‘Dadi I want more!’
These were the words I would constantly mumble to my GrandMa back then. Satini Chevrette – Dried Shrimps Chutney, is the ultimate signature dish of my late GrandMa. Sadly these were among the only few memories left of her that I had the chance really to be part of. I lost Dadi when I was still around 8 or so but even now strong fragments of memories always linger on my soul when it comes to her. The best time I had with her was no doubt be in the kitchen really. She had among those rustic banana tarts tins which were used as plates back then that I was very fond of. And even when I wasn’t eating at hers, she would keep my plate all clean and safe in the side in case I would show up. Sometimes I would lie to Mum only to go eat at Dadi because of that particular plate she kept all safe for me only. Every last Sunday of the month, Dadi would make ‘Satini Chevrette’ along with ‘Ene bon bouillon’ ( watercress soup ) and serve it with complete devotion to the family as part of payday tradition – which literally means honouring hardships of life. There will truly be no second to that of Dadi’s magical hands when it comes to comfort food.
I watched Dadi spent her whole existence concocting golden recipes on the traditional ”Roche Cari” (see picture below) . It is normally a stone ruggedly polished in form of a square or rectangular which comes along with a roll known as “Baba”. It is laid outside the house to facilitate cleaning and also because it has to be properly fixed in cement (or on bricks) and like in every Indian household, is considered to be a must really. The “Roche Cari” is used for grinding, crushing and pounding of various ingredients almost same alike the beautiful Mortar and Pestle. However with times the “Roche Cari” lost its traditional value and significance because to be honest it is easier with a grinding machine especially when you are running out of time. Still the flavours and tastes that come from using traditional GrandMa’s rustic tools are one of a kind. An hhhmmmmppppffff really!
Dried Shrimps are largely known to be heavily used in the Chinese/Thai Cuisines for their meaty and intense flavours which almost lingers on your taste buds. Some common examples are in ‘’Moon Fan’’ , Hakien or simply in a hearty ‘’Lissou Touffer’’ – Cabbage dish. However, other than this they are also greatly adorned by all our Mauritian community. Sometimes in a classic Rougaille and sometimes in a Satini – Chutney , they were the most glorious food back then to be served on a table. I still remember how on that day, Sunday would literally turn out into a festive day and with time we would all look up impatiently for when it will be last Sunday of the month again. Mauritian food is to me a great reminder as to who we are and how we grew up really, the values and also the simplicity of things. A bond that inculcates us strongly about that very one principle of how it all started and that is definitely from sharing. Mauritian food is all about sharing to me.
I am sure you all must have that one particular dish that reminds you greatly of long time back. I would love to be part of if which means greatly to you. Also if ever you are on Facebook or Instagram, do not hesitate to catch me there. I love how of a family we all became and thank you for always following and constantly showing support to PeachyTales.
Dried Shrimps Chutney – Mauritian Satini Chevrette
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins
- 75g dried shrimps
- 4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 large onion
- Coriander leaves finely chopped
- Vegetable oil
- Soak the dried shrimps in 50cl of lukewarm water for about 30mins approx. in a bowl.
- Using a grinder or pestle & mortar , coarsely grind the shrimps followed by the tomatoes, garlic, dry red chillies and then some finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Heat a pan with 3 tbsp of vegetable oil and sweat the onions and thyme together.
- Pour in the shrimp paste directly into the pan and shallow fry on low heat until it turns into a ruby red colour for about 15 mins.
- Salt accordingly and garnish with some more chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with warm Rotis, or white fluffy rice along with any few sides of your own.
Note : If you have the traditional ‘’Roche Cari’’ at yours, then follow Step 2 respectively as mentioned above.
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