Culinary delights of Mauritius: a rich mosaic of flavours!


The gastronomic wealth of Mauritius is a true culinary melting pot, where each dish tells the story of a unique cultural fusion. The diversity of the Mauritian cuisine reflects its people, a blend of traditions and flavours brought by successive waves of migrants throughout history. This culinary alchemy, shaped by Indian, African, European, and Asian influences, presents a taste palette as rich as varied. Gourmet dishes, street food, and contemporary cuisine demonstrate the evolution of a pluralistic culture, always connected to its roots.

Let’s explore Mauritian dishes, where each dish unveils a story of mixed heritage and diverse origins.

The biryani

This dish, brimming with a multitude of aromas, has transcended its roots in the Muslim communities of minor Asia and has won over the Mauritians. While the origins of biryani are unknown, today it boasts numerous variations due to regional adaptations. In Mauritius, the introduction of biryani was facilitated by waves of Indian and Muslim immigrants, particularly popularising the Hyderabadi version on the island. The recipe involves marinating meat with yogurt and a blend of spices, then searing it before adding it to long-grain basmati rice, all sprinkled with fried onions and aromatic herbs. Mauritian biryani, with its diverse iterations, is traditionally prepared in large metal pots known as “Deg,” and has found a place in both the sophisticated menus of gourmet restaurants and the vibrant offers of street food vendors, each bringing their own culinary twist to this iconic dish.

The curry

Mauritian curry, a distinctive specialty of the island, is known for its subtle nuances, aligning it more with Madras curry than the spicy and creamy versions found in North India. The origins of this dish in Mauritius are closely tied to the arrival of settlers from Madras, though the exact timeline of its introduction remains unknown. Characterised by its spicy golden-brown paste, the curry is sometimes mellowed with coconut milk or enhanced with tamarind paste, creating a perfect balance of flavours. It is traditionally served with rice but is also an ideal accompaniment to meat, legumes, vegetables, or freshly made faratas.

Fried noodles

Many Mauritians see this dish as a symbol of prosperity and enjoy it during special occasions like birthdays or Chinese New Year, in the hope that its long wheat noodles will bring extended prosperity. This Cantonese delicacy was introduced by Chinese immigrants who came to establish businesses on the island. It consists of noodles stir-fried with vegetables and meat, all seasoned with soy and fish sauce. This combination creates a comforting dish that has become an essential in Mauritian cuisine. It is a dish that can be savored across the island, from street vendors to high-end restaurants.

The arrival of spices in Mauritius: a culinary milestone

From star anise to saffron, the fundamentals of Indian cuisine, the dishes of the island reflect age-old traditions where each spice has not only a distinct taste but also its own medicinal qualities… among others!

From star anise to saffron, the The deep-rooted relationship between Mauritius and spices traces back to the historical exploration of sea routes to India by the famous Vasco da Gama. While Pierre Poivre is renowned for introducing spice cultivation in Mauritius, Indian craftsmen from Pondicherry and Karraikal brought not just spices but also a rich ancestral expertise. Following the abolition of slavery, a significant influx of indentured workers, mainly from northern India and China, arrived in Mauritius. Spices such as saffron, turmeric, chili, and star anise made their way into the Mauritian culinary repertoire. Today, a typical Mauritian dish consists of a delicious blend including fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, garlic, and ginger, reflecting the richness and diversity of the local cuisine.
Chef Rishi Ramchurrun from Anahita Golf and Spa Resort explains the unique culinary blend of the island: ” Mauritian cuisine showcases the cultural melting pot of our island, boasting a variety of flavours that reflect the diversity of our origins. Each dish, blending influences seamlessly, is a celebration of our shared identity, cherished by all communities. Spices, central to our culinary heritage, are the bearers of our history and culture”. 

A street food with diverse origins

In Mauritius, you will always find delicious dishes to enjoy on the go.

Bao Buns
These steamed buns offer a complete and flavoursome meal, perfect for a quick break during a shopping day.

The “Dumplings”
These traditional Chinese delicacies are easily found along roadsides and at the beach.

Fried Treats
Samosas, chili cakes, and eggplant fritters, with djelebi for dessert, are all guilty pleasures from the Great Peninsula. These savoury delights can be enjoyed at any time, accompanied by a cup of tea… Mauritian, naturally!

The Dholl Puri and Roti
These wheat flour flatbreads (roti) or chickpea-based flatbreads (dholl puri, originating from Bihar, India) are probably the most famous street food on the island for breakfast or a quick lunch. These breads are filled with legumes, vegetable pickles, or even a tomato-based sauce.

Stuffed Breads
These baguettes are filled with roasted meat, chop suey (Chinese-style stir-fried meat and vegetables), or Vindaye, a Mauritian dish with Indian influences typically made with seafood sautéed in garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, and mustard seeds.          

4 Unmissable Stops!

The street food at Flacq market
At Flacq market, street food is a true dive into local flavors. It’s a lively place, full of colors and scents. Here, you’ll find a variety of exotic fruits, fresh vegetables, and typical dishes. It’s a great way to discover Mauritian cuisine while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the market.

Fresh seafood at Lacase Poisson
Located in the charming coastal village of Trou d’Eau Douce, Lacase Poisson offers a welcoming atmosphere where guests can enjoy outdoor seafood barbecues.

Anahita Golf & Spa Resort
Original Mauritian cuisine at the Anahita, where you can savor typically Mauritian specialties that reflect a mixed culture.

Our history gives us a rich and flavourful taste palette. The hardest part will undoubtedly be choosing which dish to enjoy first! So, where would you like to start?

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