Ever wondered what delicious treats you can find in Mauritius when you just want a quick bite? Well, you will be happy to know there are plenty of tasty snacks in Mauritius, whether you are looking for something sweet, salty, or savory!
Sweet Snacks In Mauritius
A perfect sweet treat for snacking is crystalized fruits! This is an interesting one as it’s very simple – just fruits such as mangoes, apricots, or even pineapples! For the crystallization process, these fruits are sliced up and then put into sugar syrup until the color becomes dark.
The fruits are then chilled out once they have soaked in the syrup. Once they have crystalized, the fruits are much harder in texture and not as delicate on the tooth! Take extra caution when biting into this sweet treat!
Crystalized fruits are normally sold in bulk jars or packets on the street markets or even in superstores – perfect for on-the-go snacking.
This Mauritian snack is also natively called ‘Poudine Manioc’ as it’s generally had as a breakfast or dessert.
The main ingredient, Cassava, has a rich history in Mauritius dating way back to the 18th century. Back then, cassava roots were harvested for their versatility in making puddings, snacks, and chips in Mauritius.
In appearance, the pudding is square-shaped and yellow. The main ingredients of the dish are cassava coconut, sugar, and milk all blended and cooked. The dish as you can imagine is sweet, soft, and warm in the center.
Whilst this is a sweet dish, you could even pair this with garlic bread or with slices of baguette bread.
A traditional snack in Mauritius is coconut cake, which is also regarded by some Mauritians as a delicacy dessert.
The overwhelming flavors and notes in the dish you will find are from the rich sweetness of the grated coconut. It’s sometimes dressed in pistachios to add a slight saltiness to balance out the sweetness.
The origins of the coconut cake are not particularly clear. However, it is widely believed to have come from African migrants in America who knew how to use the coconut for cooking purposes.
The Mauritian roots of the dish trace to the East Coast of the country. Whilst this snack isn’t as popular as before, it’s still widely available in street markets and bakeries. It’s also a dish that is cooked a lot at home and served to dinner guests.
Salty Snacks In Mauritius
A salty snack in Mauritius you can generally find among the street markets is gato crab. This is a crunchy Mauritian crab cake. Although the word ‘cake’ should be used very lightly here as this is, in fact, a deep-fried snack.
The crab is coated in plain flour and seasoned well with salt. They are then deep-fried until golden.
The crab cake is particularly a delicacy dish for Sino-Mauritian families, who tend to make Gato Crab for friends, families, and neighbors during Chinese New Year.
Du Pain Frire
Traditional Mauritian cuisine includes a lot of deep-fried savory, salty snacks. A deep-fried snack in Mauritius usually falls under the umbrella term of ‘gajak.’
The Du Pain Frire is essentially deep-fried bread slices paired with tomato and coriander chutney. This is a dish that locals will often have for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
The batter of the bread holds the flavors of the dish with notes of onion, garlic, and salt. A rumored secret to creating the perfect du pain frire is to use slightly older bread than new ones for better flavor!
Bringele Frire is also known as ‘eggplant fritters’. They are made by slicing eggplant and rolling them up in gram flour, herbs, onion, garlic, and chili.
Eggplant can have a bitter aftertaste so a generous pinch of sea salt in the batter is always a good counteract. There is a similar variation of the dish that is made with sliced peppers.
Eggplant or pepper fritters are often served as starter dishes or snacks in Mauritius. The fritter itself isn’t supposed to be very spicy. A great way to bring out the further flavor is to pair it with Mauritian coriander chutney.
We simply cannot forget about Dholl Puri as a Mauritian snack. Not only is it a popular Mauritian food, but it also is even referred to as the national dish of Mauritius.
This is the type of dish you will see being cooked on every corner of the street market in Mauritius.
A brief history of Dholl puri’s origin is from the Indian snack called ‘paratha’, a stuffed flatbread. It’s different from the Indian dish as the Mauritian dholl puri is wrapped with bean curry.
Dholl puri is a very tasty snack in Mauritius as the puri is so light, warm, and fluffy. Then you have the bean curry in the center, richly flavored with chili, coriander, and turmeric.
A word of caution, this is one dish that you just want to keep eating because it’s so satisfyingly light and perfect for any time of the day.
The samoussa first originated from Central Asia and has become a very popular Mauritian street food and snack.
You’ll see that it’s prepared in different ways by people as Mauritian food varies with ingredients and taste. For example, the stuffings can be made with beef, chicken, or vegetables. It’s essentially a savory snack in the shape of a triangle.
Generally, filo pastry is used to hold the filling together. The outer layer is very crunchy, and the filling is soft, hearty, and flavorful.
Samoussa is almost always served with a dipping sauce to elevate the dish further. Mauritian cuisine would pair the samoussa with tamarind chutney which is a combination of sour notes and sweet flavors from the dates.
Gato Pomme De Terre
Another savory Mauritian snack is the Gato Pomme De Terre. This is essentially deep-fried potato slices or sometimes even called crispy potato pakora by Mauritians. This is very similar to the Indian dish ‘maruna bhajia’.
This dish involves coating the potatoes with seasoned gram flour batter and deep frying them until golden. It’s usually served with a chutney made from fresh tomatoes, coriander, chili, and lemon all blended up together.
The potato has a great exterior texture with a crispy crunch. But on the inside, it’s perfectly fluffy. Mauritians will often enjoy this as an afternoon snack or even as a breakfast with a baguette.
Crepes salees are Mauritian savory crepes made from flour, egg, spring onion, and optionally some more spices. They are like the usual crepe we all know and love, made in a circle and as thin as possible.
Savory crepes originated from Brittany, France. As we know Mauritius has a hint of French influence both in cuisine and culture. The Mauritian twist on the dish includes more spices, whereas the French savory crepe is typically served with cheese, ham, and eggs.
This classic favorite is served fresh and hot with a chutney made from fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and coriander. It is a great dish to have for breakfast and even as a snack in Mauritius.
Discovering Snacks In Mauritius
There are still so many more Mauritian snacks to choose from. But these are some of the most popular and widely found snacks you’d find on your travels.
Street markets have increased the number of snacky dishes you can find; there are so many options to pick from. These are just some facts about Mauritius and its snacks, so head on out to try some yourself! You may even uncover a few new personal favorites.