When the first blue clouds come tumbling over the African horizon like angry boulders and the blistering wind comes rushing through the windows carrying that unmistakable cent of rain, you know that a Highveld thunderstorm calls for one thing – a delectable Curry and Rice.
Back in the day, when the heavens used to open up, a thunderstorm always summoned my mom and gran to the kitchen to deliver (in what feels like minutes) delicious rainy day comfort foods.
You know what I mean, right? The ever popular pancakes with cinnamon sugar or the mouthwatering “melkkos” with heaps of sugar and butter – I have managed to attach a sort of cliché onto these dishes that reflects that specific memory. Rain.
After the pancakes though, it was always accustomed to whip up a real South African Curry and Rice. The sort of Curry and Rice you would find at the local church bazaar, vessels filled to the rim, topped with fruity Chutney and a tablespoon of coconut – cramped on to tiny tables and accompanied by old smiling ladies with shiny cheeks and dirty aprons.
Now that is the kind of Curry and Rice I am talking about. It doesn’t only have to be enjoyed on a rainy day. When winter is in full swing a steamy bowl of Curry and Rice are sure to satisfy the family at dinnertime.
This is not the type of curry you will find in an Indian restaurant, it is the way our grans used to make it – like a secret recipe passed down from church bench to church bench, from mother to daughter, from farm kitchen to farm kitchen. It’s a legend – well for me at least…
My dad had this habit of adding a heaped tablespoon of desiccated fine coconut on top of another heaped tablespoon of chutney AND a whole cut up banana on top of his Curry and Rice. It was really so good. So if this is what you envision for your dinner, go on and enjoy an old South African favorite!