We’ve written before about some well known Mauritian specialities including the street food favourite dhal puri, but some of the best insights into Mauritian cuisine can be gained by simply going to the local market of Mauritius and sampling what’s on offer.
Port Louis market is one of the best places to try alouda, a traditional, sweet Mauritian drink derived from the original Indian falooda. This wildly popular beverage is made from milk flavoured with a syrup such as strawberry, raspberry or vanilla, with added sweet basil seeds and agar agar for texture. Be sure to sip it poured over plenty of ice for a sweet refreshing burst of energy after a morning’s shopping.
2. Sweet potato cakes
Another popular Mauritian street food, sweet potato cakes or gateau patates are a delicious snack to try at any time of day. Simply mix boiled and mashed sweet potatoes with flour, cardamom and grated coconut, then add enough oil to form a dough before rolling into small balls and deep frying. Easy enough to replicate at home, the cakes will keep fresh for a couple of days if kept in an airtight container and are one of the most popular sweet treats eaten at Diwali, found in almost every home.
More deep fried pleasure: Gajak are simple hot snacks often served by bicycle vendors in and around the markets of Mauritius, made from strips of vegetables like aubergine, cassava and potato, and battered in chickpea flour with added herbs and chilli. They’re often served with a couple of extremely hot chutneys. Read more about the role of Gajak in Mauritian society over at Beachcomber magazine.
Known to most of us as dim sum, boulet is the Mauritian term for these delectable Cantonese steamed buns and dumplings stuffed full of shrimps, vegetables, pork, chicken and fish. Often served in a rich stock with plenty of chilli, you’ll find boulet at market stalls across the island, as well as in specialist dim sum restaurants.
5. Roti chaud
This favourite snack of on-the-go Mauritians is essentially a roti (an Indian flatbread cooked on a traditional tawa – a flat metal plate) filled with Grois Pois (butter bean curry) and Rougaille (a tomato-based sauce) then rolled into a ‘wrap’ and served with a variety of different chutneys and pickles.
For more on the best local foods to try while you’re here, check out 25 of the best things to eat and drink in Mauritius over at Getaway Magazine.
This post is also available in: French