Local Life
16 Apr 2021

6 essentials and benefits in Mauritian cuisine: the natural that heals (Part 2)


When visiting relatives or friends, I have always thought about what the essentials in their kitchen, utensils and electrical apparatus aside, could be for everyone.  The elements that emerge are practically the same in Mauritius, whether the cuisine is big or small: spices, spices or spices and herbs. Among these, it is unanimous there are some essentials:


Turmeric (locally called saffron): Its name comes from Sanskrit: kunkuma, which gives color while in English turmeric is inherited from the French “terre ēmerite”. From a perennial herbaceous plant, it is found either in powder or rhizomes. Widely used to color dishes, crushed turmeric is added to boiled milk to warm up and spit out the ‘flegmes’ in case of influenza.  It's a coloring agent, cosmetic and also medicinal.


Pepper: It is a spice obtained from the berries of different species of peppers. Its name comes from Sanskrit pipai. Used in Greece since Alexander the Great, this small seed can be red, pink, white, green, white or black. It is a stimulant that helps digestion.


Chillies: The term chilli is green, yellow, orange, red, brown, peach or purple is part of the Capsicum genus. In Mauritian cuisine, it is consumed in many ways: candied, crushed with salt and apple, combava, lemon or even dried octopus among others. Chillies  in dishes would have a bactericidal effect.


The carripoulē: Murraya Koenigii: What a complicated name! These leaves are seductive in their aroma and inimitable fragrance. As part of the composition of curry powder, they help fight high blood pressure and diabetes.


Nutmeg: grated to accommodate meats and soups it is consumed with moderation. It is a source of micronutrients and helps to combat stress.  Its essential oil produced from the envelope enters in the traditional medicine.


Coriander or cotomili: It is an aromatic condiment plant and also used for its seeds. These leaves contain vitamin K and they play a role in bone formation.  The seeds aid in digestion and its oil can be calming.


Why look far when all these ingredients are at your fingertips?  Any abuse has an impact on our health but consuming them wisely certainly contributes to our good health.  Let us be guided by Nature… She gives us her blessings!


Lza M Natur

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