Envi ene bon ti salade melanz? While the average Mauritian is not a huge fruit eater, he/she will hardly ever say no to a freshly prepared fruit salad topped with tamarind sauce and disel pima/ chili salt. A colourful meli-melo of tropical fruits including mangoes and pineapple, our traditional fruit salad is not a homemade entity but derives its popularity from the road side sellers who usually extend their fares to markets and beaches on Sundays and holidays.
It will not be an uncommon sight if you come across one today on our crowded public beaches, which are always so on the eve and the day of a public holiday. And as we are celebrating our Independence Day today, there is, I’m sure, no better occasion to do a post on something we can proudly call as our ‘national’ salad. As the official celebrations unfold this afternoon in Champ de Mars in the attendance of eminent personalities, many will undoubtedly gather in more informal surroundings with the same feeling of being fier d’etre mauricien/ proud to be a Mauritian.
MAURITIAN FRUIT SALAD
2 semi ripe mangoes
1 medium pineapple
1 small cucumber
10 jamalacs/ love apples
1 carambole/ star fruit
2-3 dried red chilies
1 teaspoon kitchen salt
3 tablespoons tamarind
1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Peel mangoes, pineapple and cucumber. Cut each fruit into bite size pieces or chop into thick slices.
- Cut the jamalacs into halves and slice the carambole thinly. Place all chopped fruit in a large bowl.
- Crush the dried chilies and salt together in a grinder or in a mortar until it turns into a fine powder.
- Remove any seeds from the tamarind and soak the pulp in 2 tablespoons warm water for 5 minutes.
- Combine the tamarind pulp with 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Add more water and grind together.
- It should form a sauce of slow dripping consistency. Toss this dressing over the bowl of fruit salad.
- Mix till well combined and leave to stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.
- Top with extra tamarind and serve in plastic cups along with extra salt and chili powder. Serves 4.
Mauritian Fruit Salad