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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