Oceans Travel Consultant and foodie Emma, returned from Mauritius recently raving about her gourmet experiences at Shanti Maurice. Read on to find out more…
In my opinion one of the greatest pleasures of traveling is experiencing new cuisines. I generally go out of my way to find exciting food options wherever I go. It is often the case that hotels play it safe with food and for this reason I often find myself advising my guests of gastronomical experiences outside of hotels to enable them to experience something different or unique. On my recent trip to Mauritius, however, I found a hotel which really satisfied my inner-foodie and made me want to linger longer. That hotel was Shanti Maurice.
Shanti Maurice is located on a lovely stretch of beach on the South coast of the island and as well as being an incredible place to stay, in my opinion it also has some of the islands most creative dining concepts. One of these is The Rum Shed. Modelled on how Mauritians socialize. Rum shops in Mauritius are often social hubs where people meet to drink rum and eat snacks and this is essentially what has been recreated at Shanti – a rustic wooden shack with a lot of rum and authentic tapas–style treats. A very fun way to pass an evening or to visit for an aperitif!
I also loved the concept of The Fish Shack – another rustic concept with tables set up on the beach in front of the breaking waves. Fish Shack is essentially a beach barbeque where you can choose from an array of freshly caught fish and have it grilled to your liking in front of you. You might even want to wash it down with a beer from the local village brewery, or another rum cocktail!
Something which you always miss out on when staying in hotels though is true home cooking. This is not the case however, at Shanti. La Kaze Mama, where I ate, blew me away. Set in the hotels vegetable and herb garden La Kaze Mama is a small kiosk where on certain nights of the week a Grandma, assisted by her family, is invited in to host guests and show them how to make traditional Mauritian food and share cookery tips. Out of all the food I experienced whilst in Mauritius this was some of my favorite. With a kitchen influenced heavily by India, Mauritian cuisine has a lot of curries, pickles and chutneys. There is a keen use of spices but chilli remains quite muted which is something I particularly enjoyed.
As I enjoyed it so much I managed to get a recipe from Grandma which I wanted to share with those reading the Scott Dunn blog. The recipe is for Vinday Ourit. A Vinday is essentially a Vindaloo . In Mauritius it is often made with fish or octopus and it is a blend of vinegar, mustard and turmeric. Don’t be afraid at the mention of the word vindaloo and its British curry-house connotations. This recipe only calls for mild green chilli which can be reduced to taste!
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons garlic (sliced)
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
4 green chillis (medium) sliced lengthwise into halves
2 teaspoons pommery mustard
100ml red wine vinegar
200g red onion, cut into quarters and broken into its layers
200g bell peppers – mixed color, diamond shape cut
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Clean and wash the octopus, removing the hard center.
2. Place the octopus in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes until tender. Let the pan cool, remove the octopus from the water and cut into large pieces.
3. Heat a frying pan on medium heat with vegetable oil, add the mustard seeds and fry until the seeds start popping. Add the garlic, turmeric powder, chilli and stir-fry for one minute.
4. Add the mustard paste and the vinegar and reduce to about half.
5. Add the octopus pieces, the onions and capsicum and cook until all is tender.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For more information, please call one of our Travel Consultants on 020 603 3555 or visit scottdunn.com.