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Let's Go to South Africa for Some Indian Food

Planning a vacation is always a major decision (sometimes a major headache). But not for me, since I am a dream traveler.  My choice of where to travel for my imaginary vacation was made easy because I read a fascinating article in the Travel section of the New York Times (dated Oct 25, 2015).  The editors chose to shine the spotlight on the Durban community in South Africa.

Of course, wherever I travel, I want to learn the history and sample the food by finding recipes to cook in my own kitchen.

The Indians came to South Africa as indentured servants, hired by the British to work in the sugar cane fields, circa1860.  Even though they came with the hope of a better life, the history of their life in South Africa is not without hardship.  It’s ugly and complicated.  They did not escape the racial hatred and were also victims of racist attacks.  Yet they remained in South Africa, endured the difficulties and injustices, and today they are thriving and serve as high-ranking officials in the government of SouthAfrica.  Durban boasts one of the world’s largest Indian communities and they pride themselves on how well they have maintained their Indian culture.

That’s history, in a nutshell.  As for the food:

  • Did you know that in Durban, South Africa, curry is comfort food?
  • Did you know what Bunny Chow is?  Yes.  I know it sounds a combination of Western and Chinese cultures.  But it’s an iconic street food created by the Indian people who live in South Africa.

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