Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
Mauritius is an African island nation off the coasts of Africa and India. It’s turquoise waters, soft white sand, multi-ethnic culture, and stunning landscapes make it an ideal and underrated travel destination. After researching Mauritius for this week’s challenge, I definitely want to go there someday. Mauritius is known for its safety and has an up-and-coming economy. It’s sometimes called Dodoland because the now extinct Dodo Bird was native to the island. I didn’t realize how remote Mauritius is until writing this article– check out the map below!
The national dish of Mauritius is Dholl Puri, a common street food comprised of a yellow split pea roti with two different types of curries, called Rougaille and Cari Gros Pois. Mauritian cuisine is highly influenced by Indian flavours and this was definitely present in this week’s meal. Dholl Puri is highlighted in this post by TravelStart, this post by Restaurants.mu, this post by ContinentHop, and this list by TasteAtlas. It is ranked #1 in this list by Getaway. Also, check out this informative article by Mauritius Inside Out.
We followed this recipe by SBS for our yellow split pea rotis:
This recipe by Tasting Mauritius for the Cari Gros Pois:
And this recipe by Bonjour Mauritius for the Rougaille:
I was lucky to have Mack helping me out this week because Dholl Puri involves preparing several things at once, so his help saved me from risky multitasking. We started by prepping the dough for the roti and letting that sit while we boiled our split peas and got our two curries simmering.
Next, I prepared the roti by forming the dough into balls, creating an indent for a smaller ball of mushed split peas, rolling the split pea ball into the larger dough ball, and then using a rolling pin to create a flat round roti. This was an interesting method because it created a thin pocket of split pea mixture. The dough was a perfect consistency– I’m really proud of my improving dough skills! While our curries simmered we fried out the roti. This was the most time-consuming part and would have been far quicker if we got more pans on the go or if we had a pancake griddle.
After about an hour of work, it was finally time to serve up our Dholl Puri. It was smelling so good and we didn’t have any kitchen disasters so we were feeling quite hopeful for a yummy meal… and our hope paid off. This was such a delicious, hearty, filling supper. One of my favourites of the entire challenge so far! The yellow split pea roti was chewy and not bland, the Rougaille was satisfying and comforting, and the Cari Gros Pois was my favourite element by far– the curry flavour was strong and it reminded me of my time in Sri Lanka. It was way better than any jarred sauce we could buy.
Would I make Dholl Puri again? Yes!! Except we’d likely serve it over rice or store-bought pitas if we were to make this on a weeknight as the yellow split pea roti were the most involved and laborious element. That said, yellow split peas are one of my favourite cooking ingredients so if I had a whole day to cook, I’d include these again too.
While we ate, we watched these videos:
Stay tuned for next week as we remain in the M’s of Africa…