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Restaurants in the East of Reunion island

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Spices for Creole cuisine

The Eastern region of Reunion shows the greatest concentration of people of Indian origin, because, together with the southwest of the island, it is a geographical area of sugar heritage. Indeed, the ancestors of today's Malbars (Reunionese people of Indian origin) were indentured to work mainly in the sugar estates after the abolition of slavery. Coming from Tamil Nadu, they brought with them their traditions together with their cuisine which has profoundly influenced the Reunionese gastronomy.

The Indian influence on the Reunionese cuisine

Carri wood fire Saint André
As proof, the Tamil language has left its mark in the culinary vocabulary of Reunion, especially with the word rougail (ûrugaï in Tamil), which refers in Reunion two different types of preparations. The first is a kind of condiment, made from small cubes of tomato, peanut butter, cucumber or grated green mango, mixed with chopped onions and some piments z'oiseau (hot peppers), that invariably accompanies caris and rougails. The second is a kind of spicy stew, a variant of cari, made with sausages (the famous rougail saucisses), cod or boucané (sort of bacon).




Cabri massale Saint Benoit

The cabri massalé (goat masala) can be considered a typical Indo-Reunionese dish. The masala is of course the mixture of spices (coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric), of which there are many variants. In Reunion, cabri is the word for goat, which the Tamil community sacrifices on the occasion of certain religious celebrations, and is then cooked and eaten around the temple. The preparation of cabri massalé has now extended to the entire population of Reunion, and is part of the traditional dishes of the island.



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