Upside-down bowl (Bol Déviré)

Our first reci­pe comes from Mau­ri­ti­us — brought to us by Lewis Nadal:

This dish was pas­sed down to him by his grand­mo­ther: Cal­led bol dévi­ré (upsi­de-down bowl), some Mau­ri­ti­ans also know it as bol ren­ver­sé (magic bowl).

Bol dévi­re is a fusi­on of Chi­ne­se and Mau­ri­ti­an cui­sine, and is very popu­lar among Mau­ri­ti­an fami­lies. It’s one of the Nadal family’s favou­rites, too. This basis of the dish gene­ral­ly con­sists of shrimps and chi­cken, pork or beef, fried in a wok with a sau­ce (oys­ter, soya and fish sau­ce) and vege­ta­bles. The final step is to cover ever­ything with fluffy bas­ma­ti or fra­grant rice, and turn it upsi­de-down onto a pla­te. The dome-shaped dish is top­ped off with a fried egg, and some chop­ped coriander.

Mau­ri­ti­us — Urlaubs­fo­to von Moni­ca Nadal (Anfang Janu­ar 2020)

Let’s hear what Lewis Nadal has to say about it: “My grand­mo­ther would cook this dish a lot on Sundays, and as a child I real­ly loved watching her clo­se­ly as she did so. Today it’s some­thing I enjoy making for my own fami­ly, and now my litt­le grand­d­augh­ter likes to watch and help me, too.”

In Mau­ri­ti­us the­re are various ways of pre­pa­ring this dish; this one is my grandmother’s recipe.

Por­ti­ons: 4

Pre­pa­ra­ti­on time: 30–60 minutes

Coo­king time: 15 minutes


500 g chi­cken bre­ast, pork and/or beef cut into strips (any com­bi­na­ti­on if that’s to your liking)
250 g rea­dy-to-cook shrimps or 4 pee­led king prawns per por­ti­on
4 tbsp. sesa­me or vege­ta­ble oil
1 tbsp.soya sau­ce, fish sau­ce, oys­ter sauce1 pie­ce of gin­ger (about the size of a thumb) gra­ted or finely chop­ped
5 stems of pars­ley
4 sprigs of thy­me (pluck or strip off the leaf­lets)
1 red oni­on finely diced
3 cloves of gar­lic finely chop­ped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pep­per
2 tbsp. corn­flour
250 g brown or white mushrooms thin­ly sli­ced
1 red pep­per cut into strips
1 bunch of pak choi coar­se­ly chop­ped
3 car­rots cut into thin strips (tip: use a Juli­en­ne sli­cer)
350 g uncoo­ked, was­hed bas­ma­ti or fra­grant rice
4 eggs
2–3 tbsp. vege­ta­ble oil
a hand­ful of fresh cori­an­der, coar­se­ly chopped

What else do you need:

4 bowls, each with approx. 400 ml capacity


Cook rice until done, then set aside.

Heat the oil in the wok. Add the pre­pa­red gar­lic, gin­ger and herbs, and fry for 2 minu­tes. Then mix in the meat with the pep­per, and add the shrimps tog­e­ther with the mushrooms, and fry for ano­t­her 2–3 minu­tes. Now the sau­ces are added. Con­ti­nue coo­king over a medi­um heat, stir­ring con­ti­nuous­ly. Stir 2 tbsp. water into the corn­flour to make a smooth pas­te, and stir into the wok. Keep stir­ring con­ti­nuous­ly, mixing all the ingre­dients, adding salt to tas­te. Sim­mer for about 10 minutes.

Fry the eggs sepa­r­ate­ly in a small non-stick fry­ing pan, place a bowl over the pan, and turn over quick­ly (Warning: plea­se be care­ful not to burn your hands at this point). Scat­ter a litt­le cori­an­der in the bowl with the fried egg, then add the shrimps and por­ti­on out the meat and vege­ta­ble mix from the wok into each of the bowls using a lad­le. Then fill each bowl to the rim with rice. Place a din­ner pla­te facing down over the bowl, and ser­ve. Next, the mas­ter­pie­ce is flip­ped over at the dining table (hence the name bol dévi­ré – “upsi­de-down bowl”). Now gent­ly turn the bowl back and forth befo­re remo­ving it.


Lewis Nadal says “Bon appetit”.

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