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South African Indian food


gingerbeer
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This is a really unique cuisine that I don't think many people know about, from the community that I come from. There is only 1 recipe book, used amongst members of my community ('South African Indian Delights'), and most recipes are taught in families. You haven't eaten it if you haven't been to someone's home. I've often wondered about starting a blog with some of the recipes, because the food really is exceptional. Does anyone here have any experience with it?

Our food takes its inspiration from Indian food, but is very different - it has a lot of Portuguese, African, Dutch and even Middle Eastern influence. For example, our samosas are much smaller and lighter, usually bite-sized, and made of a very light pastry. They usually contain minced beef or chicken that is far plainer but more fragrant - using lots of coriander. We have an amazing thing called popta which are little balls of fried dough, again with minced beef (and egg) inside, but the way they're made kind of creates a pocket so that the filling doesn't touch the dough - there's a little gap of air around them. Our curries aren't as rich as Indian curries, our food is usually drier and more rice-based, and the spices much more delicate. The puri is like golden pillows, to die for, and actually all our breads are really amazing. Our naan is not a flatbread but a bread roll, kind of like challah, but with a different slightly different flavour.

I'm sorry for being so eager about this, but it really is an undiscovered cuisine. I want people t know about it - it's so good - and I wish I had gone home for 6 months to learn to cook from my grandmother before she died (she was the best). I should perhaps do that with my other relatives, and then share what I learn with you all :)

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I wonder if you've heard of a book called Mamajee's Kitchen. The author was born in South African to parents of Indian ancestry, and now resides in Vancouver, Canada.

http://www.mamajeeskitchen.com/

I seem to recall that some of the recipes in her book had an African or South African influence.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Hi.

I actually work for a catering company here in Seattle run by a South African woman, and we do many SA Indian dishes, and I can attest to both the unique flavors and the greatness of the cuisine. Actually there are number of South African minority cultures that we use influences from here and I'm shocked every time that South Africa is never listed as next hot culinary place because these are amazing....

I'd love to see the cuisine get more attention, definitely let me know if you start a blog, I'd be reading it for sure.

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

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My sister-in-law is a resident of Durban SA and my family was able to visit for the wedding several years ago. We came to realize that South Africa has a wonderful food environment, definitely including its significant Indian influence. I purchased a copy of Indian Delights and love it, although it isn't the easiest book to cook from if not from that culture because many of the terms used are unfamiliar to me, and frequently assume knowledge I do not have.

I would love to follow a blog on this aspect of the South African food scene, or hear what more you have to say about it.. please go on, and let us know where to find it.

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