Mauritian Hakien

Mauritian Hakien Food Recipe


400 grams shelled and deveined green prawns
Optional: you can substitute the prawn with fish or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely cut bamboo shoots 3-4 cm long
1 cup white flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the pastry
3-4 tablespoons corn flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Cold water
Oil for deep frying


Shell and devein the green prawns. Finely chop with a sharp and heavy knife so as not to mash up the prawns. Transfer the finely chopped prawns into a large bowl for mixing with other ingredients.

Finely slice the green cabbage and cut into short 3-4 cm long strips. A half cup of the finely sliced cabbage is required. In fact, you can mix and match your own ingredients. Finely cut the bamboo shoots into 3-4 cm long strips. Put into the bowl with the finely chopped green prawns.

Using a potato peeler, peel the carrot. Still using the potato peeler, peel off 3-4 cm lengths thin strips of the carrot. A half cup of the thin carrot strips is required. Put into the bowl with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Do not use too much salt or pepper. Mix well the ingredients, salt and pepper together with your fingers.

Add in small quantities and gradually the corn flour to obtain a coherent mix that you can shape into self standing sausages. About 2-3 cm in diameter and 10 cm long. Use your hand and fingers to slightly compress the mixture into sausage shaped pieces. Thinly sprinkle flour on the kitchen bench and roll the sausage shaped pieces in the flour to stop the latter from sticking to the plate. Place the sausage shaped pieces on a non stick surface and leave in the fridge uncovered for 30 mins to 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the batter. Put 1 cup of sifted fine white flour with 1 teaspoon of salt into a mixing bowl, with a large enough flat surface as you will need to roll the sausage shaped pieces in the batter later. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the flour. Mix well. Gradually add the cold water in small steps. Mix well in the same circular motion until the mix becomes aired up with some bubbles or air traps showing. Use a wire whisk to incorporate as much air into the batter as possible. Make sure that the batter stays thick.

Keep mixing / add water until a semi liquid batter is obtained that would stick to the surface of the sausage shaped ingredients. Remove sausage shaped pieces from fridge. If shape has flat bottom, gently reshape into round pieces.

Heat up oil for deep frying over a medium to low heat. Frying pan should be deep and large enough for the battered sausage shaped pieces to fry freely without touching the bottom or sticking to each other.

When the oil is hot enough, carefully take sausage shaped pieces one by one and carefully coat with the batter. Allow excess batter to drip off. Make sure that a uniformly coated batter is obtained. Obtain some assistance if possible. Slowly drop into the hot oil. It is recommended that you do 2 or 3 at a time. Using a wooden spoon or tongs, make sure that the pieces don't stick to each other and turn over at regular intervals to ensure even cooking. Allow the battered pieces to cook to a very slightly golden colour. Immediately remove from frying pan and place on a wire drip tray.

Repeat with the other sausage shaped pieces, batter and fry as per above.
When all the sausage shaped pieces have been battered and fried. Turn off heat.

Add water in small quantity to the batter until a thinner batter is obtained. This is to provide for a thinner batter to coat the already cooked pieces of the hakiens.

Repeat the batter and frying process, using the already cooked battered pieces. This will build up a second crispy coating to the hakiens. Cook until a light golden crispy finish is obtained. Remove and place on a wire rack. Do not overcook. If the layered crispiness of the coating is not enough, you can repeat this last step.

Enjoy with chilli or garlic sauce. Cut the hakiens at an angle with a sharp knife and serve as gajacks.


Madeleine's recipe : Mauritian Hakien

Discover more of Madeleine’s Mauritian cuisine in‘Best of Mauritian Cuisine’ by Madeleine and Clancy Philippe