Recipe… Gateaux Piment (Chilli Cakes)

 

Gato Piment 4 Low Res

Gateaux Piment (Chilli Cakes)
This is a popular street-food snack in Mauritius, which is sold in small shops or from homes of people looking to earn a bit of extra income. It is particularly popular at breakfast time. You may also see these advertised as Gato Pima, which is the Creole spelling of the snack.

Enough for about 15 pieces

What you need
• Half a cup of yellow split peas (soak in water overnight and drained)
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 2 spring onions chopped
• Pinch of cumin powder
• 1 or 2 chopped chillies (to your taste)
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 tbls cooking oil

How you cook it
1. Grind split peas to a paste. Use a little water if necessary.
2. Add all the other ingredients (except the oil) to the peas and mix.
3. Form the mixture into small (about 2cm diameter) flat pancakes. Use a little water in order to bind the pancakes, if necessary.
4. Heat oil on a medium heat.
5. Add the pancakes, turning occasionally, and cook until golden brown.
6. Drain the pancakes and remove any excess oil with kitchen paper. Serve with bread and butter or your favourite chutney.

Gato Piment 1Gato Piment 2

Gato Piment 3


 

The Spice Card offers savings on curries, including on takeaways at many venues. You can get your Spice Card here.

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Ricardo’s Fast Food (Beau Bassin, Mauritius)

Ricardo’s Fast Food, Beau Bassin, Mauritius

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Ricardo’s Tandoori chef

Not much beats deeply marinated chicken that’s served up within seconds of leaving the tandoor oven. Especially if you’ve got a nan bread dripping in butter and it’s one in the morning.

Ricardo’s is hardly on the beaten track for tourists visiting Mauritius, but lucky for us we’ve got a couple of friends in the know. We’d been planning to visit the place for days so it’s fair to say I had Malai Tikka on the brain by time we’d arrived. The tandoor chef certainly knew his stuff and it was a delight to watch him work his magic as he slid an array of meats onto large skewers – Sheek Kebabs (Rs 125), Haryali Kebabs (Rs 100) and, of course, Malai Kebabs (Rs 100) – and then plunged them into the over furnace. The breads were next and it didn’t take long for one of the tastiest street food snacks to emerge.

The tandoor menu is short and to the point – kebabs, nans (Rs 25 to Rs 50) and nan rolls (Rs 150 to Rs 200). There are a few other things on the menu like chips and sausages but frankly why would you bother when there is a super skilled tandoor chef waiting for your order? Just find a perch in the bustle of this ramshackle takeaway joint and watch the locals come and go as they fill up with late-night snacks.

Ricardo’s, Beau Bassin, Mauritius. Tel: 5759 2043. Open: till late.

Scores on the tandoors
Food 9
Decor 2
Service and friendliness 9
Vibe 9 (late night Friday)
Value 10

 

 

 

 

 

Rub a zub zub

Zub Express, Flic en Flac, Mauritus (Takeaway)

Granted, poor old Zub Express had a tough ask when I ordered the Chicken Kolapuri (Rps190) because the best curry I have ever had was when I ordered the same dish in India. But while this kolapuri wasn’t quite up to those dizzy heights, the chef gave it a great go. There was that tasty, creamy, yet spicy sauce, with large chunks of well-marinated chicken and slices of onion that had been added late (ala many Chinese dishes) to provide a nice crunch. The restaurant advertises itself as a fusion of Indian and Chinese so maybe this was their fusion.

Although there are many Chinese dishes on the menu this place exudes ‘curry house’. Nicely decorated inside, it sits alone, away from the buzz of the other bars and restaurants in this resort, but en route to the main tourist hotels. Many diners choose to sit outside at one of the tables and look out across the beach, a naan’s throw away.

The kolapuri was served with some of the best, and freshest rotis (Rps30 each) I have ever had – fluffy yet firm, and perfect to scoop up this tasty dish. It’s a no brainer that I will soon be eating, not throwing, the naans (from Rps35) and trying the Aloo Ka Pharata (Rps40) soon.

As well as a good selection of the classic curry dishes, and, of course, this being Mauritius, a range of briyanis, there are also special seafood dishes to tempt, including King Prawn and Coconut (Rps750) and a Lobster Butter Massala (Rps950), which I’d imagine get more than a few tourist takers.

Strangely there is an extra charge for takeaways (Rps10.50 for each item). When I first commented that this was unusual, I was met with the service classic, “I don’t know why, I just work here.” I’m told by another takeaway regular to Zub that it’s to pay for the takeaway pots. Look after the pots and the pounds will look after themselves my old grandad used to say.

Parking: car park by the beach opposite.

Specials (or should that be non-specials): each takeaway item is charged Rps10.50 extra, so it’s cheaper to eat in than take food away.

Beer while you’re waiting: no alcohol is served at the restaurant and there are no bars nearby. Your only option would be a bottle while sitting on the fence by the beach.

Zub Express, 286 Coastal Road, Flic en Flac, Mauritius. Tel: +230 453 8867/68. Hotline: 5777 6655 or 5757 9355 or 5860. E-mail: zubexpress06@gmail.com. Web: www.zub-express.com. Open: Friday–Wednesday 10am–9.30pm, Thursday 5pm–10pm.

The exchange rate at the time of visit was £1 = Rps50 and $1 = Rps35.

The scores on the tandoors

Food 7.5

Waiting area 6 (no dedicated area so you must stand at the service bar or grab one of the outside tables if there is one free).

Service and friendliness 8

Value 8