My passion: Bringing a touch of magical Mauritius to Sheffield

Manoj Beekharry: The people of Mauritius come from so many cultures.
Manoj Beekharry: The people of Mauritius come from so many cultures.
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Mauritius is my home nation where I grew up, our culture is all about food and family and an outdoor lifestyle on the beach of course.

As children we would often go play on the beach or put a cord across the road and play volleyball until a car came along. We played almost every day I have memories where my family and friends were all around the fire doing an amazing traditional dance called Sega. The women all wear long skirts and tops, the men in shorts, t-shirts and big hats.

Biryani curry is my favourite meal. I learned to make from my mother in Mauritius.

The boys would do the preparation of all the ingredients: potatoes, carrots, green beans coriander, chilli, onion, saffron and more and then our mother would cook it.

I prefer to make it myself these days rather than going to a restaurant.

Next year I’m hoping to go back to visit for the first time in five years.

All my family are in Mauritius and almost every weekend families are invited round for food, drinks and fun on one of the 27 stunning beaches, all with different kinds of sand.

In summer we will all have a salad and families bring mango, papaya, chilli, onion or pineapple. We just sit in the road together and put them in the pot – a true ‘bring and share’.

January, February is monsoon time and we go to the beach to catch crab with friends which we make into soup. When it rains or is windy, we’re not allowed to go out of our homes because it’s too dangerous.

Every New Year’s day, as Hindus we pray together in people’s homes. About 30-40 people gather with food as ever for about three to four hours.

The people of Mauritius come from so many cultures, we are always celebrating! Chinese New Year with our Chinese neighbours, Ramadan with our Muslim friends bringing food.

I really love Indian music – there is a kind that I find on the Indian radio station called Teentaal coming out of Paris.

It’s nice and relaxing, and quiet enough so I understand the words. I play it when my employees are listening and, in one sense it brings a little bit of Mauritius to Sheffield until I can go there again.