Mauritius

This week Friday mouse is in the exotic Mauritius. Writer Mark Twain once said: “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius”.  Maybe it was this that back in a day attracted pirates to Mauritius? Anyways Mauritius food is exciting and worth exploring.

Flatbread (farata)

Ingredients

  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 150 g ghee, melted

Instructions

  1. Place flour, salt and 125 ml cold water in a bowl, mixing to combine. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 4, then using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each piece into a 15 cm round. Brush with a little of the ghee and fold in half to make a semi-circle. Brush with ghee and fold in half again. Roll out to a 15 cm round, brush with ghee and roll up like a Swiss roll to enclose ghee. Fold in half lengthwise and flatten dough using your hands. Roll out again to make a 15 cm round and brush both sides with ghee.
  3. Heat a frying pan over low–medium heat. Cook the farata, brushing with ghee, for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown and slightly puffed. Serve immediately

Coriander salsa

Ingredients

  • coriander, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • fresh chillies, to taste
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until pureed. Season to taste.
  2. This salsa is served as an accompaniment to curries.

SPICED CRISPY OKRA RECIPE (NON-SLIMY)

Ingredients

  • 350g okra (cut into 1-2 cm or 1/2 inch pieces across)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (or desiccated coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour (or gram flour/besan)
  • 1 tablepoon lemon juice (or tamarind juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Wash the okra while still whole. Then pat dry them on a paper towel or clean cloth. Cut the stems off, then cut into 1-2 cm or ½ inch pieces across.
  2. Mix the coconut flour, chickpea flour, turmeric and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet on medium high temperature, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot (but not fuming), add in the okra and stir. Make sure the skillet is large enough so that the okra fit on one layer.
  4. Cook on medium high heat while stirring every 5 minutes or so until the okra is half-cooked (about 12 – 15 minutes, depending on how tender the okra are). They will slightly shrink and will be a little darker in colour.
  5. Add the lemon juice. Immediately add the salt followed by the flour and spice mixture and stir.
  6. Cook for another 5 – 8 minutes, until the chickpea flour is nicely roasted.
  7. Turn off the heat.

Fish and Eggplant Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 whole fish
  • 2 eggplants cut into quarters
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek) powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • A few mint leaves for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped spring onions
  • Water
  • Oil to deep fry the fish

Instructions

  1. Clean, scale and cut fish into slices and wash thouroughly
  2. Pat dry the fish slices with a kitchen towel, and add pepper and salt. Fry them on medium heat till they turn to a golden brown colour
  3. Drain the fried fish slices on a paper towel to remove all the excess oil and put aside
  4. Season the eggplant with some salt and fry in the same oil as the fish
  5. Drain the fried eggplant on a paper towel and put aside
  6. Take 2 tablespoon of oil which you have been using to fry the fish and put in a different pan
  7. Add the methi powder, sliced onion, thyme leaves, curry leaves and stir fry for 2 minutes
  8. Mix the curry powder with a little warm water so that it forms a paste and add to the pan and stir well
  9. Add the tomatoes and ginger and garlic paste
  10. Cover and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are completely done (add water if it becomes dry)
  11. Add the fried fish slices, the fried eggplant and add warm water according to preferred consistency
  12. Simmer on medium heat for a few minutes by taking extra care of not breaking the fish slices while stirring
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onions and mint leaves

Flan Caramel

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 and 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Instructions

  1. In a bowl combine the vanilla, eggs and 3/4 cupsugar and mix well
  2. Gradually add the milk and stir well
  3. In a pan, add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and stir constantly on a low heat
  4. Once the caramel is formed, pour into a deep oven proof dish and spread it evenly
  5. Pour the mixture in the same pan which already contains the caramel
  6. Preheat oven on 350F / 175oCelsius
  7. Pour water in a large oven proof pan and put the dish containing the mixture in the pan (water bath, bain marie)
  8. Cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until the flan is completely set
  9. Allow to cool, refrigerate and serve chilled

Mauritius gather this many mice: 

Next up: Johannesburg!

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