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A Guide to the Cuisine of Mauritius

The diversity of the population of Mauritius is represented in the island’s culinary traditions: a fabulous blend of English, French, African, Chinese and Indian flavours and culinary expertise. Rice, sugar cane, various seeds, spices, fruits and vegetables, tea and coconut are all grown here, while fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood are popular throughout the island. 

We at Villanovo have put together our guide to Mauritian cuisine, as well as a handful of specialities that you must try when you visit the island…

Mauritian Specialities - The signature dishes

Fish: tropical fish, grilled whole fish, curried fish, fish in vindaye, smoked fish... In Mauritius, fish is king. The best preparations include smoked marlin, tazar (barracuda), fish in batter, and sardines with bread and candied pepper!

Seafood: Here, crab is the go-to: consumed in all its varieties. Another favourite among visitors to Mauritius is the octopus (ourite) served hot or as a salad. You will also find: squid, oysters, periwinkles, tectecs, shrimps (goats, giant and camarons).

A Guide to the Cuisine of Mauritius - Mauritius

Vindaye: a typical dish (which is also consumed a little in Reunion). It is believed to be from Western India. It is eaten cold and possesses a slightly vinegary taste. It can be accompanied by bread (chapati or roti) or rice. The most refined is the delicately flavoured fish vindaye.

Rougaille: a Creole dish from Reunion. It is slightly different in Mauritius, and is prepared with very strong ingredients (onions, garlic, tomato, ginger, spices) with fish, sausages and meat.

Fried food: you will find them à la carte, but they are often consumed in the street or offered to you on the beach by street vendors. The ones to try are: dhol puri (pancakes stuffed with vegetables and sauce), rotis (thick pancake), samosas (stuffed puff pastry), chili cake.

A Guide to the Cuisine of Mauritius - Mauritius

Chutney: native to India, chutney aims to add life to dishes. A mixture of spices, chilli, vinegar and all sorts of fruits, the variety of chutneys is countless.

Curry: both a spice mix and a complete dish prepared with said mixture of spices. Native to India, it is commonly found on Mauritian dinner tables or on restaurant menus, at economic prices.

Byriani: a traditional dish from India based on different types of meat or fish (except pork), accompanied by rice.

Deer, wild boar, brown pig: all quite expensive meats, are often eaten with a sauce or in the form of steak. Many of these livestock were brought over by the Dutch.

Mithai: indian sweets, made using a mixture of flour, sugar, nuts, vegetables, and milk or khoya.

A Guide to the Cuisine of Mauritius - Mauritius

If you want, you can even opt to have your own chef in your luxury villa, who can cook delicious Mauritian food for you, according to your tastes.

Fruits and vegetables

A trip to the markets of Mauritius will introduce you to many vegetables that you do not usually see at home: the darling, the giraumon, the cassava, the sweet potato, the embrevades, the pipengaille, the breadfruit, the margoze, the arouille, lalo... Many peppers from the spiciest to the sweetest. All in all it’s food lover’s dream!

Meanwhile, the variety of different fruits on offer is impressive. Discover the different types of mango, lychees, papaya, guava, star fruit, cachiman, passion fruit, cythera fruit, tamarind, soursop, jamrose, loquat, londan (fruit resembling litchi), jamalaque, jack-fruit, red coconut. Even some of the more familiar fruits, such as melon, watermelon, banana, mandarin, lemon, pineapple, and avocado have a richness in flavour that is difficult to top.

A Guide to the Cuisine of Mauritius - Mauritius

Rice

Rice forms the basis for much of the Mauritian cuisine. Many varieties are available (long, short, round, fine...) but the most popular is basmati with popular dishes such as Cantonese rice, fried rice or rice pilau (plof).

The drinks

Tea, often flavoured with vanilla, is a flagship drink and is produced in the South of the island. In particular, you will have the opportunity to discover the famous Tea Route, in the heart of 3 different areas on the island. Add to this the traditional thirst-quenching drinks such as tamarind juice or alouda (grenadine-flavoured milk with tapioca).

Alcoholic beverages are also often produced on the island except for highly consumed and imported whiskey. The rums of the island tend to gain in quality over the years. Indeed, the production is even oriented on an old rum... Thus, you can enjoy many rums (macerated with local fruits). A pure delight, very full-bodied!

The green island is certainly the most famous rum on the island. The beer is fresh and delicious: the Phoenix blondes or Blue marlin, and the brown Black Eagle. The wine is more surprising, test it and especially the white wine.

Discover our selection of luxury villas for your next trip Mauritius

Villa Etini

5 Bedrooms

Villa Beryl

2 Bedrooms