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Mauritius National Dish

National Dish of Mauritius is Octopus Curry (a kind of tomatoe stew made with meat, fish or seafood cooked in tomatoes, garlic, onion, and finely sliced red or green chiles to taste).

1 kg octopus
450 grams can of finely 
chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons curry powder
hot or mild to your preference
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped curry leaves
small bunch of coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
optional-finely sliced red or green chillies to taste
salt to taste
To Make:

Clean the octopus and carefully remove the ink sac. Rub with white flour to thoroughly clean the octopus and wash in running water.

Heat up a deep thick bottom saucepan over high heat. Add the octopus to the pan without any oil and allow to cook in its own juice. Add the ground black pepper and ground cloves. Move the octopus around occasionally to prevent burning. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes and allow to simmer until the octopus is thoroughly cooked to a pink colour and the juice is almost all evaporated. Retain the remaining juice for later use. Do not overcook.

Remove the cooked octopus and allow to cool. Cut into bite sizes or according to your preference for use later.

Finely chop the coriander stalks and add to the chopped curry leaves Put aside. Coarsely chop the coriander leaves. Put aside.

Heat up 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a deep thick bottom saucepan over high heat. Add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, crushed ginger and thyme leaves. Cook until the onion pieces are cooked and turn transparent. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Add crushed tomatoes and stir in with the cooked onion pieces. Reduce heat to medium high. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tomato sauce is well blended and cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning. If necessary, add some hot water to stop sauce from thickening. Cook the sauce to your preference. If you like a lot of curry sauce, add some hot water, but not too much.

Add 3 tablespoons of curry powder and stir in. Mix well. 
Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the curry powder is cooked and well blended into the tomato sauce. Stir at intervals to prevent sauce from burning. Add the chopped curry leaves and chopped coriander stalks. Add half the roughly chopped coriander leaves. Stir well into the curry sauce. Cook until the curry sauce separates from the saucepan when stirred. Add salt to taste.

Add the octopus pieces. Mix well and add the reserved octopus juice. Stir in the octopus pieces until well seasoned with the curry sauce. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot water. Mix well together. Allow to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until the octopus pieces are well blended with the curry sauce. Do not overcook. You can adjust the sauce to your preference by either mixing in some hot water and cooking for a few minutes or thicken the sauce by simmering over low heat.

Transfer into a warm serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining coarsely chopped coriander leaves. 

Eat with rice accompanied with a tomato chutney or cucumber / chilli salad or watercress salad.

Serve and enjoy!

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