Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 109! Mauritius - Rougaille (Creole Sauce) - Up Next, Mexico

Original Photograph - The Love of Photos
This wonderful Mauritian Rougaille dish comes direct and authentically to you from my friend, Astrid, a Norwegian transplant to the African island nation of Mauritius.  Were it not for the wonders of the web, Astrid and I would likely never have met. But, because we are kindred foodie bloggers, our paths crossed. We got to chatting and before you knew it, we'd developed a friendship, starting talking food and culture...and the rest is history. Check out her beautiful blog, The Love of Photos. Among other things, Astrid is a photographer, so I've included some of her spectacular shots of her homeland. Although she sent me many recipes, Astrid said Rougaille was her favorite because of it's versatility, so that's what I went with!

Officially The Republic of Mauritius, the country is an island nation off the the southeast coast of of the African continent in the Southwest Indian Ocean. The Republic also includes the islands of Cargados, Rodrigues and Agalega. Languages spoken include Mauritian Creole, French and English. The country claims the impressive credit for being the only land on which the Dodo existed, unfortunately becoming extinct about 80 years after colonization.

Original Photo-The Love of Photos
Mauritian cuisine is influenced by French, Indian, Chinese and indigenous traditions. After the abolition of slavery in the 19th century, Indian workers migrated to the island and brought with them yeast breads, saffron, cumin, cardamom, cloves, vegetables, pickles and dals. By the end of the 19th century, Chinese from the southeast region of Canton migrated to the island, and brought with them noodles, rice and seafood dishes. The result is a wonderful fusion of flavors and dishes unique to the island.

Astrid's Rougaille

1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 3 very large), chopped
3 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
6 cloves garlic (or more), curshed
1-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
15 coriander (cilantro) leaves chopped
4 large green chillies, cut lengthwise and seeds removed (optional)
6 spring onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Cut tomatoes into 6-8 pieces.
Fry onions in oil, do not let brown.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except tomatoes and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
 *Add sausages, salted or fresh fish, prawn, red meat, chicken or tofu....On Astrid's advice, I used prawns!
**Serve with rice, breads or Indian breads.

Final Assessment: Fantastic! This was so easy to prepare and the flavors were wonderful. I loved the combination of ginger, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes. I served it up on a bed of basmati rice and tandori nan. Not a drop left for lunch tomorrow :)


Astrid said...

OOH! I'm flattered! Out of the recipes I suggested for you, I think this one is #1; easy to make and the taste is delicious. What is so great with it is all the variations by adding meat, fish, other vegetables, anything to it. It's a favorite in our house.

sadie said...

Thanks so much, Astrid! I hope I did you,your beautiful country and this wonderful dish justice...I wish we lived closer :(

Anonymous said...

Hi there I am looking for a recipe for Mauritian style creole sauce that is more of a condiment and would be like a chilli sauce served from a jar at the table. I know someone who used to make it but they never gave out the recipe. It is tomato based and quite reduced (unctuous) with chilli,garlic and ginger. I would really love the proper recipe if someone has it and would really appreciate any help thanks alot Dylan.

sadie said...

Hi Dylan - I have emailed my Mauritian friend for a lead on the chilli sauce you seek! I'll let you know when she gets back to me ... It sounds delicious :)