With my husband’s job, we get to live in a very nice house on the east coast. I don’t have direct sunrise, but my views are stunning, the house is awesome. With the very nice house, I am fortunate enough to also have a very nice lady looking after it. My housekeeper is called Vedah. She has been working in the house for 22 years. The house is more hers and than it will ever be ours. A part from all the usual stuff, she happens also to be quite a good cook – for local dishes.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw an article about a local dish I had never tried – banana and salted fish curry. Salted fish is a very common thing in Mauritius. Drying and salting fish is a very good way of conservation. It is also pretty cheap and fast to cook. Usually we eat it in rougaille (the local tomato sauce), it’s then called rougaille poisson salé. I was telling Vedah about how would like to make the banana curry version one day, because it must be tasty.
Wednesdays are Vedah’s days off. She is Creole, so from African descent, and Catholic. Like most Creole are – at least Christians. So she is off on Wednesday because she goes to a home to give communion to the elderly, spends the day with them, helps to wash them, to feed them… An awesome lady.
So today she came back and she had cooked for me. She didn’t bring one dish, or 2 dishes. She came with 3 different things.
Yes, of course she remembered our conversation. She made it this morning, before work. It was still warm when I came home from school run. I am going to have it lunch way, in a slice of baguette. Otherwise it would be served with rice.
Satini is a cold side dish, where the main ingredient is a vegetable / fruit. Satini coco is grated coco and spices, in Indonesia one would call it sambal, in India a chutney. In Mauritius (and all similar islands for that matter) dishes come with lots of small side dishes. This is one of them. The main ingredients are: an older coconut (so the meat inside is hard, like the one we eat in Europe), tamarin paste, mint leaves and chill (optional). The coconut is roasted and grated on a stone and mixed with the spices. I have never done it myself.
In my former post where I was talking about the goodies from la Réunion, one of the things that I loved was achard de citron. Well Vedah came with the Mauritian version, made with limon (local small green lemons, or lime) from the island of Rodrigues. She told me they had macerated for 3 weeks in vinegar and then she added the spices and left it some more. Awesomness.
My lunch today is going to be so tasty, and perfect today. Thanks to our amazing Vedah!
On another note. A little fun fact. A typical Mauritian thing: today I went to do my groceries and I found what I think is the world’s most expensive lettuce. Yes, here in Mauritius. Imported from Mars? Nah, I think it’s just from Spain.
At the stunning price of RS3’528.- per kilo. That’s US$ 100.- Do you think it’s worth it? I mean it must be incredible, with salad taste out of this world. I have to admit it does look fresh. Just so we agree, a lettuce is probably around Rs35 (US$ 1.-) and a ‘iceberg lettuce’ is Rs90 (US$ 2.70) in the supermarkets.