Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

EExploration by sea in the 16th and 17th centuries led to a massive explosion of the world as people knew it. Suddenly, European travellers were able to traverse the continents, finding treasures and experiencing cultures.

When South Africa was being colonised in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Indian migrants were brought over to South Africa. Since this time, they tended to gravitate, together, towards the east coast of South Africa, in and around the area now known as Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. This led to a distinct loyalty to the characteristics of Indian cooking, albeit nuanced by centuries of South African influences.

Indian cuisine reflects the climate, land, culture and history in which it finds itself. South Africans of Indian origin have retained the core culinary traits of their Asian motherland but they have also incorporated African ingredients and hospitality traditions from their nearest neighbours.

Did You Know?
TThe restaurants of South Africa offer a wide variety of international cuisine types. These vary from Eastern favourites, such as Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese, to German eateries, English cafés, Moroccan food stalls and American-style diners.

SSouth African people of Indian descent have taken to cooking with traditional Zulu ingredients such as the fermented milk drink, amasi, while relishes such as the township classic chakalaka show evidence of the incorporation of Indian spices.

TThe local Indian cuisine has very distinctive flavours. Spices are used extensively, and much of the cooking is considered to be hotter than the fare usually consumed by non-Indian South Africans. Still, the complexity and aromas of these spicy combinations are quite irresistible, which is why so many local dishes of other origins bear the marks of this cultural influence.

The most common spices found in these curries are coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and plenty of chillies. Garlic and ginger are essential to creating the characteristic flavours. Curries are served with rice as well as some sort of flatbread (such as naan bread, roti or poppadum). Other common sides to a curry are sambals, such as tomato and onion or cucumber in soothing plain yoghurt, known as raita. Common curries include Korma, Tikka Masala and Vindaloo.

In India, foods are very regional specific but because the South African Indian people come from a diverse range of communities, a collective fusion genre of Indian cooking has developed. There are also Zulu influences on the Indian food in South Africa because Indian people and Zulu people lived and worked in close proximity in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

TTry the mutton curry at Durban's shabby-chic Britannia Hotel or head up the coast to Impulse by the Sea at Manor Beach for a superb Indian cooking and a bean bunny deluxe. Find all the ingredients you need to make your own South African Indian cuisine by visiting the Victoria Street Market in Durban.

In Pretoria, Little Durban offers a surprisingly authentic bunny chow as does Cape Town's Mariam's Kitchen in the St. George's Mall.

The strong ties that many South Africans have retained to their traditional Indian roots have brought so much diversity and cultural wealth into this country. One of the aspects in which this is expressed is through food, and international tourists are encouraged to sample as much as they can to get a real taste of Africa.

Who to contact
What will it cost
What to eat
What's happening

Related articles

aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village - the greatest Zulu experience in Africa

Vibrant culture
aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village - the greatest Zulu experience in Africa

Shakaland is a cultural replication of a Zulu “Umuzi” or homestead, complete with 55 very comfortable beehive huts that overlook the Phobane Lake.

Victoria Street Market - a unique and colourful shopping stop

Vibrant culture
Victoria Street Market - a unique and colourful shopping stop

Linger longer as your senses take in the smells, sounds and tastes of different spices and incense or let your sight drink in the vibrant and colourful fabrics.

An enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation

Vibrant culture
An enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation

The South African flag is an enduring symbol of unity and overcoming adversity as a nation.

Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

Vibrant culture
Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

A walk up the beautiful Company’s Garden, at the top of Cape Town, takes you to the South African Museum.

Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Vibrant culture
Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Emirates Airline Park played a significant role in South African sporting history, after hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is committed to preserving the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Nelson Mandela Museum

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Museum

Walking in the footsteps of a great man - a remarkable museum dedicated to Madiba

Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Vibrant culture
Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Run for unity at the Mandela Day Marathon and enjoy the beautiful KZN Midlands scenery.

Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Vibrant culture
Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Pretoria Central Prison is arguably the most infamous prison where Mandela was held before he was transferred to Robben Island.

Footsteps to Freedom

Vibrant culture
Footsteps to Freedom

Footsteps to Freedom will take you on a walking tour of all the great struggle sites in Cape Town.

Steve Biko Museum, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history.

Vibrant culture
Steve Biko Museum, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history.

The Steve Biko Centre is located in Ginsberg, King William's Town, Eastern Cape and entrance to the centre is free.

St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

Vibrant culture
St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg is significant in taking a firm stand against apartheid.

Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Vibrant culture
Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Vibrant culture
House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.

Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Vibrant culture
Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Bishopscourt is a spellbinding residential suburb that boasts a rich history, lush valleys, oak-lined trees and pristine homes.

The Market Theatre in Newtown - Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

Vibrant culture
The Market Theatre in Newtown - Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre has played and continues to play a pivotal role in South Africa’s story. .

UNISA, a university with a storied past

Vibrant culture
UNISA, a university with a storied past

UNISA is one of the biggest and oldest universities in South Africa with over 300,000 students and 4,000 teaching staff.

Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to Ohlange Institute

Vibrant culture
Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to Ohlange Institute

Visit Ohlange Institute in the Inanda region of KwaZulu-Natal and tap into critical South African history where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote.

One last boxing round at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Vibrant culture
One last boxing round at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court houses the statue of Nelson Mandela, “The Shadow Boxer”.

FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

Vibrant culture
FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

The FNB stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation - Retreat into Madiba’s home and experience his legacy.

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation - Retreat into Madiba’s home and experience his legacy.

Retreat into Madiba’s home at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation and walk in the footsteps of greatness.

Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Vibrant culture
Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Flat 13 Kholvad House remains one of Johannesburg’s most treasured heritage gems.

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City.

Vibrant culture
Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City.

The Mandela Rhodes Building was built in 1903 and now houses the headquarters for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Vibrant culture
Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Regina Mundi Church a struggle landmark and a tourist attraction that continues to serve the community.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy