Discovering the Durban curry
If how Italian food conquered the world with simple pizzas and pastas, or how entire countries were turned into fast-food nations by burger-selling corporations are fascinating food stories. An account no less compelling is the curry chronicles. Today the curry is enjoying renewed popularity globally. But long before Indian cuisine got trendy, the curry had already taken over large parts of the world. We know of the chicken tikka masala, often touted as UK’s national dish, and the myths associated with its origins. But a lesser known curry with an equally widespread appeal cutting across racial and national boundaries is the “Durban curry”.
I was in South Africa recently in the bustling eastern port town of Durban, not your usual touristy stopover, but special to Indians because of its Gandhi connection as well as the fact that this city has the maximum number of people of Indian origin anywhere in the world outside India. One of my most flavourful discoveries there was, well, the Durban curry— dubbed South Africa’s national dish, which defines its popularity. Thandi is one of the prettiest Durban restaurants at the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge in a scenic gated community off the main town. And it is well-known for its weekly curry buffets. Chefs Yugewdran Ramsay and Seelan Naidoo of Indian origin
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