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A deep dive into Mauritius local and seasonal vegetables and how to invite them to your kitchen

local and seasonal vegetables in mauritius

Mauritius is blessed with a climate that nurtures a year-round harvest of flavorful vegetables. From the misty heights of Plaines Wilhems to the coastal plains, the island’s diverse microclimates offer a stunning array of produce. Knowing what are the locally grown and seasonal vegetables is a first step to make more mindful consumption choices. When we opt for locally grown vegetables, we significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation, ensuring fresher and more nutritious produce on our plates. By supporting local farmers, we contribute to the preservation of traditional agricultural practices and foster a stronger sense of community. Seasonal eating also encourages variety in our diets, as each season brings forth a distinct array of vegetables, rich in nutrients tailored to our body’s needs. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the local and seasonal gems that you might want to consider during your next grocery shopping excursion! Also, check out our other article about the best grocery stores in Mauritius to buy healthy and organic vegetables!


Photo by Matthias Lemm from Pixabay.

Local vegetables in Mauritius in the Summer season

Chayote, locally known as Chouchou or Christophine

The chayote, affectionately referred to as “Chouchou” or “Christophine,” is cultivated in local gardens and nurtured by the tropical sun. This vine-like plant produces pale green, wrinkled fruits that are a staple in Mauritian cuisine. Harvested young, chayote’s mild flavor makes it a versatile addition to a plethora of dishes. It can be used in salads, stews, and curries. Rich in fiber and low in calories, it adds a delightful crunch to any dish.  Beside Mauritius and La Reunion, Chayote also has a significant presence in Latin American cuisine, particularly in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean. 

Some ideas of chayote recipes : 

 

Harvesting Season of Chayote: its peak harvesting season aligns with the warm and wet months, from around December to March.

chayote local and seasonal vegetables mauritius
Image by Lynn Greyling from Pixabay
chayote slaw
Chayote slaw with avocado and cilantro dressing. Image by Food Network
enchiladas chayote seasonal and local vegetables mauritius
Enchiladas with Chayote Squach. Image by Blue Apron
Chayote Vegan Ceviche. Image by The Edgy Veg.

Eggplant, locally known as Aubergine, Bringelle, or Brinzel

The island primarily cultivates the “Long Purple” variety of eggplants, known for its elongated shape and glossy skin. This vegetable’s versatility spans continents – from the Mediterranean to Asia and beyond – making it a cherished ingredient in numerous global cuisines. In Mauritius, eggplants are the star ingredients in a few local dishes.

Some ideas of local eggplant recipes :

  • In a chutney : the Rougaille Aubergine is a delicious local spicy roasted eggplant chutney – find here a video in english of the recipe of the Mauritian Rougaille Aubergine. 
  • In a curry : the Cari Brinzel is an eggplant and fish curry infused with local spices – find here a video in english of the recipe of the Mauritian Cari Brinzel.
 

Harvesting season of eggplants in Mauritius: the optimal time for harvesting eggplants in Mauritius is from November to March.

eggplant vegetables seasonal and local mauritius
Image by Hans from Pixabay
Rougaille Aubergine local and seasonal vegetables mauritius
Rougaille Aubergine

Bitter Gourd, locally known as Margrose or Karela

The island primarily harvests the “Momordica Charantia” variety of bitter gourd, renowned for its bitter taste and potential health benefits. Widely cultivated across Asia, particularly in India, China, and Southeast Asia, bitter gourd’s presence in Mauritian cuisine is a testament to the island’s cultural diversity. The particularity of bitter gourd lies in its acquired taste – its bitterness adds complexity to dishes and is believed to have various health properties. In Mauritius, it takes center stage in “Carri Margose,” a flavorful curry enriched with spices and coconut milk, helping balance the bitterness. 

Some ideas of recipes with Bitter Gourd: 

 

Harvesting season of bitter gourd (margrose) in Mauritius: during the warmer and wetter months, from December to April. 

Bitter gourd seasonal and local vegetables mauritius
Image by Alexandra Tianu from Pixabay
vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Chrispy Fried Bittergourd. Image by Karileaves

Yardlong Bean, locally known as Pois Long

Yardlong beans, also called Chinese Long Beans and locally known as “Pois Long,” grace the culinary scene of Mauritius with their tender elegance. These elongated beans, harvested at their youthful peak, can offer a delightful crunch to your dishes.  Rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, these beans embody both health and taste, perfectly suited to stir-fries, salads, and curries alike. 

Some ideas of recipes with Yardlong Bean: 

Harvesting season of Yardlong Bean in Mauritius: December to April.

Image by Nandalal Sarkar from Pixabay
vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry. Image by Kannamma Cooks

Other local vegetables in Mauritius more commonly harvested in the Summer

  • White cucumber
  • Chilies
  • Pingengaille
  • Broccoli
  • Capsicum (Bell pepper)
  • Tomato
  • Okra (Gombo)

Local vegetables in Mauritius in the Winter season

Cabbages, locally known as Lichou

While several cabbage varieties thrive on the island, the most common is the classic green cabbage. These leafy gems find their way into a multitude of Mauritian dishes, adding a satisfying crunch and earthy flavor. From the comforting “Cari Chou” – a cabbage curry enriched with aromatic spices – to vibrant salads and stir-fries, cabbages embody adaptability and nutrition in equal measure.

Some ideas of recipes with Lichou: 

Harvesting season of Lichou in Mauritius: during the cooler and dry months from June to September.

vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Image by Arco Baleno from Pixabay
Mauritian-style Sautéed Cabbage with Potatoes [touffer lichou]. Image by Veganlovlie

Pumpkin, locally known as Giraumon, potiron, or potimarron

The “Giraumon Musqué” variety of pumpkin, known for its sweet and nutty taste, is a common vegetable on the island. This versatile vegetable is cultivated not only in Mauritius but also across the Caribbean and parts of Central America. In the heart of Mauritian kitchens, the giraumon’s particularity shines through its ability to transform into a variety of delightful dishes. Its rich orange hue is a telltale sign of its nutritional bounty, packed with vitamins and antioxidants. 

Some ideas of recipes with Giraumon: 


Harvesting season of pumpkins in Mauritius: 
 typically during the cooler and drier months, from April to June, which align with the island’s autumn and early winter seasons. 

pumpkin vegetables seasonal and local mauritius
Image by gate74 from Pixabay
vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Gratin de Giraumon. Image by Agameals

Cassava, locally known as Manioc and also known as Yuca

This robust root vegetable, derived from the tropical cassava plant, holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of Mauritians.  Beyond its versatility, cassava brings a host of nutritional benefits to your table, offering a rich source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

Besides Mauritius, Cassava is a dietary staple in many African countries, particularly in West and Central Africa, and in Latin America. It is a traditional ingredient in the Carribean cuisines. It’s also part of Indian cuisine, where it is known as “tapioca” or “sabudana” and is used to make dishes like sabudana khichdi and tapioca pearls.

Some ideas of recipes with Lichou: 

Harvesting season of Lichou in Mauritius: during the cooler and dry months from June to September.

cassava vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay
cassava vegetables seasonal and local in mauritius
Kat Kat Manioc, vegan version of the Mauritian Cassava stew. Image by Veganlovlie

Other local vegetables in Mauritius more commonly harvested in the Winter

  • Spinach (Brede Épinard)
  • Corn (Maize)
  • Turnip
  • Calebasse
  • Sweet potatoes
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