Madeleine answers your frequently asked questions?
- How do I ensure good results when
- Where can I find ingredients for
Mauritian Cuisine ?
- Who is Madeleine Philippe ?
Make sure that you follow the recipes carefully. However, the
ingredients can vary in freshness and composition. For example, the
cooking times for rice can vary, depending upon the type of rice
being used and their moisture content. Always prepare your
ingredients ahead of the cooking. There can be nothing as
disastrous, to find that at the crucial moment when a particular
ingredient or sauce has to be incorporated into the the dish, to
find it missing. Layout your ingredients carefully and within easy
reach. Such practice will improve your culinary skills to a great
degree just by this one action.
Learn from your own
experience, past mistakes, successes and monitor your cooking at all times.
Check for such
things as moisture content, size of ingredients and the staged
cooking process to ensure that
the right amount of heat is used at the right time. You can always adjust the sauce
consistency by allowing the pot to simmer over low heat or by adding
small amounts of hot water. If the sauce is too liquid, you can
tighten the sauce by stirring in one teaspoonful of corn starch
dissolved in a small amount of water. The corn starch will tighten
the sauce and give it consistency.
Many Mauritian casserole dishes require constant gentle stirring
to prevent pan sticking and food burning. Follow the recipe
instructions carefully. Always monitor the cooking at all times.
Never leave your cooking unattended. You will not only get bad
results but it is downright dangerous.
In stir fry as an example,
you can cook the fastest cooking ingredients last and vice versa.
Another approach in stir fry is to cut the toughest ingredients into
smaller portions and the tender ingredients in larger portions. Sea
foods cook very quickly and always make sure that your sea foods are
not overcooked or they will turn rubbery. In other words, cook
intelligently and try to understand the process.
Ingredients for Mauritian cuisine can be found in most
supermarkets and specialist shops. For Indian ingredients such as
spices, these are now available in supermarkets and Indian grocery
shops. European ingredients such as salt cod and gourmet sausages
can be obtained from Italian and Greek delis. Chinese ingredients
can be sourced from Asian grocery shops. Tropical vegetables are now
widely available in supermarkets. If not, you can go to Asian
shopping precincts where you can find a huge variety of vegetables,
meats, seafoods and fruits.
Fresh sea foods, meats and vegetables are widely available in
supermarkets as well. However, take note that the sea foods caught
in different seas can be substantially different from those caught
in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean around Mauritius. The
octopus sold in Australia is easier to cook than the octopus sold in
Mauritius. It is believed that the salt content of the sea
waters in which the octopus is caught from and whether the octopus
is frozen before being put on sale have an influence upon its
Always use the freshest meats and vegetables that you can afford.
Some commercial meats are pre soaked in solutions to keep it moist,
tenderise the meats and maintain their fresh looking appearance. Buy
free range products in preference to farmed or battery produced
You must also choose the freshest vegetables that you can access.
This can make a wide difference in the results of your cooking. Be
wary of vegetables grown on intense artificial fertilisers, these
can have a very high water content and reduce considerably in size
when cooked. The latter also do not keep very well.
Some Mauritian shops in capital cities also stock some specialist
products such as poisson sale or ourite sec, biscuit manioc or
achards. Contact us for their locations and we will endeavour to
forward the necessary location information to you.
Madeleine Philippe was born in Mauritius and now lives in
Melbourne, Australia. She started cooking from the tender age of 15.
She learned much from her mother, brothers, friend and affectionados
of Mauritian cuisine. One of these affectionados is Philippe
Auleebux (close friend of the family) whose analysis of the various
techniques used in Mauritian cuisine, led to the preparation of
Madeleine's inquisitive mind and nature also led her into the
cuisine of Rio restaurant in Curepipe, where she learned the secrets
of the famous chefs at the then very popular Rio restaurant. In the
1970 and 80's, Rio restaurant was well known for its cuisine and the
calibre of the chefs de cuisine working there was equal to none.
In 1994, Madeleine and Clancy Philippe saw the potential in the
internet media for the promotion of Mauritian cuisine. They
established the Mauritius Australia Connection and the Recipes from
Mauritius web sites. The rest is history. These web sites were among
the very first internet web sites promoting Mauritius and its unique
cuisine. In fact, Madeleine and Clancy pioneered the use of the
internet for the promotion of the Mauritian Community in Australia
and its Mauritian cuisine.
Today, the Mauritius Australia Connection web site receives in
excess of 2500 visits daily and provides the Mauritian Community in
Australia with a communication network that is accessible online
24/7. Its mailing lists reach in excess of 3000
subscribers. The message board provides a platform where visitors
can network with other visitors not only from Australia, but
worldwide. The Recipes from Australia section has established itself
as the most popular Mauritian Cuisine web site on the internet. It
consistently achieves top listing on search engines such as Google.