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.

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.

Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows.

Vibrant culture
Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows.

The Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who met lost their lives here.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Vibrant culture
Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Sakhumzi Restaurant - Soak up the kasi flavor at Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Vibrant culture
Sakhumzi Restaurant - Soak up the kasi flavor at Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Soak up Soweto’s rich cultural atmosphere at an important South African tourist destination, Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

Vibrant culture
Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

At St George's Cathedral, the church kept its doors open to people of all races throughout the apartheid era.

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Vibrant culture
Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

Vibrant culture
Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

Mandela House (Houghton) - Take a look inside Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home.

Vibrant culture
Mandela House (Houghton) - Take a look inside Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home.

Thousands gathered to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy outside his Houghton home after his passing in late 2013.

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Vibrant culture
Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Remembering the past at the Anglo-Boer War Museum

Vibrant culture
Remembering the past at the Anglo-Boer War Museum

Remembering the past at the Anglo-Boer War Museum

A national treasure of history, art and culture at The National Museum

Vibrant culture
A national treasure of history, art and culture at The National Museum

A national treasure of history, art and culture at The National Museum

Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

Vibrant culture
Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

A floral haven in the City of Roses at the Free State Botanical Garden

Vibrant culture
A floral haven in the City of Roses at the Free State Botanical Garden

A floral haven in the City of Roses at the Free State Botanical Garden

From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

Vibrant culture
From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Vibrant culture
Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Tribute to great men Nobel Square, Cape Town

In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

Vibrant culture
In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

In memory of those who sacrificed everything Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

Nelson Mandela Bridge

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Bridge

The Nelson Mandela Bridge - A fitting tribute to a great leader

Inanda Heritage Route

Vibrant culture
Inanda Heritage Route

The Inanda Heritage Route explores the often overlooked area on Inanda, north of Durban. Despite its apparent obscurity, this region has historical roots that run deep, as a place that experienced first-hand the injustices of apartheid, was the home of passive resistance and became an icon of the freedom struggle.

Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

At the V&A Waterfront, visitors can view the ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, which has a remarkable story to tell about the early occupation of the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. But the battery also has much more to offer the visitor ...

South Africa on social media

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