Did you know Jozi, that we have a banging brilliant repertoire of curry houses that'll blow your socks off? And that'll rival what our friends in Durbs by the sea have to offer. And I'm not just talking flaming spicy fare either.
Here's a little list worth it's weight in saffron that you should get pretty excited about. I know I am, thanks to some nice contributions on twitter, and in particular from @Manisha_Naidu of Masterchef SA fame.
So, this is for y'all with much curry love.
Sitar, Cresta Shopping Centre
I am usually allergic to restaurants in shopping centers, but of course there is always room for exceptions. Particularly in Jozi, where so much happens in 'the malls' that we need to be prepared to eat there too. Also, Sitar offers an award-winning Indian dining experience that just cannot be ignored. Eat Out Magazine has rated them Top 1000 restaurants in South Africa 3 years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012).
I've heard their Badjia's are hard to beat and then of course there's the full list of beautiful chicken curries, at super reasonable prices, that keep us all coming back for more.
Cresta Regional Shopping Centre
With one of the most diverse and authentic Indian menus in Joburg, Thava have a proud heritage of delivering delicious Indian cuisine to even the most discerning diners.
"Thava specialises in South Indian cuisine and prides itself on its use of the freshest local ingredients, aromatic dishes and, in a first for South Africa, its unique Indian Tapas offering – pure indulgence; perfect for sharing, perfect for experiencing"
Thava’s menu includes fragrant curries, briyanis and stews, spicy Tandoori and Masala dishes, with all the trimmings. And let's not forget the Tandoor oven, no siree. There's a vast selection of Indian flatbreads, including the popular naan and roti, as well as paratha – a traditional layered bread that’s torn apart to serve and literally melts in your mouth.
What gets my mouth watering?
Vegetable Patties - A mixture of coriander, sesame, coconut, peanut and chillies stuffed inside mashed potato balls and deep fried. Served with sweetened yoghurt.
And, Chicken Khorma, but who knows for next time, the world's your oyster at Thava.
Tel: 011 728 2826
Cor The Avenue & Plantation Road
(Situated above Alexanders Deli)
Ghazal, Peter Place, Bryanston and The Square, Sunninghill
Now these guys are the kings of the curry quick fix. More so for me perhaps as I live just down the road, but truly, ask anyone around here and talk of Ghazal comes with a very firm thumbs up.
Also offering the full array of Indian dishes, Ghazal in Peter Place is an institution in Joburg's northern suburbs. They are also renowned for their friendly service. In other words, this is your veritable curry home from home.
You'll be rather pleased with yourself if you start off with the 'starter platter for 1' which comes with a delicious array of treats, from vegetable samosas to onion bhajias and the most succulent tikka chicken. For mains, try their classic lamb khorma or gosht badami tender lean lamb in an almond and cream gravy or kingklip curry in a spicy and fragrant paste. Oh, and make sure you book.
13, The Square
CNR. Leeuwkop & Naivasha Roads
You might remember me talking about Spiceburg in my recent 'Jozi Lunch Spots' post.
Well, for a quick curry in a hurry, this is where it's at. Not necessarily the zootiest décor and ambience (so in other words, quirky and more than a little kitsch), but hey, it’ll more than do for the lunch time rush, and the food is what you’re here for anyway. Well at least you should be, because it’s damn fine, mostly southern-Indian and packed full of flavour.
?For me? Crab soup for starters, word on the street is that it more than delivers on the finger-licking scale.
If I were going to squeeze in a starter: The ‘Chicken ’65!!’ this is traditional Chennai street-side food in the form of succulent chicken marinated and fried with 65 spice.
And because lamb steals my heart (and plate) almost every time, Madras Mutton Kuruma for mains. (A boneless mutton and potato curry cooked in medium coconut gravy).
And believe me, we haven’t even touched the sides of the Tandoor yet.
?141 Greenway Road, corner of Gleneagles?Tel: 011 486 2255?Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Banjaara has been serving up smashing curries since 2003. Since then, their honest-to-goodnessly delicious North Indian fare has earned them quite a reputation up here in Jozi streets. And I mean a good one. Including the requisite merrily kitsch decor you'd expect from a pukka Indian restaurant of such repute, as well as wonderfully warm service.
Word on the street is that you need to go extra hungry to fit in some of their famous veg samoosas, and I'd follow that up with a perfect Prawn Masala, but really you're bound to land a winner no matter what you choose. And to finish? A nice dollop of Burfee Ice Cream (coconut). Thanks muchly.
Banjaara Linden came the most highly recommended, but you can also find them in Broad Acres; Lonehill; Bryanston and Bedford Centre.
Banjaara Linden : Tel: 011 912 7770
Cnr 4th Ave and 7th Street
Curry Palace, Ferndale
Vibey, bustling, and probably a flat screen showing whatever is going down in the world of cricket is what you can expect to find at this very happy-making establishment. And it doesn't stop there, you're sure to score a home run (baseball, I know) on whatever dish you choose, so if you're not the betting kind, you're more than safe.
Ferndale Shopping Centre
Corner of Main and Oxford Road
011 781 6750
And for a cracking good proudly South African grab n' go curry or bunny? Head over to Curry n' All, Cnr Grayston Drive and Katherine St, Sandton.
Follow @foodieliveshere and @food24 on twitter.