Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shopping List

My fresh market shopping list always includes the following:
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Scallion
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Curry leaves
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Chillies (all sizes and shapes)
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Oregano
If any of the above is not available fresh, the dried or frozen forms can be used.

Other commonly available vegetables in Mauritius are the same as in most tropical countries/states.
  • French beans
  • Aubergines
  • Courgettes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Okra--Lady's fingers
  • Bitter gourd
  • Green leafy vegetables (we call them Brède)
  • Peppers (green, red and yellow)
I'll add to the list as we go along.

Pulses we consume a lot of include
  • Lentils (Black, red and green)
  • Red beans
  • Broad beans
  • Butter beans
  • Split peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Soya beans
Pulses are mostly cooked in a liquid, more soupy form than a curry. They are flavored with fresh or dried herbs and spices. They are similar in form to Indian dals.

Spices are used in ground and whole form depending on the dish.
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Fennel
  • Star Anise (optional)
  • Cinnamon
  • Green Cardamom
  • Black pepper
  • Cloves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Saffron (optional due to cost)
For Chinese (inspired) dishes, these additional ingredients may be required.
  • Fresh tofu
  • Soy sauce, also available as Shoyu and Tamari. There are subtle differences in these different forms, but for my easy cuisine, any of them can be used. The important thing to note is their high salt content. I never add salt in dishes where I use soy sauce.
  • Vegetarian oyster sauce (made from mushroom)
  • Dried mushrooms, such as shitake or flower mushroom.
  • Baby corn
  • Bamboo
  • Rice wine vinegar
Soya, available in many forms, are used as meat substitutes to provide protein in the vegetarian diet. We also use mock-meat and fish, available in frozen form from the Far East.

Whatever you have in your fridge can be turned into a meal. Never stick to my recipes. Be creative and be bold. It's the only way.


  1. I love that you have included a staples shopping list here. Luckily, I have most of these ingredients on hand already. ;) (I do an awful lot of Asian cooking).

  2. Stay tuned, Tiare. I promise nothing spectacular. Only comfort food...