http://www.tastemauritius.com Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:43:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 A New Addition coming in 2015 http://www.tastemauritius.com/2015/02/21/new-addition-coming-2015/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2015/02/21/new-addition-coming-2015/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:43:59 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5997 Finally I have been waiting to explain why there’s been a lack of instagram pics, tweets and blog recipes for the last 3 months! Yes we are having a baby, my first, husbands first (so far as I know..) and its been a challenging couple of months to put it straight. We are ecstatic, the [...]

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Finally I have been waiting to explain why there’s been a lack of instagram pics, tweets and blog recipes for the last 3 months!

Yes we are having a baby, my first, husbands first (so far as I know..) and its been a challenging couple of months to put it straight. We are ecstatic, the maternal motherly protective nesting instinct slowly kicked in, never thought I would be that kind of person but since discovered I have cooed, cried, been elated and done all the things I never thought I would.

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Coming to the end of the first trimester.. here’s a recount of the past couple months.

I lost the desire to cook utterly mortified that mid December I couldn’t stand to be in the kitchen, let alone smell any food being prepared, hence my husband assumed chef position in the meantime. I didn’t want to watch any cookery programmes and was on a diet of mash potatoes, toast, crackers, baked beans and CARBS!

Eating every 2 hours now this doesn’t sounds like a bad thing to do, but seriously feeling queasey most the time, the only thing that subsides it is snacking on something!

All DAY sickness why they call it morning sickness when its practically all day sickness! For 2 months its became a daily norm in the morning, sometimes evening and after anything citrus! But happy its slowly teetering off to once a day.

ICE cold water don’t ask me why but it does help, I could chug down lots of water if it was icy to the touch, now moving over to hot drinks only because I have a cold!

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So far no strange food cravings yet, but this week I have been feeling like my normal self again finally! With the hope to get back into the kitchen cooking up some healthy, belly friendly yet still incorporating my roots the world is looking bright again.

So thank goodness for my love of Peanut Butter, tangy marmalade and sweet mango chutney that hasn’t disappeared! Keep peeled for more blog posts coming up.

Selina x

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Coconut Mauritian Fruit Salad http://www.tastemauritius.com/2015/01/08/coconut-mauritian-fruit-salad/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2015/01/08/coconut-mauritian-fruit-salad/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:40:53 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5978 Happy New Year! So we have finally delved into 2015, how’s everyone feeling? No diets in my household, this year I’m sticking to eating what I love, enjoy and keep cooking! This recipe is the first for the year, something I whip I quickly in the kitchen for breakfast or a snack, with the coconut [...]

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Happy New Year! So we have finally delved into 2015, how’s everyone feeling?

No diets in my household, this year I’m sticking to eating what I love, enjoy and keep cooking! This recipe is the first for the year, something I whip I quickly in the kitchen for breakfast or a snack, with the coconut water in there its super good for you and unbelievably tasty when its chilled.

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Mauritians have an abundance of lush, ripe and rich exotic fruits that are grown on this tropical Island, nestled 700miles off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

This recipe embodies a few of these flavours of the Indian Ocean,  fruits I wish we could get over here in the UK but revel in eating when over in Mauritius, simply plucked from the trees in back yards or sold by vendors pickled with spices near the beaches.

I’ve included lychees (canned), kiwi, papaya, mangoes, pineapples and passionfruit in this indulgent dessert, which can be eaten after a meal as a refresher for the palette or in the morning for breakfast.

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It’s dairy free using coconut milk instead of cream or condensed milk so it won’t sit on those hips.  And the use of coconut water and bourbon vanilla adds another sweet dimension to this.

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients:

 

80g papaya, cut into small bite sized pieces

80g pineapple, de-cored and cut into small bite size pieces

1 passionfruit (seeds & juice only)

5 lychees, fruits cut into quarters,  syrup discarded

80g mango, de-cored, flesh cut into small sized  pieces

1 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into small pieces

125 ml coconut milk

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds only

50ml coconut water, chilled

3tsp light brown muscavado sugar

1/2 lime, zest only

crushed ice (optional)

 

Method: Makes 2 servings

In a bowl, pour in 125ml of coconut milk (not the water from the can) just the cream, add in the vanilla seeds and muscavado sugar. Using a whisk whip this together for a couple of minutes till has thickened slightly. Set aside.

Prep all your fruit and assemble in layers into glasses, sprinkle over the lime zest and give this a mix.

Then spoon 2 tbsp of the coconut milk mixture into each glass over the fruit. Straight after pour in 25ml coconut water in each glass.

Mix all the ingredients together gently with a spoon,  top with shaved or crushed ice if you wish. You can add more of the coconut cream mixture if you want it to be more creamy.

Serve straight away and be transported to the island of Mauritius!

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Tropical Mauritian Christmas Cake http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/12/16/tropical-mauritian-christmas-cake/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/12/16/tropical-mauritian-christmas-cake/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:24 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5931   For me I’ve never been an avid fan of Christmas cake, come this time of year I normally opt for a chocolate yule log, a tropical pavlova or a rich deep filled mince pie laced with brandy cream or custard. But when I was younger I have fond memories of my mum cooking up [...]

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For me I’ve never been an avid fan of Christmas cake, come this time of year I normally opt for a chocolate yule log, a tropical pavlova or a rich deep filled mince pie laced with brandy cream or custard. But when I was younger I have fond memories of my mum cooking up Christmas cake, the house in the lead up to Christmas would linger sweet smells of baking and the fruity alcohol. She would put brandy in it and I can’t forget those pink/red nuggets of cherries nestled in the mound of fruit cake, her’s always was moist and now I finally know her secret….

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So what possessed me to make another Christmas cake this year???

Well I’ve come across Urban Fruit, dried fruit all baked naturally, who not only do dried fruit with cherries, blueberries, strawberries but have more tropical sunshine flavours of pineapple, banana and mango to try. Immediately I thought right dried fruit + booze = a winner. But which type of booze?

Rum of course. I have bottles upon bottles of Reunion island rum, sitting amongst Mauritian white rum and dark rum, so what better way than to combine these together to inject some homely flavours into this creation. The key to this recipe is soak soak soak the dried fruit, they need to reinvigorate in something and rum enhances their plumpness and juiciness before going into the cake. I soaked mine for 2 nights, some people do overnight others do a week. I was too impatient to wait that long.

I also pulsed a third of the mixture in the food processor (if you want a more moist cake) which I feel achieves the best result.

 

Ingredients: 850g dried fruit (pineapple, mango and banana) two thirds of this pulsed in the food processor 100g fresh dates, finely chopped up 1 lemon, zest only 1 vanilla pod, seeds only 300g self raising flour 200g dark muscavado sugar 400ml Mauritian dark rum, plus extra to feed the cake later 300g unsalted butter at room temperature 1 tsp cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp mixed spice 50g ground almonds 4 eggs, room temperature

The Glaze: 100g icing sugar 1 vanilla pod, seeds only 1 lime, zest only

 

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Method:

 

The night before place all the dried fruit( pineapple, mango, banana) into a saucepan with 300ml or Mauritian rum and bring to a simmer. Pour into a bowl, cool and cover to soften, leave overnight at least or longer preferably. Stir every so often.

Pre-heat the oven to 150c/Gas Mark 2. Line the base and sides of  23 cm round tin with a layer of greaseproof paper.

The side lining should be a good 4cm higher than the side of the tin.

Blitz half the dried fruit mixture in a food processor till a wet paste (add 1tbsp rum extra if needed to wet the mixture)

Add back to the rest of the fruit. In a bowl or mixed cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time , add a tablespoon of flour in intervals to help the mixture if it looks like it may curdle. Grate in the lemon zest.

Sift the flour and combine with the cinnamon, vanilla seeds, mixed spice and ground almonds. Add into the butter mixture stir through then add in al the soaked fruit. Fold gently till all mixed well, the mixture should not be stiff buyt easily fall off the back of a spoon, add a few tablespoons of rum if it is too stiff.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven on Gas 2 for 2.5 hours, check at 10 minutes intervals after this time, pierce with a skewer when inserted if comes out clean it is ready. Take out of the oven, skewer a few holes over the surface of the cake and drizzle over 4 tbsp of rum Leave to cool in the tin then wrap in greaseproof paper then foil. Store in an airtight container for 2-12 weeks. Feed the cake with alcohol/rum by gently pouring over the top and then re-wrapping.

The Vanilla Glaze: Whick together the icing sugar, 1 vanilla bean seeds only, lime zest till all is mized well and the syrup is shiny. Pour over the warm cake when eating/serving and top with toasted coconut chips or dried pineapple chips Merry Christmas!! xx

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Curry For Change Night & Dhall Puri Class http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/20/curry-change-night-dhall-puri-class/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/20/curry-change-night-dhall-puri-class/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:51:18 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5893 This weekend I decided to host a Curry for Change event at my home, normally I do supperclubs but on this occasion I used it as a good excuse to catch up with the family and friends while raising money for charity. Once I spread the word they were more than happy to take part. [...]

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This weekend I decided to host a Curry for Change event at my home, normally I do supperclubs but on this occasion I used it as a good excuse to catch up with the family and friends while raising money for charity.

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Once I spread the word they were more than happy to take part. I decided to do a Curry Night to raise money for Find Your Feet charity, where I asked all guests to bring along one curry dish, it could be from wherever in the world they wanted and enough to feed 4 people. This led to alot of nervous jitters and excitement at the same time!

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To add a little special bonus treat I set up a mini dhall puri cookery class for everyone, I took them through filling (with a ground split pea mixture) rolling and cooking. Once we did this they all lined up to have fun learning how to flip and cook their dhall puris on the tawa (flatpan) to eat with their curries later.

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We then had a FULL table of curries that ranged from West African Peanut Curry (mine), Mauritian Lamb Curry, Vegetarian Curry, Chickpea, Sweet Potato Curry, Santula an Orissan style vegetarian curry, chana puri with chutney (vegetarian balls filled with split peas and potato), chilli cheese curry toasties, KingFish Aubergine Curry, South Indian style Chicken curry.. the list is endless!

It was a fun experience all curries were labelled but we didn’t know who made them, then we all voted anonymously for the best curry in the end it was the Chickpea, Sweet Potato Curry which was mild, creamy and full of flavour. My aunt was very ecstatic to win and receive the first prize of a book on Curries!

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So all in all a fabulous gathering, with voting to add in some healthy competition and finished off with some ragulla dessert or milk powder balls in a sugar syrup which was cousin from Mauritius had lovingly made.

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We are pleased to say we raised over £200 in total from the night which is great and to know that this money will be going to a good cause to help those less fortunate. If you are able to host a curry evening or event of some sort to raise money for Find Your Feet charity do it!

The Charity: Find Your Feet

The Curry for Change campaign is led by the charity Find Your Feet, a small charity founded in 1960 helping families in Asia and Africa to build a future free from hunger, poverty and discrimination.

They work in the poorest and most remote places in India, Nepal, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Supporting rural communities in these areas because they suffer from extreme poverty, a lack of basic services and other support is scarce.Working with the most vulnerable rural families, marginalised tribal groups, women and young people. Those who have been left behind.

They enable poor rural families to grow enough food so they don’t go hungry, to strengthen their voice so they can speak out against injustice and to earn enough money so they can find their feet.

They are a small and responsive organisation that makes a big impact on the lives of the families we support. They listen and provide families with the skills, training and confidence they need to help themselves and bring a long-lasting and sustainable change.

Find out more about Find Your Feet – visit www.fyf.org.uk

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Spicy Prawn Rougaille http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/09/spicy-prawn-rougaille/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/09/spicy-prawn-rougaille/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:37:29 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5885 Spicy Prawn Rouagille Recipe This is a perfect spicy and warming dish (perfect for this rainy October weather) its a quick Mauritian dish which can be made in 15-20 minutes perfect for that dinner for two, best served with basmati rice or rotis! Prawn Rougaille   Recipe for  2  persons 15-20 minutes to make   [...]

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Spicy Prawn Rouagille Recipe

This is a perfect spicy and warming dish (perfect for this rainy October weather) its a quick Mauritian dish which can be made in 15-20 minutes perfect for that dinner for two, best served with basmati rice or rotis!

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Prawn Rougaille

 

Recipe for  2  persons

15-20 minutes to make

 

Ingredients:

 

220g King Prawns/Raw (deveined & de-shelled)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, chopped finely

1 small 1inch sized piece ginger, chopped finely

2 Green Chillies, chopped finely with seeds

200g Chopped tomatoes (canned)

1 small fresh Tomato, chopped

1 Spring Onion, green part chopped finely

Small bunch fresh Coriander, coriander stalks chopped and leaves kept separately for decoration

1 tbsp fresh thyme (leaves only)

1 tsp salt

Pinch of sugar

 

Method:

 

1) Firstly add into pan on medium heat, then add onion, garlic & ginger let it sweat for 2 minutes, add thyme leaves, chilli, tomato let it cook for 1 minute

2) Add all chopped tomatoes to the pan, coriander stalks, salt, pinch of sugar and 100ml water leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring at intervals.

3) Keep checking the rougaille sauce add a little water if it dries out,  then add your prawns into the sauce, cook gently for 2/3 minutes or till cooked and pink.

4)Turn the heat off, add spring onion and fresh coriander to finish off dish, taste for seasoning, add more salt and chilli if required.

5) Best eaten with fragrant basmati rice or fresh rotis!

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Caramelised Figs with Mauritian Vanilla http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/01/caramelised-figs-mauritian-vanilla/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/10/01/caramelised-figs-mauritian-vanilla/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:55:27 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5877 Happy 1st of October! Where is the time flying by? We will be saying the C word in 12 weeks time.. This Autumnal recipe exudes warming hints of cinnamon and vanilla accentuating the soft flavours of these ripe figs, matched with creamy Greek yoghurt this is a healthy yet indulgent breakfast or snack recipe. Its [...]

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Happy 1st of October! Where is the time flying by? We will be saying the C word in 12 weeks time..

This Autumnal recipe exudes warming hints of cinnamon and vanilla accentuating the soft flavours of these ripe figs, matched with creamy Greek yoghurt this is a healthy yet indulgent breakfast or snack recipe. Its fast becoming my favourite!

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The ingredients are using products from Natoora who I am happy to announce I will be collaborating with them on future upcoming events and I will be doing demos at their Chiswick shop!!

Caramelised Vanilla Figs with Greek Yoghurt & Pistachios

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people

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220g Greek Yoghurt
Vanilla pod (Madagascan or Bourbon)
2 tbsp Honey
Figs, quartered
Garnish (2 tbsp crushed pistachios, generous pinch of ground cinnamon)

In a shallow non stick pan, place on the hob on a medium heat, add in the quartered figs and drizzle with the honey. As soon as the honey starts to melt, add in the split vanilla pod. Let he figs simmer in the honey and vanilla for around 5 minutes, till you see the figs just start to break up.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle over a little cinnamon powder, set aside. To serve use small bowls, add in the greek yoghurt, top with the warm fig compote and add some crushed pistachios.

Hope you try!

Selina x

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Monkfish Curry http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/29/monkfish-curry/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/29/monkfish-curry/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:33:55 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5853 Did someone say Monkfish curry? Great British Chefs have a fabulous summer section of recipes to try and it took me a while to choose which one to make I frittered between dessert to curry back to dessert to snacks and the more adventurous recipes, whilst settling on the monkfish. Seriously its unbelievable how long [...]

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Did someone say Monkfish curry?

Great British Chefs have a fabulous summer section of recipes to try and it took me a while to choose which one to make I frittered between dessert to curry back to dessert to snacks and the more adventurous recipes, whilst settling on the monkfish. Seriously its unbelievable how long it takes to decide make something or eat it in my household (after the obligatory food styling, photo snapping and instagramming)..

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Iv’e had my eye on this delectable recipe by Michelin starred chef Alfred Prasad for a while now, having not cooked with monkfish previously I am dying to delve into eating this homely, colourful looking curry. Since I say Michelin, it does not reflect in this recipe and think that’s what’s attracted me it, simple, easy, home cooking is right up my street!

Me and the hubby are partial to a good curry every now and then and if its not a Mauritian one, its an Indian or Asian-inspired one, I just love lapping up those tasty spiced sauces with fluffy basmati rice or fresh rotis or chappatis. Guaranteed clean plates!

I swung by fishmongers Moxons in Clapham South yesterday to pick up some fresh monkfish for the dish.

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So I’m whipping up Alfred’s temptingly rich orange hued monkfish curry.

To start you saute the mustard seeds in some oil (here I used coconut oil) because I’ve started to use it alot these days and I love the extra smooth coconut flavour to the curry it gives. Then tipping in sliced onions (onions are very important in the base of any curry sauce making) here with a touch of maple syrup (as I didn’t have any fenugreek) and apparently an interesting fact is maple syrup is a good substitute for fenugreek as it contains the same compound sotolone that tastes similar!  

 

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Then add in the rich yellow turmeric, which you don’t need alot of as it can be overpowering, with that then the tomatoes that are blended, hot water, chilli (of course!) and cumin/coriander spices. This all happily sits cooking away for 20 minutes to develop a rich aromatic sauce. Believe me I can smell it wafting out the kitchen and its only making me utterly famished.

After 20 minutes of cooking, the sauce has reduced down, now is the time to carefully add in the monkfish pieces, at this point I literally time it for 2 minutes cooking in the sauce, then turn off the heat, mixed through some coconut milk and left it aside. It smells divine!

All that is needed now for the curry is to finish off with some fresh coriander (that will be on my portion because the other half abhors coriander!)

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Here is the recipe from the Great British Chefs Site

 

1. Wash the monkfish cubes and leave to drain
2.In a blender, pulse the tomatoes into a purée and set aside
3.In a thick bottomed pan over a medium heat, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then throw in the mustard seeds
4.Once the seeds are crackling, add the fenugreek seeds followed by the curry leaves, ginger and sliced onions. Cook until the onions are golden, stirring occasionally
5.Add the turmeric powder, sauté and add the puréed fresh tomatoes and hot water into the pan. Add the chilli, cumin and coriander powders
6.Partially cover the pan and turn up the heat so that it starts to boil, leave for 20 minutes
7.Turn down the heat, add the cubes of fish and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir the curry gently as it cooks, as the monkfish will cook quickly
8.Add the coconut milk and salt to taste, and bring the curry back to the boil. Stir gently until combined and the fish is cooked, then remove from the heat. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, add salt to taste and serve immediately
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I accompanied this dish with brown rice mixed with fried white onions in a little ghee and oil spiked with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns.  Plus a sweet carrot, cumin and sesame salad.

This in fact has probably made monkfish one of my current favourites, the fish cooked for 2 minutes retained its shape, was delicate to eat with the fragrant rich tomato based sauce, I only wish there was more! Will definitely be making this again.

id-week supper or if you have friends over!

Selina x

 

 

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Mauritian Open Air Festival 2014 http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/05/mauritian-festival-2014/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/05/mauritian-festival-2014/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:02:53 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5809 This weekend I visited the annual Mauritian Open Air Festival based in Tottenham on Down Park Lane. There was only a little wait for 40 minutes to get in.. but next time I’ve learnt to turn up later, we are running to Mauritian time after all With the promise of sega music, stalls serving up [...]

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This weekend I visited the annual Mauritian Open Air Festival based in Tottenham on Down Park Lane. There was only a little wait for 40 minutes to get in.. but next time I’ve learnt to turn up later, we are running to Mauritian time after all :)

With the promise of sega music, stalls serving up dhall puri, briyani and was a must visit for lunch (even if it was just to pick up some food) I went to last years one review here, with similar vendors as before and families setting up stalls serving homemade Mauritian food.

We met some characters, including a man who lived at a naval base in Mauritius in the 70′s, but now attends the Mauritian Festival every year. It’s quite refreshing to see many Europeans and mixed crowds at the festival, not just Mauritians to see that the interest outside of the community is growing.

There were some charity stalls there including Second Sight and Save our Monkeys who are championing their causes to support their charities directly linked to Mauritius.

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Street style gajacks (aubergine fritters, gateaux piment, du pain frier, bhajia)

There was one stall I passed by from a catering company that were serving freshly made dhall puris, you could see the process line of the woman rolling and filling the dough with split peas. And one was constantly cooking them on a large tawa (flat pan),she mentioned how you have to add a lot of oil to help it cook, to the hesitation of me going “that’s too much oil!” I still ate it anyway..

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Dhall Puri in all its glory.. with butterbean curry, chilli sauce and achar.. this chilli nearly blew my head off!

The dhall puri was slightly too hot for me, I know so shameful, but sometimes in dhall puri you buy on the street they just have chutney and the curry sauce  which is just as nice as with the hotter version with chilli sauce.

At £1 each for a pair that’s not too bad.

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Fruit pickled in sugar, vinegar, chilli with extra salt chilli to sprinkle on top 

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Fresh sugar cane juice, these were brought over from Uganda

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Alouda, vivid in pink colouring, a refreshing milky drink with basil seeds and agar jelly. This can be in various colours and is normally quite sweet, I make mine with ice cream for extra creaminess and texture.

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Gateaux piment (split pea chilli cakes) and gateaux arioulle (yam fritters)

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These fried morsels, are crisp, tasty and perfect scooped up with chilli chutney, proper Mauritian style. This rather stylish guy was frying gateaux piment in batch non stop, to keep up with the queues.

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Tarte Banane, caramelised banana cooked in a pastry shell, a cake/pastry in Mauritius best with a cup of tea! This was recommended to me by the stall vendor as the best tarte banane! Of course I had to text her theory out and it only lasted seconds.. the banana was spiced , dark in colour and cooked all mashed up, the pastry was baked through and had a delicious buttery taste to it.

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Pudine Mais, polenta cake with coconut, set in a jelly like texture, not too sweet

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With the main attraction being the food available, you do get dhall puri stalls competing with each other and every is offering the same traditional dishes, kept piping hot in large pots, there were a few jerk chicken stalls there as well.  We came across a few vindaye baguettes or chicken liver baguettes at £4 each filled to the brim with traditional fillings, a Mauritian sandwich if you like..

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It was lovely to briefly meet faces from Twitter, E.E Fry (@sugarcanebook) with her book Sugar Cane and La Boutique Maurice @BoutiqueMaurice .

Until the next Mauritian Open Air Festival, next year!

Selina x

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Electrolux Taste of London & City Pantry http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/30/taste-london-city-pantry/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/30/taste-london-city-pantry/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:47:17 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5744 So recently this month I’ve been out and about eating my way through London and these two events stood out. Not only were there lots of options to try different cuisines from restaurants (Taste) or street food stalls (City Pantry Westival) but such a buzz of people enjoying, socialising and reveling in food bringing people [...]

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So recently this month I’ve been out and about eating my way through London and these two events stood out. Not only were there lots of options to try different cuisines from restaurants (Taste) or street food stalls (City Pantry Westival) but such a buzz of people enjoying, socialising and reveling in food bringing people together.

Electrolux @Taste of London

So visiting TOL I went on a Thursday evening to try out some of the leading restaurants in London from Duck & Waffle, Assado, Flesh & Buns, Salt Yard to name a few.

We also got to go to Chef Secret’s hosted by Electrolux and saw Simon Hulstone make a sauteed liver dish with mixed mushrooms and mustard with cream, rich and delicious on chargrilled bread.

A simple dish made in under 15 minutes. That even we couldn’t mess up!

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Electrolux Secret Ingredient

We watched Jeremy Pang, Head chef of School of Wok, London’s top Oriental & Asian cookery school,  show how to cook a delicious Chinese banquet using his ‘secret ingredients’ and top of the range Electrolux appliances. Jeremy demonstrated how to get a real balance of flavour, when cooking Chinese food plus giving us little tips along the way ( I would recommend a class at School of Wok see my review on it here)

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We watched him whip up some of the flakiest tender fish (steamed in the oven) and duck pancakes coupled with wine to taste. Amazing.

Duck & Waffle.. Chef Dan’s recipe for a pistachio macaron, with chocolate mousse & cherries was divine and very easy to eat.

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Assado.. a fusion Portuguese/Indian restaurant had some wonderful vegetable puffs with coconut, I could of eaten plenty of these nibbles and made me more intrigued about going to the restaurant

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City Pantry – Westival 

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We visited a street food festival this month called Westival (it was located in Kensington) hosted by City Pantry a hub for caterers/street food vendors to offer delicious lunches to corporate companies around the city.

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We had some food from Colonel Tom’s dishing up gumbo with cornbread, Cooking Cooks with their pasta concoctions and Frenchie with their Duck Confit Burger. All complimented with finishing on Custom Creams Nitrogen ice cream.

Looking forward to hearing more events or collaborations with City Pantry in the future.

Selina x

 

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Reunion Island & Cilaos (Land of Lentils) http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/13/cilaos-land-lentils-reunion-island/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/13/cilaos-land-lentils-reunion-island/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:49:45 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5680 Mountains…lentils..more mountains.. 400 bended roads.. amazing scenery, interesting cuisine! “At first glance, Reunion is like a chunk of France transported to the tropics.” It is a tropical Island but unlike Seychelles or Mauritius it is not initially thought of as white sandy beach/luxury like these islands, it is more mountainous and almost feels like you’re in [...]

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Mountains…lentils..more mountains.. 400 bended roads.. amazing scenery, interesting cuisine!

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“At first glance, Reunion is like a chunk of France transported to the tropics.” It is a tropical Island but unlike Seychelles or Mauritius it is not initially thought of as white sandy beach/luxury like these islands, it is more mountainous and almost feels like you’re in France!

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The island produces sugarcane between July/December. There is Creole Brandy produced on the island, using fruit syrup, natural with no added sugar, with a variety of flours from lychee, mango,ginger, the small distillery we visited makes most their syrups before Dec (pre-cyclone season).

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Sea salt is also made on the island, where water is pumped into basins to evaporate, Reunion is known to have 200 different climates and over 100 different landscapes, one moment it can be blazing hot to a torrential downpour of rain.

And alike Mauritians the Réunionese love to eat, drink and to talk (it’s a creole thing)…

On arriving to Lux Reunion, it has a more outdoor, nature feel to the place, with the hotel entrance looking like a colonial mansion.

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We took a coach trip to spend the day visiting Cilaos a village in the mountains. “The name Cilaos comes from the Malagasy word, Tsilaosa which means the place one never leaves.” Wikipedia

Cilaos is a town on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean only a half hour flight away (by Air Austral) from Mauritius. I was particularly interested in visiting the island as I have never been before and I wanted to discover more about the cuisine and how it differs to Mauritian cooking.

And here you get a feel of a community, this place is hidden in the depths of the mountain ranges that they really can be quite cut off from the rest of the Island. Growing their own produce (Cilaos is popular for the production of lentils) I couldn’t wait to try this!
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We were lucky enough to have our trusty tour guide Nicolas to talk us through the journey which included 400 bends in the road.. ouch!

We had a lunch prepared for us by a lovely couple Michel & Raymonda who specialise in Table d’Hote (supperclub style) their business is called La Tapacala  cooking, hosting and lodging for tourists who want to taste a true authentic experience of Reunion Island.

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Flanked by mountains and waterfalls in the outdoors we had picnic tables set up ready for our lunch, with Raymonda and Michel finishing up their outdoor cooking on hobs.

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The Rhum Charrette on the island is mixed with passionfruit, ginger, spices and geranium leaves to give them a spiced flavour. The traditional way is to let someone pour the drink in your mouth..so I saw!

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I was very excited about trying the lentil from Ciloas, cooked with smoked sausage and spices like saffran (turmeric) to give it a creamy texture, this is served with rice and we also had it alongside a marlin (fish) rougaille dish, none were too spicy. The dishes are similar to some Mauritian recipes, with slight twists and the food is more leaning to being French-inspired or Creole.

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We were also served a quiche but using chou chou, tomatoes and other vegetables it was delicious!

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Finally, we tried a chocolate cake with a combava (almost like lime leaf) taste to it, rich and dense, nothing like I have tried before.

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Definitely one of my highlights of the trip to Reunion Island, I will be expanding more on this in my next article for Air Mauritius’ Made in Mauritius blog soon!

LUX REUNION- La Plage Restaurant

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On having lunch at Lux Reunion we were treated to lunch at La Plage restaurant.  It celebrates the traditional Creole cuisine of the island. We started with a sparkling lychee cocktail (my favourite choice to drink) then on to a plate of gajacks or snacks (dim sum, samossa gateaux piment) served with achar (pickled vegetables) light and delicious.

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The main  was a plate of delicious fish including scallops, tender fish with a jus, potatoes and lemon wedges, celebrating the fresh local produce of the island.

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Fresh skewered and grilled prawns with peppers on a bed of seasoned vegetables & tomatoes prepped by the lovely French chef at the helm.

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Salmon Caesar Salad, a little twist to the normal Chicken Caesar, once since I have made at home.

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Thinly sliced pineapple carpaccio with ice cream

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La Cuisine- Lux Restaurant

In the evening we headed to La Cuisine another restaurant at Lux Reunion, we tasted some of the Scrucap wines, made exclusively for Lux resorts. (So glad I came home with a bottle of Riesling!)

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This meal was very enjoyable with a delicate starter of fish with pickled ginger, this was light and refreshing. These next two dishes are the highlight of most the meals at the hotel I experienced this fish was tender and buttery with a brede songe risotto base and parmesan crisp..OMG!

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Followed by the equally excellent root dessert, including cassava, a herb granita, turmeric and ginger spices plus root crisps. AMAZING! And a beautiful plate of food.

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Breakfast at Lux Reunion, included fruity exotic jams including a sweet potato flavour and fruit platers of fresh passionfruit, yoghurt and coconut.

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So a FABULOUS time in Reunion Island, so glad I got to experience it, especially the trip to Cilaos!

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Next time… Back to Mauritius in my final installment!

Selina x

 

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