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British ColonisationWhen Indian workers were brought to Mauritius, they brought their cuisine with them and since they came from different regions in India, traces of both southern and northern Indian cuisine can be found on the island. From mountainous northern India with its Persian influences, aromatic Basmati rice is a popular staple of the Mauritian diet and thanks to Portuguese influences on Indian cuisine to the subtropical south, freshly baked bread and rotis and naans are never far from the Mauritian table.

The appeal of Indian cuisine is in the judicious use of a wide variety of spices like cumin, ginger, garlic, turmeric, mint, saffron and cinnamon to name just a few!

Common Indian dishes found in Mauritius include: biryani made with meat, chicken, fish or vegetables and most importantly potatoes (unlike those found in other countries); curries made with vegetables and potatoes mixed with meat, chicken or fish; chutneys made from coriander, tomatoes, and chillies, or coconut and mint; and pickles made from a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. The Mauritian versions of these dishes have a unique, local flavour and at times differ significantly from the original Indian recipes.

Indian street food is some of the most popular with locals and visitors alike, particularly the inexpensive dholl puris normally filled with a bean curry and a rougaille sauce and with or without crushed chillies. Other delights include gateau piments (fried chilli cakes), samosas, potato or aubergine slices fried in a light batter, and halim – a spicy meaty soup.