Taste Mauritian cuisine inspired by India

Borrowed, mixed and gorgeousThree words perfectly describe the delicious cuisine in Mauritius. With an intriguing look at Indian recipes and spices, the street food of the African island nation is a treat for food lovers.

In a beautiful ‘melting pot’ of culinary flavors and presentations, pakoras becomes jatoh pimientes (chili cakes), parathas are fratas, back is milk-based falooda, and mithai gets a new makeover.

Just like the nation’s mixed cultural heritage, Mauritian cuisine is a wonderful blend of Indian, French, Creole and Chinese flavors brought to the kitchens by European colonizers from South Asia. Although there is no original or distinctive style to describe a distinctly Mauritian way of cooking, many of the dishes consumed on the island have evolved as the diverse population came together as a community.

“Some of the most popular items served by local families in Mauritius at weddings or birthday parties are the fratas with seven-course curries and biryani,” said Chef Sukh Jit Singh Dhillon, Indian chef at Sofitel Mauritius Lumberreal Resort & Spa. “If you ask any MauritianOf European, African or Asian descentFor their favorite food, they would all choose a good spicy curry with fratas.”

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“Mauritian cuisine owes a lot of Indian spices and flavours. Indian food here is not limited to Hindu families. All restaurants in Mauritius serving local cuisine will include Indian dishes.”

According to the nation’s history, the islands in the Indian Ocean were occupied by Portuguese, French and colonial governments who bought slaves from South Asian and African countries to turn Mauritius into a sugar plantation colony. Over the years, some of the most popular nutrients here have evolved and taken inspiration from original recipes, whose roots can be traced back to the northern and southern states of India.

With an interesting mix of accents and international exposure, many recipes of Indian origin have been transformed into interesting versions of culinary fusing with exotic French names such as gateau, boulette (Mauritian dumplings), sept cari (seven curry) and more.

Some of the must-try foods in Mauritius that will remind you of home-cooked Indian meals are chili pancakes or gateaux, made using different fillings such as soaked lentils, onions, cassava and potatoes, and served with a coconut or gardening (pickled vegetables) chutney.

Roti chowd (Mauritian flat bread) and faratas are versions of the famous Indian bread served with seven curries, seafood and chicken curry. A sept curry usually consists of lima or bean curry, dal, rugail (a keema-like dish made of ground meat and vegetables), pumpkin, chocho (chout) and banana curry.

Various types of fried rice, egg fried rice known as Bol Renverse, and a modified version of Hyderabadi biryani are also popular choices. One can also find haleem here consumed as a soup.

Coconut rice cakes called Poutou are prepared like pita and steam cakes. Served with milk, basil seeds, syrup, and a scoop of ice cream, Alouda is very popular with tourists and locals alike.

(The writer is a freelance journalist, freelance thinker, and avid traveler)