You’ll find street food sellers offering these Piment Frire (Chilli Poppers) all over Mauritius. These deliciously hot snacks are perfect to eat on the go or you can eat them with a chutney or pickle of your choice. For tuna-stuffed chilli poppers see Piment Farci au Thon.
What you need… • 4 large chilli peppers (you can cut a small slit and empty out the seeds if you don’t like them too hot) • Cold water • Salt • 100g self-raising flour • 50g gram flour (this is chickpea flour, also called besan flour) • 8 Tablespoons oil
How to make it… 1. Soak the peppers in the water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Dry them and set aside. 2. Mix the self-raising flour and besan flour with a pinch of salt and enough water to create a thick paste. 3. Dip the peppers in the flour batter so they are all well coated. 4. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to a high heat and, using a slotted spoon, drop the chilli peppers into the oil until they turn a deep yellow and the batter is fully fried (about 2–3 minutes). Turn the peppers while they are frying to ensure they are evenly cooked. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook these in a couple of batches. 5. The chillies are obviously very hot when they come out of the oil so allow them to cool slightly before eating!
Piment Farci au Thon (Chillies Stuffed with Tuna) is popular street food or a snack that is often served at parties. These chilli poppers are sometimes stuffed with pieces of chicken or just cooked in batter without stuffing (see Piment Frire).
What you need… • 4 large chilli peppers • Cold water • Two pinches of salt • 100g self-raising flour • 50g gram flour (this is chickpea flour, also called besan flour) • 150g tuna, shredded • 1 Tablespoon coriander, finely chopped • 1 spring onion, finely chopped • 8 Tablespoons oil
How to make it… 1. Slice the peppers open to form a pocket. Remove the seeds if you don’t want them too hot. Soak them in the water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Dry them and set aside. 2. Mix the self-raising flour and besan flour with a pinch of salt and enough water to create a thick paste. 3. Mix the tuna, coriander and spring onion and stuff the peppers with the mixture. 4. Dip the peppers in the flour batter so they are all well coated. 5. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to a high heat and, using a slotted spoon, drop the chilli peppers into the oil until they turn a deep yellow and the batter is fully fried (about 2–3 minutes). Turn the peppers while they are frying to ensure they are evenly cooked. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook these in a couple of batches. 6. The chillies are naturally very hot so allow them to cool slightly before eating!
These Chicken Tikka Wraps make a delicious and fresh tasting snack when combined with peppers, onions, salad and Mint Yoghurt Sauce. It’s best when cooked fresh but to speed up the process simply marinate some extra chicken when making any of the tandoori dishes that require Chicken Tikka, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, then cook it up for the perfect lunch-time snack the next day.
What you need… • 1 recipe Chicken Tikka (starter) • 2 teaspoons oil • 0.5 green pepper, sliced • 0.5 red pepper, sliced • 0.5 onion, sliced • 1 tomato, chopped • An 8cm piece of cucumber, chopped • Handful of crispy lettuce, chopped • Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped • 1 recipe Mint Yoghurt Sauce • 4–6 wraps (or nan bread or roti)
How to make it… 1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the peppers and onions in a pan until soft (about 4–5 minutes). 2. Warm the wraps under the grill for a couple of minutes. 3. Lay 4–5 pieces of chicken just off the centre right of the wrap and add your choice of peppers, onions, salad and coriander, plus some Mint Yoghurt Sauce. 5. Fold the long side of the wrap to the right over the mixture and tuck it just under the mixture. Now fold the bottom of the wrap up so it overlaps the flap you have created on the right and holding it tight with your thumb fold the left side over to create the wrap.
This simple street snack is popular in Mauritius. This is simply slices of bread dipped in batter and fried and are delicious with a fresh Coriander Chutney.
What you need… • 10 pieces of French bread, sliced into pieces 2cm deep • 8 Tablespoons oil (or more if needed to cover the bottom of your pan)
Batter • 4 Tablespoons gram flour • 2 Tablespoons self-raising flour • 0.5 teaspoon baking powder • 1 spring onion, chopped • 2 drops yellow food colouring • pinch of salt • water as required
How to make it… 1. Mix all the ingredients for the batter and add the water bit by bit until a thick paste has formed. 2. Heat the oil to a medium-hot heat. 3. Dip the bread pieces in the batter mix, ensuring they are well covered. 4. Add the battered bread pieces to the oil, ensuring you do not crowd them, and fry until they are golden brown (about five minutes). 5. Serve with Coriander Chutney.
Manchurian Paneer is an Indo-Chinese dish that combines the flavours and cooking techniques of both India and China. The chunks of cheese are fried in a chilli batter then stir fried with garlic, ginger, pepper and spy sauce and top with spring onions. The cuisine emerged from a group of Chinese people, now numbering 2,000, in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and there are a number of restaurants serving the hybrid cuisine in Chinatown in the city.
What you need… • 500g paneer, cut into chunks • 10 Tablespoons oil • 0.5 yellow or green pepper, cut into chunks • 0.5 red pepper, cut into chunks • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 0.5 teaspoon ginger paste • 0.5 onion, cut into chunks • 3 chillies, chopped • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup • 2 spring onions, chopped • 0.5 teaspoon cracked black pepper
For the batter • 5 Tablespoons plain flour • 1.5 Tablespoons corn flour • 1 teaspoon chilli powder • pinch of salt • water, as needed
How to make it… 1. Mix the first four ingredients of the batter then add the water bit by bit to form a thin paste. 2. Add the paneer chunks and ensure all are well coated by the paste. 3. Heat the oil to a medium-hot heat then add the paneer chunks until they brown on all sides (about 3 minutes). Turn them frequently to avoid them burning. Remove the paneer from the oil and set aside on a paper towel. 4. Turn down the heat, add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes. 5. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. 6. Add the onion and chillies and fry for 2 minutes. 7. Add the soy sauce, tomato ketchup and 4 tablespoons of the leftover batter paste and stir fry for 1 minute. 8. Add the paneer and fry until all the ingredients are cooked through. The peppers and onions should be softened but not mushy. 9. Sprinkle the spring onions and crack the black pepper on top and serve fresh.
Tali Machli (Spicy Fried Fish) is a popular street food snack eaten all over India but is especially popular in coastal Maharashtra. It’s lightly spiced so you don’t need a sauce, which makes it ideal for eating on the move, but it’s also delicious with your favourite chutney or pickle.
What you need… • 500g white fish, skinned and cut into four, even-sized fillets • 60g gram flour • 40g rice flour • 10 Tablespoons oil • 0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds
How to make it… 1. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. 2. Mix the marinade ingredients together to form a thick paste and rub it over the fillets. Leave for 1 hour. 3. Cover the fillets in the gram flour then in the rice flour, ensuring all parts are well covered. 4. Heat the oil to a medium-high heat in a wide, pan, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds. 5. Add the fillets and shallow fry until the fish is cooked through and the batter crisp (about 3 minutes on each side).
Gateaux Piment (Chilli Cakes) This is a popular street-food snack in Mauritius, which is sold in small shops or from homes of people looking to earn a bit of extra income. It is particularly popular at breakfast time. You may also see these advertised as Gato Pima, which is the Creole spelling of the snack.
Enough for about 15 pieces
What you need
• Half a cup of yellow split peas (soak in water overnight and drained)
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 2 spring onions chopped
• Pinch of cumin powder
• 1 or 2 chopped chillies (to your taste)
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 tbls cooking oil
How you cook it 1. Grind split peas to a paste. Use a little water if necessary. 2. Add all the other ingredients (except the oil) to the peas and mix. 3. Form the mixture into small (about 2cm diameter) flat pancakes. Use a little water in order to bind the pancakes, if necessary. 4. Heat oil on a medium heat. 5. Add the pancakes, turning occasionally, and cook until golden brown. 6. Drain the pancakes and remove any excess oil with kitchen paper. Serve with bread and butter or your favourite chutney.