Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gateaux Piments

Every country has its own type of street food. Mauritius is no different. Today, street food is more than just snacks and lunch. You can get complete meals on the street. One of the most popular places for street food these days is on La Rue Desforges in Port Louis. Check out this picture on Flickr. It tells you what it's like. One of my favorites is Gateaux Piments which literally translates into Chili Cakes but nobody that I know calls it that. Gateaux piments brings back memories of visiting family. Visting family always involves being served finger foods. You never refuse food when you visit someone's house. It is very impolite. With me, that's never a problem, especially if they have gateaux piments.
Read on to see my attempt at making them at home. It is from my adaptation of recipes from "La Cuisine Mauricienne" by Guy Felix and "Exotic Cuisine of Mauritius" by Philippe Lenoir and Raymond de Ravel.


  • 1 lb dholl
  • 6 to 10 Thai chilis - since you cannot get Mauritius chilis in the US
  • 1/2 medium brown onion chopped fine
  • 2 spring onions sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons thyme chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Dholl is known in the US as yellow split peas. I got mine at an Indian store on Black Mountain Road in San Diego but I believe you can get it at regular supermarkets.

Clean it and soak overnight.

Rinse it out good and crush it in a food processor. Before the food processor days, it was crushed on a Roche Carri. This "curry stone" was a combination of a flat rock and a rock roller that was used to crush food.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

The next step is to fry the gateaux piments. I decided to use my modern electric fryer. I used peanut oil and set the temperature at 375 F.

Make small round balls approximately half to three-quarter inches in diameter. Deep fry until dark brown. Let them get very dark or the inside will not be cooked properly.

And here is the end result!!! Golden and delicious gateaux piments!

We usually eat them just like that. But some people like it with bread. The bread we used in my childhood was called "dipain maison" or house bread. It was the size of a hamburger bun. We usually got fresh dipain maison every morning, either delivered to the house or from the corner store, and we would eat it for breakfast or for lunch. Most Mauritians today eat baguettes so here's what it looks like in a baguette.

Try it and let me know what you think.


  1. Thanks for the recipe, my hubby is Mauritian and loves to cook Gateaux Piments - delicioso !

  2. Enjoy. Let me know if he likes them.