Mauritian cuisine is a mixture of Indian, Chinese, African, and French cuisine. Perhaps the most vivid example of the influences of various cuisines are the small fried “appetizers” that are often bought directly on the street. Among the most famous on the island are gâteaux piment, but samosas or chana puri are also popular. They are sold by the piece, so at each stand, you can only taste one piece and compare different variations.
Gâteaux piment is one of the most widespread fried delicacies in Mauritius and is a specialty of the island. It is a fried ball made of crushed yellow peas, chili, and spices. You can find gâteaux piment vendors almost everywhere. I tried it at the Victoria Market in Port Louis, as an appetizer at the Creole Shack restaurant, at a food truck in the town of Curepipe, and elsewhere.
Although gateaux piment is probably the most popular “finger food” in Mauritius that I have tasted many times, it did not impress me too much. Due to its composition, it is dry inside for me, and it becomes more interesting only with chili paste. One piece of gateaux piment cost me 4 MUR at a food truck in Curepipe, which is approximately 0.08 EUR.
Samosas are popular in many parts of the world, especially in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Samosa is a pastry of triangular shape filled with various fillings such as spicy potatoes, peas, onions, and sometimes meat. They are usually served with chutney or other sauces, but they can also be eaten alone.
The traditional way of making samosas involves preparing dough from wheat flour, salt, and water and rolling it into thin sheets. The filling is then placed on one half of the rolled dough, which usually consists of cooked and mashed potatoes mixed with peas, onions, and spices. The dough is then folded over the filling into a triangular shape, and the edges are pressed together. Samosas are then fried in oil until they are golden and crispy. One piece of samosa cost me 5 MUR at a food truck in Curepipe, which is approximately 0.10 EUR.
Chana puri are small fried balls of yeast dough. Inside the ball is a filling of potatoes, yellow peas, onions and various spices. In my case, it was the same filling as in the samosa. The chana pouri is an absolute blast for me. The batter is fluffy, the mixture inside is perfectly seasoned.
One ball of chana pouri cost me 5 MUR at the food truck in Curepipe, i.e. about 0.10 EUR.
I enjoyed Chana pouri so much that I literally miss it in the Czech Republic. You can flavour the still warm balls with chilli paste, which goes well with this delicacy.
On the streets of Mauritius you will often find stalls that specialise in some of these fried delicacies. I most enjoyed the gâteaux piment, samosas and chana puri at this “blue, white and red” food truck in Curepipe. The food truck has colors in its name too.
Accommodation in Mauritius
I wholeheartedly recommend the Seastar Hotel in Flic en Flac, just a short walk from a beautiful beach. The hotel is new, the breakfasts are great, and you almost always have an amazing hot tub on the roof terrace all to yourself! The last time I stayed here was in December 2022 and I will return again.