Gâteaux piment, samosa and chana puri


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

Gâteaux piment
Gâteaux piment

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.

Gâteaux piment inside
Gâteaux piment inside

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.

Samosa

Samosa
Samosa

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.

Samosa inside
Samosa inside

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

Chana puri
Chana puri

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.

Chana puri inside
Chana puri inside

One ball of chana pouri cost me 5 MUR at the food truck in Curepipe, i.e. about 0.10 EUR.

Chana puri with chilli sauce
Chana puri with chilli sauce

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.

Food truck in Curepipe
Food truck in Curepipe

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.

Bon appetit!