On my last visit in the beautiful island of Mauritius a few months ago, I was looking for these small, delicious chili cakes (or gâteaux piments in French) everywhere I went. I know it sounds weird but trust me, they are amazing. It’s a specialty of the island, a mix of chick peas, coriander with a touch of spice, fried in oil. Since it’s a street food, you can only find them in small “gargottes” – (basically street vendors) or in the market. It’s pretty rare to find them in a restaurant and anyways, the ones you can find in the street are way more authentic and tasty. These are great and easy finger food too. Since they’re impossible to find here, I asked one of my friends from Mauritius for her recipe, and then adapted this authentic Mauritian recipe a bit with the ingredients I could find here.
- 350 g split peas (the night before, soak the peas overnight in water)
- a small bunch of coriander finely chopped
- 2 green onions (scallions) finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 small onion (minced)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 small egg
- 1 green or red chilli (or 1 Tbsp chilli sauce)
- 1/2 liter oil for frying
Rinse the split peas and let them drain for a few minutes. Blend them in a food processor until the consistency there is mix of finely and coarsely ground pieces. If it’s too dry, add 2-3 Tbsp of water.
Add all the other ingredients and mix them well.
Heat up the oil over medium to high heat,
Shape the gâteaux piments batter into small balls of 1 Tbsp and deep fry them in batches until golden brown.
Drain and place over paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Repeat until there is no more batter.
Serve as amuse-bouche or snack.
Note: Some people might find it a bit dry, you can accompany it with chilli sauce for those who love spicy or mayo for those who prefer their food a bit more mild.