Mauritian cuisine is, typically, a borrowed method of cooking, borrowed cultures, and adapted over years of French, Indian, British, Chinese, and African occupation and habitation. Mauritian dishes are not too spicy, by default, but can be modified to be as spicy as you’d like. On our trip, especially this being the first “trip” we took on the Country Spinner, we went with three dishes, Cheese Fritters, Ojja, and Rougaille. I’m going to split them throughout different posts as to not overwhelm you with text and make it difficult to follow. Also, I’m going to tell you what I messed up on or did very well in true transparency. This is really more of an experiment than how to do everything right. I did mess up some things. We worked around it.
Here we go…
Ojja (oh-zjuh) is originally a Tunisian (northern Africa, Mediterranean coast) dish. It’s made from eggs, known for its ease of preparation. simple and fast, and super tasty! While Ojja is often eaten with bread, we chose a large-scale cracker. Also, the recipes I found all called for Merguez sausage, a lamb sausage. No one around here (Winston-Salem, NC) had those, so we went with chorizo instead, trying to keep the Mediterranean vibe.
- 4 chorizo sausages cut into sections
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree (I took 1 tbsp of tomato paste and diluted it with a little bit of water. Still thick but manageable)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway
- Harissa (a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste) – use to taste or not at all, your preference
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 fresh tomato, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces water
- 1 bell pepper, sliced or diced, I always use red, orange, or yellow, green bell peppers are too bitter
- 2-4 eggs
- Parsley (for garnish)
- In a pan pour olive oil, the chopped onion, and the crushed garlic and fry for a few minutes then add the tomato puree and the harissa and simmer for a few minutes then add the fresh tomato cut into small dice, chorizo, and spices.
- Add salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes on low heat then add water.
- When the chorizo has cooked, add the pepper.
- When the sauce becomes a little thick, break the eggs on top of the mixture. Cook for ten minutes without simmering (cover if you want hard-boiled eggs).
- Ensure that every portion has its own egg to break over the dish.
- Finally decorate with parsley and serve with good bread, lavosh, or crackers.