Here’s the recipe for Rougaille, a familiar sight on most Mauritian tables. Some of you may be acquainted/familiar with this sauce/curry but it’s something I grew up tasting. Below, I’ve given you the timesaver’s recipe; rest assured that the rougaille has myriad avatars and can be prepared in various ways.
4 tomatoes, chopped (alternatively, a can of tomatoes)
1 onion: diced or finely chopped
1 chilli or chilli powder/paste
garlic: chopped or crushed into a paste
ginger: grated or crushed into a paste
oil – one to two tblsp
some coriander leaves, chopped
Heat up your saucepan over medium heat and in one (or two) tablespoon of oil, fry the onion, together with the garlic and ginger pastes, until they are brown. Add the chilli and the chopped tomatoes. To make things easier, some of you might prefer immersing the tomatoes in boiling water and peeling the skin off before adding it to the pan. Stir and stir and leave it to cook over medium fire for about 5 to 8 mins, until the tomatoes have blended with the rest of the sauce. Season to taste. A few people I know like to sprinkle some sugar on the mixture to get rid of the occasional tangy flavour of the tomatoes, but all depends on what tomatoes you’ve got. When your rougaille is ready to be served, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top. Serve with piping hot rice or roti or naan.
With such a basic sauce, anything can be done. Often I add some mixed herbs and spices; sometimes I vary its degree of spiciness. I’ve used it as pasta topping; I’ve also used it as base sauce for curries where I’ve added fried eggs or chicken or shrimp or fish or mutton … the combinations are endless. But in the end, it’s that basic vegetarian version, the one people here jokingly call rougaille maraz, that I prefer.
Yes, I love tomatoes.