Dholl Puri (or dalpuri)
It’s known as the national street food of Mauritius, but what exactly is dholl 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. You’ll find dholl 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 dholl puri to mop up luscious mouthfuls of kheer: a rich and creamy rice pudding topped with almonds, sultanas, pistachios and cardamom seeds.
Roti (or ti puri)
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.
Mine bouille (Boiled noodles)
Boiled noodles (or mine bouille) is a very popular dish with Mauritians and also with tourists. It is not only easy to prepare but is also delicious and if you want to, you can cook the noodles and prepare all the ingredients in advance, then keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. The dish is basically boiled noodles topped with ingredients like chicken, beef or eggs. It is seasoned with a bit of Chinese dark, fish sauce and garlic sauce. It is a re-invented Chinese dish that can be made within minutes and all the ingredients needed are very simple.
Mine frit (Fried noodles)
Basically a variant of the boiled noodles dish where the noodles are fried instead of boiled. The dish itself is a lot more colourful than boiled noodles. Fried noodles remains one of the favourite foods on the island of Mauritius and is one that you will find in all the restaurants, hotels or villas . Yet, trying to do the smoky hot fried noodles, coated with salty and sweet soy sauce, mixed with the ingredients of your choice is definitely worth trying.
Riz frit (Fried rice)
This dish won't need introducing to Mauritians. It is among the most ordered food in restaurants around the island. Typically Mauritian fried rice is a very garlicky dish which is often blended with a mix of veggies, eggs, prawns, chicken and/or beef.
Boulettes are dumplings which are served in various ways and in different combinations. You will surely fall in love with these local dumplings – Niouk Yen being one of them. They are a typical Mauritian-Chinese delicacy. In Mauritius, these dumplings are a common street food, so much so that no one really makes them at home. We just go to one of the reputable “marchand boulettes” (dumpling sellers) and order them. If you are looking for boulettes, you will surely get them at any street corner shop in China Town in Port-Louis or in any restaurant around the island or in your hotels. They are usually served in two ways - either in soup or salad. Whichever the way you prefer them, you will have the opportunity to taste the various type of dumpling proposed - Niouk Yen (Boulette Chouchou), Meat Balls, Shao Mai, Wonton, Fish Balls and Smoked Tofu (Teokon).
In Mauritius, snacking on “gajaks”, often over a drink, is an almost daily ritual, even more popular during festive periods. They are delicious little titbits, come in a variety of forms and are full of flavour. Gajaks are part of a Mauritian ritual when family or friends come round. They greet a suitor coming “to warm a chair” at his beloved’s place, under the careful eyes of her parents of course. Watching a football match in front of the television wouldn’t be the same without them. They get the taste buds working before digging into a picnic on the beach. And they provide a foretaste of how a marriage will work: watch carefully during the reception how their variety, composition and quantity set the reputation of the newlyweds.