic), Vin d'Ail or Garlic Flavoured wine vinegar. The early settlers found this an excellent way to preserve meat or fish. Wine vinegar is mixed with ginger, garlic, green turmeric, red peppers, mustard oil and small onions. All these are fried in oil and the meat added to it. Food cooked this way can stay preserved for many days even out of the fridge.

For quick snacks, a number of street vendors offer the Indian breads - parathas, puris, dholl purris normally stuffed with a bean curry and a rougail sauce and with or without chilli. This is the most inexpensive meal available in Mauritius and it's no wonder that it is a favourite of the population. They are even exported to Paris and London.

Off the street one can also buy "Boulettes", Chinese meat and fish balls, steamed and served as a salad or with soup. Steamed or fried noodles. Indian spicy cakes... chilli cakes, samosas, potato or aubergine slices fried in a more or less light batter. Muslim soup... halim and their famous biryani... a rice dish with delicate flavoured spices around pieces of meat or fish. And the south Indian soup... rasson... a definitely "wake-me-up" for those mornings after the night before! Watch out for some vendors who do not care about health regulations, though.