A Mauritius Creole dish with a rich, spicy tomato base flavour with ginger, garlic, celery, and thyme. A perfect combination of African, French, and Indian influences.
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1” piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine (about 1.5 tablespoons)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili, ground Click here to buy
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 6 ripe red tomatoes, cut in small dice, about 400g
- 250g medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined (about 20 pieces)
- ½ cup water (optional)
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar Click here to buy
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Click here to buy
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.
- Add the onion and fry until translucent, about one minute, add ginger and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Do not allow garlic to brown.
- Add cumin, grounded Kashmiri chili, black pepper, and salt and cook for another minute.
- Add carrots, celery, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and become sauce-like.
- Add prawns, thyme, two tablespoons of the parsley, and brown sugar. If tomatoes are dry, add ½ a cup of water to develop sauce. Allow prawns to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Garnish with remaining parsley and serve with rice.
While carrots and celery are not in most authentic rougaille recipes, I like the flavour and complexity they add. Cumin is also optional. Onions, garlic, and chilies are key to the flavour of the tomato sauce. I have used Kashmiri chilies, but a fresh red chili may be more authentic. You can replace the Kashmiri chilies with paprika. Instead of fresh tomatoes, canned plum tomatoes give even better flavour. Vegan or vegetarian? Just replace the prawns with a vegetable of your choice! The parsley can be replaced with fresh coriander.