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Mauritian Food: 8 Must-Try Traditional Dishes of Mauritius

Mauritian Food: 8 Must-Try Traditional Dishes of Mauritius

Mauritius is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar. It comprises the main island (also known as Mauritius), along with Rodrigues, Agaléga and St. Brandon.

The island nation is best known for its spectacular luxurious resorts, the Seven Coloured Earths, an underwater waterfall and the Giant water lilies in the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden.

The population of Mauritia is made up of different ethnicities, including Mauritians of Indian origin, Mauritians of Chinese origin, Tamil Mauritians, Franco-Mauritians, Mauritian Creoles and more. The country’s cuisine is influenced by the tropical location of the island and its cultural diversity.

Most Popular Mauritian Dishes

Mauritian cuisine is known to be a combination of African, Chinese, European (primarily French) and Indian influences. The majority of the recipes are inspired by French culture, former African slaves, Indian workers and Chinese migrants who entered the country during the 19th century.

Rice is considered to be a staple ingredient, which Mauritians prepare in a number of ways such as frying, boiling or cooking rice in spices. Other widely consumed ingredients include tomatoes, onions, okra, eggplants, chayote, garlic and chillies.

Rice and seafood, including salted fish, smoked blue marlin, shrimp, octopus, prawns and crayfish (also known as “camaron”), are also staple ingredients used in Mauritian cuisine.

Spices including chilli peppers, cardamon, and cloves are also common in the Mauritanian cooking.

Bol Renversé (Magic Bowl)

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Bol Renversé, also known as magic bowl, is a rice-based dish topped with a stir-fry sauce resembling Chinese chop suey. The sauce is prepared using soy sauce and oyster sauce and sautéed with a range of vegetables, generally Bok Choi (Chinese cabbage), mushrooms and carrots.

The sauce also includes chicken, shrimp or thin strips of meat. Chicken, however, is considered to be the typical choice. Lastly, an egg is placed on top of the dish.

The name of the dish literally means Upside Down Bowl in English, and one can easily find it in most local restaurants throughout the country.


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Boulettes, also referred to as Mauritian Dim Sum, are steamed dumplings prepared using fish, minced meat, prawns, calamari or chayote, depending on the area. They can be consumed on their own along with chilli or in a clear broth seasoned with stock and topped with chives.

Boulettes are believed to have invented by the Cantonese inhabitants of Mauritius. There are many variations which include “saw mai”, “niuk yan” (meat balls), “en pow niuk” (steamed fish fingers) and “teo kon” (tofu).


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Biryani is a typical Indian dish popular in Mauritius, consisting of saffron rice along with an option of beef, chicken, or occasionally marinated fish. The dish is generally prepared using perfumed basmati rice and a combination of spices such as cloves, cinnamon, crushed cardamom, star anise, cumin and saffron. Other ingredients added include potatoes and fried onions.

All the ingredients are cooked in a big copper cauldron known as a “deg”. Some people also add chilli and tamarind sauce to the dish and accompany it with cucumber and carrot salad. Biryani is mostly eaten in the Indo-Islamic community in Mauritius, but it has been altered slightly to suit the Mauritian taste buds.

Dholl Puri

Dholl puri, also known as dhal puri, is a dish prepared using split peas, turmeric and cumin. The ingredients are grilled on a flat disc-shaped frying pan (commonly called a tawa). Dholl puri is generally stuffed with potato or kidney bean curry or rougaille, depending on one’s preference.

This street food is best enjoyed with chili, curries, pickles and chutney. One can find it all over the island and it is often served at Indian wedding ceremonies.

Chili Bites

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Chili bites are a popular Mauritian snack prepared using dhal, onion and turmeric. It is further seasoned with chives and sliced green chili. All the ingredients are mixed, and the combination is then shaped into small balls and fried until golden.

Chili bites are actually a French inspired dish where it is known as Gateau aux Piments, or in creole it is called Gato Pima. It is commonly consumed with butter and bread, and eaten for lunch along with other fritters.

Mine Frite

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Mine frite is a popular noodle dish prepared using fresh egg noodles tossed in a heated wok along with cabbage, carrots and several other vegetables. Chicken, shrimp and occasionally thin strips of meat are also added to the dish.

It is further seasoned with dark soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Finally, mine frite is topped off with strips of fried egg and served with garlic sauce and chilli paste for people who prefer it spicy.

The term “mine frite” is a combination of the Cantonese/Hakka term for noodles, mein and the French term for fried, frite.


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Rougaille is a sauce prepared using tomatoes garlic, onions and chilies, along with herbs such as coriander and thyme. One can either enjoy this sauce plain or accompany it with beef, chicken, mutton, seafood or salted fish.

Rougaille also includes several vegetables and other ingredients, such as canned sardines, paneer, sausages and corned beef or mutton. This dish is originally a Creole dish. One can accompany it with almost anything.

Sept Cari

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Sept Cari, also known as seven curries, is a vegetarian meal generally prepared using seven or more vegetable curries. These curries are accompanied by “ti puri”, a fried flatbread on a banana leaf. The traditional seven curries are generally made using butter bean curry, spinach, rougaille, mashed pumpkin, chouchou (sautéed chayote) and banana curry. Many people also use specialities such as jackfruit curry and ‘gato piment’ curry.

It is commonly consumed at Hindu weddings and religious events, though it is also served at restaurants throughout the country.

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