Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Mauritius Food Blog
The Guide To Mauritius Food
By Lakaz Maman Mauritian Street Food Restaurant
I must make a quick admission that this is by no means an exhaustive list but is a quick fire guide to all the Mauritian Street Food dishes that you must try when you are on the island. On top of this the list there are the curries, the boulette soup, the dim sum, the teas, the sugar, the vanilla and of course the rum, but for me this is a quick guide that will give you an overview of the street food style of the Island.
Anana Confit is found across the island typically using Victoria Pineapples which are unbelievably sweet and addictive. We serve these cut in a classic way which is like a helter skelter design which is masterfully carved out by the street sellers using large machete type knives as all the skin and eyes are removed from the pineapple leaving the sweet and fragrant fruit behind the leafy top left on as decoration. We serve this with a sweet tamarind sauce with some chilli and it’s then placed into a small plastic bag and given a shake. This is a wonderful assault on the senses as the flavour is sweet, sour, salty and hot and it’s the perfect refresher in the tropical heat.
This is synonymous with the island and even though you will find plenty of street food dishes around the world similar to this, I’ve not been able to find an exact dish anywhere else in the way it is presented. The ‘Bol Renverser’ is similar to a chop suey sauce made with oyster sauce and soy sauce served with a choice of meat and seafood my preference is chicken and prawn, served with a sunny side up, or over easy egg. It is prepared in a bowl with the egg placed first, then the chop suey base and then the rice and presented to the customer upside down - hence the origin of the name in creole meaning ‘upside down bowl. At my restaurant in Bedford Place Southampton I serve this as ‘Magic Bowl’ and it’s our biggest seller by far. This dish is best eaten in China Town in Port Louis in a classic Sino-Mauritian Restaurant and if you eat it the way the locals eat it you will have laced it in plenty of chilli sauce or ‘piment crazer’ so the best way to cool down your mouth after this dish is by having ‘la mousse noir’ normally served as a drink or in a little bowl which will cool you down and has a slightly sweet taste to it.
Gateaux Piment are sold throughout the island and they directly translate as ‘chilli cakes’. At the restaurant I always describe these to customers as the Mauritian falafel, although they are made from yellow split peas (chana dal) and soaked overnight and ground up and mixed with spring onion, chilli and some turmeric. They are so addictive so when you have one you’ll want 10! We Mauritians love to get a fresh warm baguette and add some butter to it then take a few hot gateaux piment with a drizzle of hot sauce, this is the perfect afternoon snack if your peckish. We also sometimes eat this for breakfast if you have leftovers from your party the night before!
Now this is a catch all phrase for anything served alongside a drink (alcoholic or soft) generally deep fried but not always! Gajaks include things like samosa’s, our style of bhaji which we call baija using chick pea flour and seasoned with spices. The ‘gajaks’ are usually served anytime as a snack if you are visiting guests or anything that comes before a main meal. The best way to think of it is a variety of snacks quite similar to tapas/pinchos. My favourite of all the gajaks is probably ‘gateaux bringelle’ which is aubergine fritters with chick pea flour and spices, deep fried until golden brown. The aubergine cooks all the way and I love this with a simple green chilli chutney.
This is a classic Sino-Mauritian dish brought to us by the Chinese Mauritian community usually served with a variety of meat of your Chinese and always served alongside a garlic and chive sauce and some hot ‘piment crazer’ a crushed green chilli paste. You will find this served in most street vendors carts but some of the best min frite I usually find is along the beach of Flic en Flac and Belle Mare. It is generally made using yellow wheat noodles that’s why they are a beautiful yellow colour and served with carrots, cabbage and usually a ‘brede’ which is any type of green leaf which could be pumpkin leaf, taro leaf or similar giving it a lovely iron rich flavour.