A beautiful kitchen story unfolded!
Ene vraie Merveille! A true mesmerizing delight. These Mauritian Papad or Tortilla made from basic all purpose white flour only is truly of a great wonder to the taste buds of many. Bearing it’s resemblance to the Indian Papad/Papadum or probably Tortillas, they are nevertheless uniquely Mauritius. You won’t really find them anywhere else other than on our beautiful Island. A true moment of letting go and happiness at the very first bite, these Papads are known as Gateau Merveille here. Served with an assortment of chutneys from Tamarind, Coriander or Tomato. You are very much at your own to decide which suits your liking best. I honestly prefer the tomato chutney to start with.
Nursing a soul of more than a few decades, these Gateau Merveille if asked, have always been there. However without any cultural or background heritage attached. Sadly though only GrandMas know their deep secrets and even now are being sold at some of the rarest place around the island only. Some of the most certain places that you are sure to find a few are definitely in the village of Mahebourg near the Waterfront or next to Sum Foi shop. So grateful to a local Grandma who still makes these for a daily living, to opening her kitchen wholeheartedly to me for this beautiful Mauritian heritage. I hope somewhere somehow there will always be people around to keep the traditions alive.
So Dadi (GrandMa) opened her doors to me and let me assist the whole process on that day. I am very happy to finally be able to somehow bring a different blog post for this time. Even if I know the recipe and could have made them myself. My own Dadi used to make these for a living by selling at different school compounds on different days in the village during lunch time. I remember so vividly how she used to lay down each of these on the table carefully for fry up. I would stand in a corner and watch her wrap them in a huge plastic bag at night all set up for her sale tomorrow.
Gateau Merveille to note can last up to a day or three depending on how you keep them really. Tightly sealed in a plastic bag will normally make them last longer. It was amazing to revive those moments I used to cherish from my own Dadi. And mere coincidence really, the Grandma I went to was telling me how my Dadi was a friend of hers. She says she remember those times my Dadi used to sell at schools and how the children were loving it. It brought some great nostalgic moments on that day for Dadi used to reward me one of her Merveilles if I happened to be a good girl during the day. It would be the best prize really and I was always very looking forward to them. The only thing I had to do was not to jump on her bed at night and also not to tease her.
Ene vraie Merveille – Mauritian Papad/ Gateau Merveille
Yield : 10 Merveilles
Preparation time : 25 mins
Cook time : 10 mins
- 3 cups all purpose white sifted flour
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- more flour for dusting surface
- vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix the altogether flour, salt and sugar.
- Incorporate water slowly until a soft dough is obtained.
- On a flat surface, dust your work station.
- Divide the dough into small balls like ( approx. 3cm wide )
- Roll out the dough as thin as possible and reserve.
- Heat your frying pan, preferably a large one , to medium hot.
- Dip the Papad /Tortilla one at a time and constantly stirring until golden brown.
- Reserve and serve with an assortment of chutneys either Tomato or Coriander Chutney or even Tamarind chutney.
Note : The dough should be as thin as if you are making tortilla.
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