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: Mauritius

Flag of Mauritius

Hi there! Hello! Bonjou! Bonswa!

No, those aren’t misspellings of bonjour and bon soir. Those are Creole words for hello. Why Creole?

Because the first spin of the “Country Spinner” was Mauritius. French Creole is just one of the languages heard in Mauritius. While there is no official language in the country, per se, English and French are the “de facto official” languages.

Have you heard of Mauritius? Not a lot of people have. At least not a lot of the people that I ask that question.

Mauritian Lagoon with underwater “waterfall” (© is not mine)

The Republic of Mauritius is a small island country that is located in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Madagascar, which itself is an island (a large island) off of the eastern coast of Africa. This isn’t just one island, either. There are four main islands — Mauritius (main island), Rodrigues, Agaléga, and St. Brandon — each with a small cadre of their own islands.

What I am assuming is the main island, Dina Arobi (Abandoned Island) was first seen by Arab traders in the 900s. They seemingly had no interest in the island and went about their business. The first confirmed discovery was in 1507 by Portuguese sailors. They obviously had no interest in the island(s), either. It was nearly 100 years later that the Dutch came to occupy Mauritius. There were several attempts by the Dutch at colonization and nothing stuck for them. By 1710, the Dutch were gone.

France showed up in 1715 and named it Isle de France. Then, the British came along and seized the islands, which also included Tromelin, the Chagos Archipelago, and, Seychelles (a whole other island country). The British held the country until 1968 when Mauritius (and its group of islands) gained its independence. There are a few parts that are disputed internationally between Mauritius and France, and Mauritius and the UK, even to this day. In 1992, Mauritius formed its own Republic, and it is how the country is governed to this day.

Aldabra Tortoise (©World Atlas)

The famed “dodo bird,” before extinction, called Mauritius home. It was where they were based. The birds were close to 50lbs so they were a big source of food, but with a lot of settlers coming on boats from other locations, rats and other vermin ate dodo eggs, and eventually, they were gone. The last one was killed in 1681. But, fear not, there is plenty of wildlife to see, study, and admire.

Because Mauritius has been colonized and occupied by so many different countries and peoples, it boasts one of the most diverse cultures in all of Africa, if not the world.  As I mentioned about the language, French and English act as the languages of Mauritius, 84% speak Mauritian Creole (based on French Creole), 5.2% of the people speak Bhojpuri (an Indian language).

48.54% of Mauritius practice and profess Hinduism as their preferred religion, 32.71% are Christians (a majority of which is Catholic), 17.30% practice Islam. The oddity of these religious breakdowns is that Mauritius (with a population of 1.2 million) has the highest rate of Hinduism in all of Africa.

Currency is not the pound nor the franc (or a variation thereof), as you may expect given their history. The currency is the Mauritian rupee. $1USD is equal to 42.46 Mauritian rupees or 1 MUR = 0.0235483 USD. Mauritius is the third richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $21,628 (according to WorldAtlas.com). Like Seychelles, the economy of Mauritius is also centered around tourism.

Mauritius’ largest city is its capital, Port Louis, which is located on the main island, Mauritius. Tourism is the fourth economic driver in the country. Pandemic protocols require tourists to stay put for 14 days, so that’s a problem. Most of the tourism is based on beach-bound tourism and other man-made attractions. It is a beautiful country with many miles of beaches.

This is a food blog, yes? Cuisine, just like language and culture is diverse, but widely borrowed from other countries. French, Creole, Chinese, and Indian are major components of the cuisine. But, Mauritius is quite capable of its own flare.

On our cuisine tour, we had cheese fritters, (made with chickpea flour and Dubliner cheese), Ojja (Mauritian Shakshuka), rougaille (shrimp/tomato dish) on couscous. In the next Touring from the Home Kitchen post, I’ll post the recipes of these dishes.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Mauritius, possibly for the first time. Stay tuned for the recipes!

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 209

In Episode #209 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Tim has a rant.
  • Clemmons Kitchen pulling back hours.
  • Honky Tonk Smokehouse vacationing.
  • Black Mountain Coffee’s Cocktail Lab event.
  • Tim and Stephanie had both Diamondback Grill and Carrabba’s.
  • Quiet Pint opens after a week of remodeling.
  • Doc Brownstone’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 208

In Episode #208 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Lena Gallins and Mama Zoë Michael are on to talk about TWO new Yamas Mediterranean Street Food locations, happenings with the Michael Family Group, and more.
  • Cagney’s Mediterraneo Pizza and Grill, Clementine’s, Salem Organic Supply, Quiet Pint.
  • Pig-N-Out announces retirement and closure.
  • Spring House and Chef Tim Grandinetti bring back the Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival August 11-14.
  • Washington Perk under new ownership.
  • Crumbl Cookie, DiLisio’s, and Taste of the Triad.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 207

In Episode #207 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Crafted – Art of the Taco WS closes permanently.
  • Tim and Stephanie visit Raku Ramen and Sushi.
  • DiLisio’s doing a fundraiser for the Salvation Army on July 27.
  • Camino Bakery celebrates a milestone anniversary.
  • Providence of Winston-Salem to have a beer dinner with Hoots Beer Company.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 206

Nachos from Doms

In Episode #206 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • It’s Street Team Steven’s Birthday!
  • Tim and Stephanie try Dom’s.
  • La Botana is downsizing.
  • Ray tries Mojito for the first time.
  • Slice of Napoli closed this week for vacation.
  • Slappy’s.
  • The Rhythm.
  • Yeah Mon.
  • District 924 is the center of a debate.
  • Providence of Winston-Salem to have a beer dinner with Hoots Beer Company.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 205

In Episode #205 proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

Steak Tartare from Katharine Brasserie and Bar

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • The relevance of local restaurants taking a vacation during the July 4 week in this market.
  • Tim reviews tastings at Katharine and Sir Winston.
  • Jimmy the Greek is scaling hours.
  • Southern Spice Cuisine is coming to Bermuda Run.
  • Providence of Winston-Salem to have a beer dinner with Hoots Beer Company.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 204

In Episode #204, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios in The Lab at Industry Hill:

We are now featured on the Triad Podcast Network!

Tim talks about:

  • Peach Brothers peaches.
  • Alma Mexicana.
  • Coppola’s, Sweet Potatoes, Zito’s, Kotta (on Hanes Mall) all closed some days over the next week or so.
  • Thai Sawatdee on Reynolda closed.
  • West Coast Wanderer celebrates.
  • Flour Box. Southern Thyme.
  • Meta’s.
  • Other Suns.
  • Slappy’s gives an update.
  • Momo Ashi coming.
  • Toasted Winston-Salem.
  • Chilly-Philly opens.
  • Eat Drink Burger Week coming.
  • Tim talks about The Country Spinner and a Burger Tour ’21 update.
  • “The List” is discussed as well as other food news.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. Those are just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is the salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

Mojito Latin Soul Food is creating scrumptious Cuban-inspired, Latin-infused street/soul food. A welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, robust cigars, and good times await.

Diamondback Grill. A lovely farm-to-fork eatery nestled in the heart of Buena Vista. Murphy and Kimberly Gregg and company offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere complete with a 20′ wine bar, expert craft cocktails, televisions in the bar area to watch the game or candlelit dinners in the formal dining area. This gem is waiting to be discovered!

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

Bon Appetit!