Cuisine of Mauritius
A holiday to Mauritius has countless advantages. Alongside its hot climate, stunning shorelines and friendly locals, the cuisine is a superb blend of historic French influences and distinctive Mauritian flavours that has holidaymakers coming back time and time again.
If you’re planning a Mauritius holiday, it’s a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of what the tastiest treats around will be. We’ve put together a list of some of the classics and less well known kinds of food to be found in Mauritius.
The region's wrap star
As well as its European influences, food in Mauritius also takes plenty of cues from the cuisine of India, as well as a few tricks learned from the Far East.
It means that fusion cuisine is actually the default way to eat on the island, backed up by plenty of homegrown ways to cook that make the flavours sing all the more.
One of the signature dishes of Mauritius is dholl pori. It’s a tasty curry wrap that makes for a fantastic street snack, although you’ll find larger and more filling ones in restaurants dotted across the island.
Dholl pori is one example of how classic Indian dishes have been given a new life on Mauritius.
Because Indian people who moved here couldn’t get hold of their usual flatbreads, they made a whole new one instead with local ingredients. As such, dholl pori is a fried flatbread in which split peas, chutney, curry and more are wrapped up to enjoy.
Surrender to a gajak attack
Deep fried goodness in every morsel is the order of the day for gajak, which forms another robust part of Mauritian street food culture. There’s a wealth of sweet and savoury variations to these bitesize offerings, such as the sweet zing of an eggplant fritter or the hearty, filling flavour of potato fritters.
If you’re really looking for some inventive ways to ignite your palate though, sweet potato cakes are the way forward. That under-appreciated orange champion of the veggie world finds a new lease of life in Mauritius, becoming the principle ingredient in a superb dessert.
Each cake comes filled with a creamy mix of sweet potato with coconut, sugar and cardamom, and the whole thing is deep-fried to lock in the taste.
Food with heart
The similarities to Indian food continue in classic dishes such as biryani, where rustic rice is fused with vegetables, beef, lamb or chicken, then cooked together with creamy yoghurt, spices and saffron.
In fact, curries of every kind warm plates across Mauritius, and chilli is often added to even the most ordinary of dishes, so those of you who like food with real heat are going to love your time spent here.
As far as drinks go, both to beat the heat as much as tackle the spice, Mauritius has plenty to offer. The most tropical of treats is, of course, the chance to drink in the sunshine from half a hollowed coconut, which is always a good photo opportunity to show off for the folks back home.
Once you’ve tried a couple of bottles of the local favourite beer, Phoenix, it’s wise to turn your attention to another local treat, namely, rum.
Although it’s the Caribbean that’s perhaps the most famous source of rum, many fans of the tipple have turned their gaze to Mauritius, whose history of sugar production has made it a splendid home to some locally produced rums with a distinctive flavour.