One of the great Creole cuisines, Mauritian food is a combination of native African, French, Chinese and Indian, with many dishes created that are unique to the island of Mauritius. Indian curries, breads and pickles are cooked alongside slow-braised European daubes and stir-fried noodles from China, all using locally available ingredients.
The most common ingredients used in preparing food are tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies, which are cooked with spices into a delicious fresh tasting sauce known as rougaille that is widely used. Vegetables, meats and seafood can be cooked in the rougaille and eaten with achards (pickles) and dhal or rice. Spices are also a big part of Mauritian food with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves used liberally.
A typical Mauritian buffet will include Mediterranean-style vegetables, Indian-style biryani, boiled rice as a staple and salad with French dressing. Seafood is an added attraction
While the Indian population has had a huge influence on the cuisine, Mauritian curries are unique. They rarely contain coconut milk and, interestingly, also often feature what are more typically known as European herbs, such as thyme. Curries also often feature more unusual meats and seafood like octopus or duck, along with the more typical meat and vegetable varieties.