Falafel fanatics will love the popular Mauritian street treat, ‘gateaux piments’.
Mauritian cuisine isn’t exactly one of the most famed cuisines in the world, but it’s one that you’re going to want to get familiar with. It takes influence from all corners of the world with strong French ties (evident in popular dishes like bouillon and coq au vin), as well as a good dose of flavour courtesy of the homelands of the Indian, Creole, African, and Chinese settlers. From dholl puri to Mauritian fried noodles, the range of unique local dishes available on the island is as wide as the cuisine’s influences.
Of all the delicious delicacies in Mauritius, none are as iconic as gateaux piments. Directly translated as ‘chilli cakes’, these crunchy, deep-fried balls can be found readily around Mauritius for no less than a few dollars for a bag full. They’re similar in makeup to falafel – using dholl (yellow split peas) as the base in place of chickpeas – and they are equally as moreish. Enjoyed on their own or freshly cooked in a buttered roll, gateaux piments are a staple snack on the island.
If you’re looking for an alternative to chickpea-based falafel or an easy introduction to Mauritian cuisine, give gateaux piments recipe below a go.
Gateaux Piments Recipe
- 250g dholl (split peas)
- 2 or 3 chillies (green or red). Add more or less to your taste
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds or cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Wash the dholl in fresh water and leave to soak for 3-4 hours. If you can, leaving to soak overnight is preferable.
- Drain the dholl thoroughly in a sieve. Put it in a blender in batches, alternating between a really fine blend and a coarser blend. There must be enough fine blend to bind the chilli cakes together. You can cut this step out with a pre-made dholl grind (soak before use).
- Add all the ingredients to the ground dholl and mix well. Add a little bit of water to bind together if needed.
- Heat the oil to somewhere between medium and hot. Shape the gateaux piments mixture into small ball shapes and deep fry them in batches until they’re golden brown.
- Drain and place on kitchen towelette to absorb any extra oil.
- Serve hot with fresh bread or eat as a snack
Feature image: The Cutlery Chronicles
See more: Food