Mauritian street food: dhal puri

Street food mauritius

Across Europe and North America, the rise in popularity of street food has been stratospheric, with food trucks, markets and pop-up restaurants appearing on the hippest corners of every major city.

Mauritian street food, photographed by Ishay Govender-Ypma

Tapping into the new Western appetite for a different kind of global fast food, these outlets take great inspiration from the long-standing tradition of street food in Asia and Africa, where the concept of instant nourishment is centuries old.

In fact, here in Mauritius we boast a remarkable variety of street food, due to our unique blend of Indian, African, Chinese, French and British influences.But a certain dish has long been at the top of our list…

Dhal puri – what’s that?

It’s known as the national street food of Mauritius, but what exactly is dhal puri? This pancake-style flatbread of Bihari origin comes stuffed with cooked yellow split peas which have been blended and seasoned with turmeric and cumin – a savoury treat so simple and convenient, it’s the most popular on-the-go snack in Mauritius by far.

How do you serve it?

You’ll find dhal puri on almost every street corner, always served in pairs, and rolled up with bean curry, atchar (a type of South Asian pickle) and various chutneys – or sometimes with a ladleful of Rougaille Mauricien; a spicy tomato-based sauce made with spring onions, garlic, pepper and ginger. You can even eat it sweet, using the dhal puri to mop up luscious mouthfuls of kheer: a rich and creamy rice pudding topped with almonds, sultanas, pistachios and cardamom seeds.

Mauritian street food

Finding the best dhal puri street stalls

Dhal puri is a true Mauritian tradition, so don’t miss a chance to try it for yourself. Just look for the street stalls with the longest queues – it’s the most reliable way to spot an authentic, high quality vendor. Look for the way it’s being prepared too. Some stalls will have several people involved in the cooking process.

To produce a high volume of dhal puris in as short a time as possible, the process needs to run like a military operation, so you’ll often see different people handling different tasks: someone to roll out the dough balls into paper-thin discs, another to heat them over the tawa or griddle, and another to dish up the fillings, ready to roll up and serve. Best of all, you get to see exactly what you’re about to eat being freshly prepared before your eyes.

It’s a great value, unpretentious and mouthwateringly delicious Mauritian experience.

Photos: Food and the Fabulous

This post is also available in: French

14 COMMENTS 14 COMMENTS
  1. […] 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 […]

  2. […] précédent certaines spécialités mauriciennes, notamment le célèbre plat de rue appelé dhal puri, mais une des meilleures façons de découvrir la cuisine mauricienne est peut-être de se rendre […]

  3. […] butchers skilfully carving different cuts, and the street food sellers dishing up delectable dhal puris and refreshing glasses of […]

  4. […] written before about the delicious types of street food to discover and sample on your next Mauritius adventure, and some of the markets where they can be […]

  5. […] time to slow down and really appreciate your food, and experiment with new dishes, ingredients, and street food. You could even take part in a cooking class and inspire your friends back […]

  6. […] fruit and vegetables. Sample the delicious flavours of traditionally Mauritian street food like dhal puri or sweet potato cakes, and learn which herbs and spices Mauritians use to flavour their cooking and […]

  7. […] the towns and villages of Mauritius offering much in the way of exciting local cuisine, including delicious street food, authentic Creole kitchens and a host of fabulous restaurants in Port Louis and […]

  8. […] more about Mauritian cuisine in our features on street food favourite dahl puri, how Carri poulé is the secret to great curries, cooking with tea, and a guide to Mauritian […]

  9. […] more about Mauritian cuisine in our features on street food favourite dahl puri, how Carri poulé is the secret to great curries, cooking with tea, and a guide to Mauritian […]

  10. […] Head to one of the many markets in Mauritius to try out some freshly prepared street food like dhal puri, roti chaud or gajak. The island’s diverse blend of Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, French and […]

  11. […] tried dhal puri and goat curry, breakfasted on unusual tropical fruits and even satisfied your sweet tooth with […]

  12. […] avez dégusté le dhal puri et le curry de chèvre, des fruits tropicaux originaux pour le petit déjeuner, et vous avez […]

  13. […] food. This is truly a highlight of any visit to Mauritius with everything from street food (think: dhal puri, alouda and sweet potato cakes, and unusual fruits) to homegrown breweries, fancy French […]

  14. I’ve eaten many different types of Food from street stalls in Mauritius. they were exceptionally delicious.

    Sam Naidoo 3 years ago Reply
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