I was lucky enough to be invited to meet Shelina Permalloo, winner of MasterChef and chef extraordinaire who treated a group of us to an insight into how to prepare and make some typical authentic Mauritian dishes. They are taken from her new recipe book “Sunshine on a Plate” and are simple, vibrant recipes, designed “to warm the heart”.
Here she is with me looking gorgeous:-
She was incredibly knowledgeable and inspiring and prompted me to rush home and try it all out again (sadly not as good when I had to do it on my own, but even managed to make my own roti’s!!). She took us through an interactive couple of hours making butter bean curry and our own Mauritian curry powder and gave us lots of interesting top tips on the way – things like it’s the pith that’s hot in red chillies – not the seeds – did you know that? And that you should remove this bit of the garlic which is responsible for the burpy smelly bit – did you know that??
We were taught about the multi-ethnic culture and heritage behind the very distinct flavours of Mauritius – where Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism co-exists peacefully. There are three main languages in Mauritius – English, French and Creole. Hindi and Bhojpuri are also spoken. This has resulted in an exceptional fusion of colourful Indian, French, Creole and Chinese cuisine.