Saturday, October 19, 2013

Smoked pork - Porc Boucané

Everyone loves smoked pork that is very popular for rougailles and stewing vegetables with. The  Porc Boucané from Reunion Island is very popular worldwide, especially among the Mauritian expatriate community.

You can normally obtain same from your local Deli shop. The Italians and Greeks are very fond of this smoked pork. The origin of the name stems from Old French whereby the term Boucan was used for the wooden hut within which meat and other products were smoked. Sometimes, the meat is salted and cured with various spices and herbs prior to the smoking process.
Smoked pork or Porc boucané has been imparted with this very distinctive flavour and taste, through the smoking process. Incorporating this smoked  pork in a rougaille is the number one combination. Once tasted, you will always crave for this dish.
If you cannot buy this smoked pork from your local delicatessen, you can always make it yourself and smoke same in your BBQ (it needs a cover to do the smoking).
I will detail the recipe for salting and spice curing the pork prior to smoking, on our Recipes from Mauritius web site at
Meanwhile, Bon Appetit.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Origin of the Mauritian word "Chatini"

Many people believe chutneys to be an English invention. In fact, the dish originates from Northern India and England, as many people erroneously believe. Indeed, the word 'chutney' itself is a corruption of the Indian chatni. It's derived from he word chatna which literally means 'to lick' and represents the lip-smacking sound made on eating something tasty (such as a chutney is meant to be).
 Typically, the original Indian chatni is made from a mix of uncooked fruit (such as mangoes, apples, bananas etc), green chillies, green herbs and spices, an acid base such as vinegar or tamarind juice and sometimes sugar ground together to make a paste. Indian chatnis are fresh and intended to be consumed soon after they are made.

This basic chatni recipe was brought back to Britain during the 18th Century where it was adapted as a way of preserving the surpluses resulting from the autumn harvest of fruit and vegetables. As a result the original recipes were adapted to become more of a spicy preserve or condiment where the fruit or vegetables could be preserved over winter by cooking in vinegar and sugar and flavoured with spices before being bottle.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Enjoying Mauritian beef and potato curry with faratas in Belfast

I stayed with Northern Irish friends Liz and Norman Coates in Belfast during my recent holidays in Europe. Norman being keen on the spicy side of Mauritian cuisine talked me into showing him the preparation of a beef and potato curry to be eaten with faratas.

We shared the curry and faratas with Liz’s mum who is in her 80’s but more like in her early 70’s. They (Coates and Chapman) had never tasted this very popular Mauritian food and liked it so much that they had multiple serves. Norman told me that this was something that he will cook again.

Mauritian foods are very much appreciated by people from all over the world. I have been told by the owner of the Jasmin Indian Restaurant in Adelaide that Mauritian curries are very much more subtle that the traditional Indian curry. This is very true as there has been a convergence of the multicultural cuisines in Mauritius for some two centuries, leading to Mauritian curries being more acceptable to the uninitiated curry eaters.

You can find Madeleine Philippe’s Mauritian recipes at
I have also started with the compilation of Madeleine’s passion about Mauritian cuisine into the “Taste of Mauritius” book. This book will pass on to you very much of Madeleine’s concept of what Mauritian Cuisine is all about and how best to enjoy and share this wonderful cuisine with loved ones and others. I will keep you posted on this with regular updates, including excerpts from the book.

I regularly receive emails about Madeleine and her surviving passion for Mauritian Cuisine, with many telling me that she lives on through her cuisine and very popular recipes.

Quote from a recent email that I received: “I am a British born Mauritian, living in Ascot, Berkshire, England. I have often looked up Mauritian recipes on Madeleine’s web site and have not done so for a long time. I was very sad to read of your loss, but wanted you to know that these numerous recipes encouraged me to try cooking new things and it’s such a lovely and well written website. 

I hope you find some comfort in knowing how your lovely wife’s passion for Mauritian Cuisine lives on and still gives great pleasure to many people. Especially my elderly Mauritian parents who are amazed at their British born, daughter’s cooking abilities.”

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mauritian style fried noodles in Springvale

Letting you know a little known secret.

Want to eat a mines frire Mauricien!!!!

You can have one on the menu at Hoa Tran Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant in Springvale, Melbourne. The restaurant is located behind the new complex in Buckingham Avenue. Taste very nice and a huge serving. Listed No 180 on the menu.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Springvale Pork Rolls - Good value for money & absolutely delicious

The Vietnamese pork rolls have had a chequered history. The spates of poisoning in the past arising from the consumption of these rolls created much publicity. Since then, the Greater Dandenong Council have increased vigilance of food safety and undertaken compulsory food handling programs in Springvale. These pork rolls are now much better both in quality and value for money.

At any point in time, especially during lunch time one has to join a queue before being served. I have personally enjoyed those delicious pork rolls on many occasions and can tell you that they are very nice and somewhat addictive.

You have multiple choices about the goodness that you can include. Chopped red chillies can also be added and if you overdo the chillies, it will give you a real thump. Real value for money at $4.00 each & really convenient for a quick bite on the run. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Original Puits d"Amour Cake
Original Puits d'Amour Cakes
The first recipe of the Puits d’Amour was from Vincent De La Chapelle in his 18th century cookbook “Modern Cook” in 1735. The original puits d’amour consisted of a vol au vent in puff pastry filled with red fruit jelly.
King Louis XV served these puits d’amour cakes that allegedly represented “the real puits d’amour” (well of love) during his intimate dinners with favourite guests. This erotic representation caused a scandal and to ease off the situation, the red jelly was replaced with crème pâtissière to make the cake more acceptable. This crème pâtissière also has a caramelised topping.
These days many variants of the puits d’amour cake exist. The most famous being the one produced by the STOHRER - PÂTISSIER TRAITEUR in rue Montorgueil 75002 Paris.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Daube de boeuf avec pommes de terre

This very popular Mauritian dish originated from the classic Daube de Provence in France. French settlers in Mauritius brought this very delicious dish with them. Over time this has been adapted for use almost exclusively over rice, though in Provence this dish is also served on occasions with rice or mashed potatoes. The Provence version contains an assortment of vegetables that turns the dish into a complete meal by itself.
This Mauritian version has the potatoes cooked with the beef. It is prepared as per the original recipe in that the cubed beef is allowed to marinate in dry sherry, crushed garlic, chopped parsley and finely chopped onions. The Mauritian touch is that the sauce is enriched with finely crushed tomatoes and the red wine added during the later stages. The beef cubes are also partly precooked with crushed garlic and finely chopped onions. The cubed potatoes are added to the simmering sauce just before the beef is thoroughly cooked in, so that the cubed potatoes are thoroughly cooked with the beef cubes.In Mauritius, this dish is cooked in the normal casserole whereby in Provence, it is traditionally cooked in a special pot called a daubière.  

This dish is steeped in traditions. In the Camargue and Béarn area of France, bulls killed in bullfighting festivals are often used for the daube.This old recipe is unfortunately not so popular these days because, most people are not fully aware of the need to marinate the beef before it can develop the aromatic flavours of the dry sherry, onions, garlic and herbs used. Fast cuisine is not necessarily conducive to good Mauritian French cuisine.
Try this dish. You’ll find it very rewarding.