All posts filed under: Mauritius

Monday Meal Review: Mauritius

THE SCENE: Photography Teaches I step up onto the soft seat cushion and bend my head under the low ceiling. Time to snap some pictures. I hold my breath, teetering over the banana tart, willing myself not to fall. That’s when Keith pops in the room (he’s home to help care for our sick, feverish daughter) and snaps a picture of me (see above). As I swivel my head to see what he’s doing I almost fall over, right onto the lattice work grid. But before I can turn my head, he’s gone. Finding myself in such a precarious situation gets me thinking about the lessons I’ve learned from photography. Over the last few years I’ve learned that taking interesting photos is a lot like living a good life. Every once in a while we must get new perspective – see the world through fresh eyes. We must let the “light” in. We have to care enough to try (again and again), even when things aren’t going the way we want them to. For example: I recently had a …

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Ginger n’ Spice Tomato Sauce | Rougaille

If there is one recipe that reflects the Mauritian potluck of global flavors, this is it. Rougaille. Let’s take a walk through the flavors of this unusual sauce – I have a feeling you just might make friends. First, imagine a simple, homemade tomato sauce. The deep red goodness smells sweet and fresh. This sauce can be found in homes all across the world. Tomatoes, onion, garlic. Standard fare. Until you take a bite. Then you realize, this is more complex than you could have ever known. This “rougaille” is … unusual. First, there’s a hint of the French influence – a smattering of parsley, thyme, and even the optional splash of white wine. Then there’s the African influence – calling for hot chili peppers – as much as you can stand. Finally, the flavors of India and remote parts of Asia are represented with bold layers of ginger and cilantro. Outrageous and fine. Serves 2-4 Ingredients 1 small onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated 1 tsp fresh, grated ginger hot chili peppers, …

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Mauritian Chili Poppers | Gateaux Piments

If you have a hankering for a munchin’, come with me via “stove top travel” to Mauritius. While there, we’ll cozy up, picnic-style, with a basket of Gateaux Piments. These crisp, crunchy poppers are quite a bit like falafel and I got to try them thanks to you, dear readers, since they won your vote on our Facebook Fan Page as the split pea recipe you’d most like me to try. (Thank you!) What I find most exciting about these chili poppers is their intense, fresh flavor. Each bite reveals earthy nips of cumin seed, springy green onion and cilantro sprigs, all tossed around in a golden tumeric glow. These “gateaux piments” would taste fantastic on any salad but, if you want to be totally authentic, try them sandwiched inside a buttered baguette [recipe], perhaps while overlooking the laughing horizon. Talk about epic comfort food. Makes a dozen 1 1/2 inch balls Ingredients: 1 cup yellow split peas, soaked for 4-8 hours 1/2 tsp cumin seed 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped rough 1 green onion, chopped rough …

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Mauritian Banana Tart

Don’t let the startling geometry fool you. Today’s Banana Tart is for those who like mellow desserts. Big bites of health. An entire banana tree in the belly, topped off with delicate lattice goodness. I know. It’s craziness. You can thank the dreamy island of Mauritius, way out in the Indian Ocean, for teaching me this ingenious way to use up ripe bananas. The ingredient list is so simple and pure, I almost can’t believe it. Bananas, barely a smattering of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a vanilla bean. That’s it. Let’s just say I’d be proud to serve this tart to the tiniest tot. Now, if you’ll kindly excuse me, I’ll be in the corner, daydreaming about going back in time so I can bring this tart to Ava’s first birthday party. The dense mashed banana would have made a fantastic, healthy first birthday “cake” (you could probably even leave the sugar out without harming the taste – just use very ripe bananas). P.S. If you’d rather, you can always fly to Mauritius, …

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Menu: Mauritius

“When you visit a town and have not visited the market, you have not really visited the town” So goes the saying in Mauritius, according to local Renee. This old saying means that by immersing ourselves in the food culture of a place, we arrive at the heart and soul of the town. I totally agree and I would add that when we visit a country via stove top travel, we get glimpses of that soul, even from half a world away.  Although we cannot fly to Mauritius today to visit the market, we are welcoming the Mauritian spirit into our homes by making these simple dishes. Chili Poppers (Gateaux Piments) [Recipe] Mauritius’ finger lickin,’ crispy, crunchy answer to falafel. Made with split peas, chili peppers, green onion, a bit of cilantro and a dash of turmeric. Ginger n’ Spice Tomato Sauce (Rougaille) [Recipe] A sauce from three continents: tomatoes cooked with ginger, garlic, white wine, cilantro, and chili peppers. A melting pot of flavor from Africa, Asia, and Europe. Best served with shrimp, sausage, fish, or …

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Photo by Moongateclimber.

About the food of Mauritius

Just when you feel isolated, remote, and alone – like no one can possibly understand the way you are feeling, geography comes to the rescue. Way out in the Indian ocean lives Mauritius – an African country even more remote than Madagascar and totally teeny, tiny. If you study this “dot” amidst the crashing waves, you’ll find crags and cliffs, turquoise water and rusty rainbow soil. For all her solitude, she is so beautiful. So intricate. How can we feel alone when this exists? It’s like the earth herself is giggling… While I thought I would have trouble finding information on Mauritius, I could not have been more wrong. I learned on Food Safari that there is a healthy group of Australians who love and enjoy Mauritian food. In fact, there are entire restaurants there devoted to the food of Mauritius. So what is so magnetic about this food that it has crossed an entire ocean and firmly implanted itself into the hearts of complete strangers? An amalgamation of flavors. A delectable melting pot.  Take …

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