The one thing that is offered as an accompaniment at almost every street food vendor, fast food outlet or restaurant in Mauritius is chilli paste (Piment Crasé). Mauritians would rarely have their meals without their ‘Piment Crasé’.
Most Mauritian dishes are not prepared with chilli, this way those who don’t like spicy food can enjoy the meals too. If you are not used to eating spicy food but would like to experiment, start slow with just a little chilli paste and if you can handle the heat, you can gradually increase the amount. With time, you may find it hard to have any meal without chilli paste.
Easy to make, there are only 3 main ingredients- chillies, lemon or lime and garlic.
Chilli paste in Mauritius comes in various types and different names. The chillies used can be either red or green but green chillies are less spicy and usually favoured. One variation with red chillies, referred to as ‘Mazavaroo’ often comes with dried shrimp blended into the chilli paste. Another variation also made with red chillies, includes dried octopus - known as ‘Piment Ourite’ which is very famous in Rodrigues.
If you wish to enjoy some Homemade ‘Piment Crasé’, here’s the recipe:
For a longer conservation period, mix a little oil in the paste, store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge.
You are free to modify as you like - you can try with more or less chillies, different varieties and colours of chilli and see which one you prefer. Though, you will find that green ‘Piment Crasé’ is very popular in Mauritius.
We already mentioned that Mauritians like their chilli paste with almost everything. If you’re looking for something to accompany your chilli paste, here are a few easy snacks that you can prepare in less than an hour:
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