Thali, Dosa, Lassi, Potato Samosa, Pawpaw Salsa, Dhal Bhajia, Masala and Mysore Dosa, Kachori, Chevda and Chapati are now my new favourites. Favourites of Indian food, my savour, my stomach stuffer, my delight, my all. At least once a week commencing many months ago in The Gambia of all places, I thank Shiva for Indians. Especially Indians who made Africa their home.

My history may be slightly wrong but in colonial days, Indians came to Africa as traders and were also brought to build the railways by the British. In 1972, the lovely fella that Idi Amin was, evicted 70,000 Asians that lived in Uganda (they were given 90 days to leave with no possessions bar the clothes that they stood in). Alot moved to other East African countries and further afield in Africa to built new businesses and lives there.

Much to my surprise and delight and probably to Jon’s too as it means I am fed and not hungry and therefore moan less, Indian eateries are everywhere! Since my first tasty meal in a too posh restaurant for us backpackers in Farjara, The Gambia, to the usual Indian fare in Kumasi and Accra, Ghana, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which even managed to have tasty scoffs, to the large Indian ladies in Mombasa, Kenya who cooked us the best ever Indian street food served with spicy coconut dippydoo. They became very rich because of all the food I bought and I became very fat from all the food I bought and ate. To Masala Chat the greatest restaurant in Uganda and so far in Africa for us. We went three times, devoured dosas and each time left fuller than the previous time. Even Rwanda did not disappoint. You can’t blame Burundi for not partaking in the Indian buzz but then they only came out of a long civil war in 2002. Maybe with time?

And then there is Tanzania, the land of Swahili food. Well unfortunately I did not manage to find much decent Swahili food but a little Indian tucked away on a side street in Zanzibar restored my faith somewhat. The Radha Food House. It is not often I get to go to a vegetarian restaurant but it is good to see Jon suffer a little whilst eating chickpeas and lentils rather than steak. But not this time! No complaining from him. The food was tastier than ever before and my only regret was that I had not come here earlier rather than on my last night on the island.

So back to Indians in Africa and what they do for me? Well lots really. They sell the best yoghurt, never rip you off, are honest, can give proper street directions, build Hindu temples that I can visit and of course cook the best food ever. They are bleedin’ deadly.

jeanne

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