Dominique Oliver’s ‘Zasar’

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

Zasar, by Dominique Oliver

Zasar is what I call Mauritian Piccallilly. As my Mother was born in Mauritius, Mauritian food has been a big part of my life. I like to eat zasar in a nice big cheese sanwich on thick white bread, but it is really intended for use as a salad or chutney to accompany rice dishes. All the chopping of vegetables involved, put me off until recently – when I finally started to make the dish myself, rather than nag my poor Mother to make it!

2 large carrots
1 handful of green beans
1/4 of a red or white cabbage
1 small red onion
2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
2 tablespoons of chillis (dried or freshly chopped)
1  tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric poweder
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil


Chop all the vegetables into thin strips.
Put all the mustard seeds, chillis, fenugreek seeds, turneric powder, garlic and half the oil into a pestle and mortar and make a thick paste.
Heat the remaining oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan or wok.
Add the onions and paste and fry gently until the onions become soft.
Add all the vegetables and stir into the paste.
Warm the vegetables through, ensuring they are all covered by the paste.
Remove from the heat before the vegetables become soft.
The vegetables should remain crunchy.
Then pour everything out into a large Tupperware container.
Eat some warm, but leave the remainder out to cool down for about 2 hours , before placing in the fridge to use as a pickle for up to a week.

(c) Dominque Oliver 2010


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