Smell of India in South African Bunny Chow

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A visit to South Africa can be rewarding in more ways than one.

On one hand, you have some of the most beautiful sceneries around you to leave you in a trance. On the other, this part of the world is known for some of the best cuisines whose taste appeals to a majority of the tourists. On my visit to this South African city I had the chance to experience one of their most popular, but easy to make street food; the Bunny Chow. This is regarded as one of the native food items of Cape town and is also extremely popular among the inhabitants of this region.

The dish can be modified in many ways as per your liking. It is a filling and tasty snack and is yet not unhealthy by any means. To put across the simplest description of this dish I have to say it is more of a combination of bread and curry. The best of both worlds come together and create a dish that is unique and is also sure to entertain your taste buds. If you go by the history of South Africa, you would notice the imprints of an Indian community from ancient times. This dish is a creation of that Indian community and a synthesis of the Western and Indian flavors. While it started with the Indian community it soon spread among the entire nation of South Africa and became widely popular.  You would find it in any Indian restaurant in South Africa and this could be just the thing you are looking for after a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Cape Town on a lazy afternoon.

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To make this dish you have to first make a hole by scraping out some bread from a big loaf of bread. It should be big enough to hold the curry that would be gently poured inside. Fry some onions in a pan first and then add some ginger, garlic, cardamom, chopped chilly, minced meat, carrots and tomatoes. You can easily substitute some of these with vegetables of your choice or even make the snack vegetarian if you so want. The insides of the bread loaf can be laced with some lemon juice to add the tangy flavor to the dish. Then the prepared curry is to be gently put inside. The dish is now ready and can be garnished with some coriander.

If you happen to visit this part of the world, never miss out on this amazing food item.

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Jhal Muri: What Is So Special About This Kolkata Street Food?

Written by Ujjayini Paul

From couples romancing at the Victoria Memorial and school children coming back from class, to age old friends gathering every weekend for the quintessential adda – life in Kolkata would be almost impossible without the mouth watering street foods. It adds that additional flavor to life as supposed by many. Then again, street food of Kolkata is incomplete without jhal muri or spiced puffed rice. Truth be told, most Bengali homes can’t consider not having it as a consistent snack, and they try to replicate the exact flavor of the roadside stalls at home.

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The unique preparation

The preparation of this amazing snack is very simple yet unique. Ingredients like puffed rice, tomato, chopped boiled potato, cucumber, slices of coconut, roasted peanuts and chopped green chilies are mixed together. This mixture is then tossed with a special mix of spices and of course mustard oil. Finally it is served by squeezing lemon, fresh coriander and a bit of sev. This is a customized treat in the true sense of the term. Onions are generally avoided in jhal muri unless someone requests it which is the rarest case.

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The special spice mixture

It is the special mixture of spices that makes jhal muri stand apart from all other street food. This spice mixture is created by grinding several ingredients like roasted cumin seeds, black or rock salt, salt, dried red chili powder, a pinch of garam masala and amchoor. Some prefer to mix roasted bay leaf and grind everything together to create a fine powder. This special mixture is the only thing that needs to be prepared from before and should be stored. This one of its kind street of Kolkata is the adopted version of bhel or dry bhel. But, this is prepared quite differently and is a very Bengali thing. People in and across Kolkata have grown up loving this street food the most and each one comes up with their own preferences. Some love their jhal muri plate with less chili, less potato, more spice, less coriander and so on.

( Cover Picture Courtesy: http://bit.ly/2eM1vyn )

Do you like Jhal-Muri? Let us know in the comments below.