Touring from the Home Kitchen (Recipes) – Mauritius – Ojja

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)
  1. 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.
  2. Add salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes on low heat then add water.
  3. When the chorizo has cooked, add the pepper.
  4. 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).
  5. Ensure that every portion has its own egg to break over the dish.
  6. Finally decorate with parsley and serve with good bread, lavosh, or crackers.

If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out and I’d love to see some pictures. Either email me or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Touring from the Home Kitchen (Recipes) – Mauritius – Cheese Fritters

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. I will say that I can’t find any pictures that I took of this recipe and I realize that sucks. I think I have everything else, though. This picture is from someone else. I don’t know who but it isn’t my picture.

(not my picture)

Here we go…


Cheese fritter is a snack that Mauritians like to consume during picnics or other occasions. It is also very popular during the month of Ramadan, probably because you can premake the batter and do these really quick after sunset.

These Cheese Fritters came out a little overdone because I had the oil too hot, I think. The lesson was learned and the next time (and there will be a next time) I will make sure to have a candy thermometer or similar to make sure the oil is at a good temperature. One thing, we looked for chickpea flour instead of regular wheat flour as chickpea flour (or more precisely, bessan powder for the recipe) is what the Mauritians use.

  • 3 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chopped serrano peppers, seeded
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives*
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Cubes of cheese**
  • Oil
  1. Pour chickpea flour, salt, pepper, cumin, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl and mix everything well.
  2. Gradually pour your water in until you get a very soft and consistent paste. Don’t just dump the water in. Mix vigorously, adding more water if necessary, then leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour coriander, peppers, onions, and chopped chives into the batter and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat your saucepan or pot over medium heat and pour in the oil.
  5. One at a time, add the cheese cubes to the batter, using a tablespoon to cradle it (so you don’t lose it in the batter) but making sure it is completely coated by the batter.
  6. Dip the battered cubes into the oil and brown for about 2 minutes or just before the cheese starts oozing from the crisping batter.
  7. Let drain before serving.

*If you don’t have fresh chives, you can use dried, but I’ve found that fresh has a brighter flavor.
** Use a good melting cheese. We used Dubliner and that was not a good melting cheese. You want one that melts but also keeps its consistency. I suggest a fontina, gouda (smoked or otherwise), mozzarella, or gruyere. And, if you have some pimento cheese sitting around, roll some in a ball and use that, I think that would be good.


If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out and I’d love to see some pictures. Either email me or hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Thank you for reading!!

Touring from the Home Kitchen

Tim and Stephanie in Bruges

If you’ve listened to the podcast over the last few months, you know that Stephanie and I have been doing what we were calling “The Country Spinner.” The Country Spinner is a randomizer in the form of a “wheel of fortune” that we added all the countries of the world, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

Stephanie and I love to travel and our favorite things to do when we travel are to take in the culture of where we are and take in as much of the cuisine as possible. The pandemic put a huge kibosh on those travels. I have also been taking on more cooking at home.  So, we decided to find another way, or ways, to get our fix for world culture and cuisine.

We spin the wheel and whatever country it lands on, we do cultural research, learn something about the country, and come up with recipes “inspired” by the cuisine of the country.

We have been “through” three countries so far, and there are many more to come. I will post about those countries, some facts about each, and recipes that we made as we have gone along here. We spend an average of two weeks (not necessarily at once) in each country.

The first country we spun was Mauritius. Look for that coming soon.

I hope you enjoy the “travels” as much as we did.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 82

Warm butter lobster roll from Rabia’s in Boston

In Episode #82, proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

The Tims talk about:

  • Chef Travis Myers named Chef of the Year by the NCRLA
  • Mary’s Gourmet Diner updates hours and a new menu coming September 17.
  • Tim and Stephanie visit Boston.
  • Food Holidays.

No poll this week.

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The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!