Spice Emporium in Durban 2016

We started fasting yesterday and wanted a tasty value for money vegetarian lunch today to celebrate Radha’s birthday.
Despite being a meat-eater, I get very annoyed when restaurants / takeaways take advantage of the veg-eaters (like the one in Sparks Rd Overport where I walked in, saw the enormous rip-off prices and then walked straight out in disgust).
I mean really Bhai, how can a soya curry cost the same as a mutton curry?
Spice Emporium, where we have been many times, turned out once again to be an excellent choice.

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The food was well-priced, super tasty and the little restaurant a really nice place to relax after buying all our spices and soya products in the nearby isles for the upcoming month.

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It’s also a haven for husbands to sit, relax and read a book or the newspaper while the wife (domestic boss) and daughter’s scour the shop for the many to be had good deals.

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Radha loved the Elachi tea to bits, so much so that she forced me to make her a 2nd cup as soon as we got home.

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Irene had the Aloo Paratha with dhal. Super!

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I had the paneer toasted sandwich. Super!

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The prices of the dried bean, lentils, herbs, spices are very keen as well.

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Give this spot a try; you won’t regret it.

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The bottom line!

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Read a previous post here.

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Why we love Durban: Victoria Street Market – 5

This post follows Why we love Durban: Moses Mabhida – 4.

Where to stay advises of the following:

Durban’s Victoria Street Market is a vast oriental bizarre with hundreds of stalls offering a huge selection of spices, fabrics, baskets, beads, sculptures, soap-stones and other African curios.

It is a favourite tourist destination as it offers not only great prices, but a unique chance to experience the atmosphere of an oriental marketplace where haggling is considered the norm.

The market is located at the corner of Queen St. and Victoria St. and has plenty of underground parking“.

There is a general section for all and fish / poultry / offal section (not for the meek). Traders on the roadside sell vegetables.

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Ulwazi, as always, provides a wealth of information:

The Victoria street market in Durban is a rich historical site that reflects the struggles of a poor community striving for their own identity and a burning need to make ends to meet to survive in new pasture market currently stands strong in the central business district of Durban, and is an epic in the Indian community as it serves as a reminder of a disadvantaged community that was determined to survive against all odds.

20121231_vic str_tonemapped (5).tif (Medium)

 

The market was a seed sown by the Indian indentured labourers that had completed their indenture ship and had a choice of either going back to India, or to seek employment, or create their own means employment.

The market was seen as transition from farming to industrial employment. Having experience from an agricultural sector their best option to survive was growing fruit and vegetables and selling them on the streets of Durban.

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Initially they used the Grey Street Mosque to trade but as the number of traders grew from both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds they moved to the streets. The atmosphere was a buzzing environment of a rush, with horse drawn carts and people sitting on the streets of Durban, attracting potential customers. They had to pay a daily rental fee to Durban town council and because it was unaffordable to travel back and forth from home they were forced to sleep on the pavements or seek shelters at a nearby temples.

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A typical market day started at 4am and ended at 6pm. Farmers reached the market as early as 2 am to secure a trading place. There was no access to toilets and there was no protection from extreme weather conditions.

In 1910, the Indian market was formally built by the municipal in Victoria Street it was also known as the Top Market or Squatter Market. The traders also sold groceries, fish, spices and crafts as part of their trade.

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The traders also experienced conflicts amongst themselves as the squatters on the street was seen as a hindrance to the stall holders inside the building complaining the squatters was causing pollution and was a threat to their sales.

In 1934, the Durban Town Council prohibited the sale of cooked food to accommodate restaurants in the market building.

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The squatter traders were members of the Indian Agricultural Association, Natal Farm Association and from the towns of Springfield, Newlands and Clairwood it was a business hub, but the traders were seen as a threat as they were selling cheaper commodities that meant other business were running losses.

The squatters also caused traffic congestion, and they were also destroying the cemetery that were near them. The Durban Town Council built a wall which the squatter traders had to pay the costs of.

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In 1970, the Durban City Council were set to build a freeway across the market which was opposed by the traders who protested, however in 1973 a fire destroyed the market and although the reason behind the fire was a drunk street man, the traders viewed it as a sabotage.

The market was reconstructed and its still thriving strong as ever with a blend of Indian spices and African craft.”

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Delhi India – December 2011

Jama Masjid Mosque
Jama Masjid Mosque
Our arrival
Our arrival
Busy in a side alley
Busy in a side alley
Bicycle taxis
Bicycle taxis
Learning the ropes
Learning the ropes
Prayer inside Jama Masjid
Prayer inside Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid water source
Jama Masjid water source
Relaxing and cool
Relaxing and cool
Wash drink contemplate
Wash, drink, contemplate
Finishing the job while the customer waits
Finishing the job while the customer waits
Squirrel gather scraps in between the benches
Squirrel gather scraps in between the benches
Maybe taking dad out for the day
Taking dad out for the day
Old Delhi gathering
Old Delhi gathering
Mobile phones for all
Mobile phones for all
Old Delhi
Old Delhi times 2
Traffic suspiciously mild
Traffic suspiciously mild
Cast nets on the side
Cast nets on the side and who are you
Men are from Mars!
Men are from Mars!
Ground level
Ground level
A visit to Karim's is a must when in Delhi
A visit to Karim’s is a must when in Delhi
Sikh family
Sikh family feeding their mouths and the squirrels 
http://www.karimhoteldelhi.com
http://www.karimhoteldelhi.com 
Destitute waiting for food
Destitute waiting for food
No fare power-nap
No fare = power-nap
All and sundry use the road
All and sundry use the road
Delhi at night 1
Delhi at night 1
Careful where you eat or you will meet "Delhi Belly"
Careful where you eat or you will meet “Delhi Belly”
Delhi at night 2
Delhi at night 2
The band that patrons started throwing cash notes at
The band that patrons started throwing cash notes at – seriously
The party really got going
The party really got going big time
We only find out later that dancing was banned in this bar
We only found out later that dancing was banned in this bar, but were not sorry for getting it going
Tasty treats at Karim's in Old Delhi
Tasty treats at Karim’s in Old Delhi – fresh and original 
After playing the tunes he needed a stiff Scotch
After playing the tunes he needed a stiff Scotch
Bamboo scaffolding
Bamboo scaffolding
Lord Hanuman
Lord Hanuman
Entrance 1
Entrance 1
Entrance 2
Entrance 2
On the road
On the road
On the road 2
On the road 2
Our party animal friends we met that night
Our party animal friends we met that night
Use your "dipper"
Use your “dipper”
I was a little amused to see that a goat was also catching a ride
I was a little amused to see that a goat was also catching a ride

This post about my visit to Delhi was inspired by another blog “Shankar Market, Old Delhi and the Weekend” – click, visit and see some more lovely photos with great colours.

Also see “Where the guys gives roses” by the same author.

Andy’s veggie burgers

After a recent visit to McDonald’s, I thought I would test how good their veggie burger is by making my own.

The rear of the Imana Chakalaka soya mince gives an easy to follow recipe, although I pretty much did my own thing.

I added curry powder, dhania, cumin, mustard seeds, garlic, ginger and mixed herbs to rev up the flavour (buy from Spice Emporium for savings and a wide selection).

Onion rings were placed in between the raw patties; all on a glass casserole dish greased with olive oil.

My old faithful Weber was used to cook the patties using the indirect method.

Hickory wood chips were used to smoke flavour the patties with an artificial bacon flavour.

 

To finish off: Portuguese rolls, a slice of cheese, tomato, lettuce, low-fat salad dressing a good helping of Veri Peri of course!

My guinea pig in chief gave me an 8 out of 10 for effort and flavour, although I don’t think she has scored any previous meal higher than 7.

The patties tasted even better the next day!

Spice Emporium

“Emporium” (medieval Latin from Greek emporos = ‘merchant’) is a term used for a store selling a wide variety of goods, and for marketplaces or trading centres in ancient cities (see emporia (ancient Greece) and emporia (early medieval).

Situated but a stone throw away from Durban’s Beachfront, standing proudly in a sturdy spacious building, we have Spice Emporium.

 

Spice Emporium was born 20 years ago as an ethnic food store and since its inception, has been world renowned for its ability to provide the complete Indian experience. The brand has become synonymous with quality and exclusivity across the entire market and as a result the flagship store has become a landmark tourist destination.

There is ample parking on the street and car guards who take their job seriously.

 

The store also offers limited off-road parking.

 

Smart and alert security guards watch over the goings-on inside and outside the store.

 

The only thing that you can get away with and steal here is a VERY GOOD DEAL!

So with the advent of the Puratassi fasting period from 17th September till the 17th of October, where else to go and stock up on essentials but Spice Emporium of course.

Read more about Puratassi here.

The store has such a wide variety of goodies and at super competitive prices.

From the image below nobody will doubt that Timol and I quickly put 4kg of kidney beans into our trolley earlier today.

Don’t kid yourself with the words “Indian experience” above. Yes, there are Indian spices but also a wide range of dried herbs, peppercorns, flour and so on. The list is endless.

 

They also have cook and kitchenware.

 

A wide variety of incense.

 

Assortment of cool-drinks and juices.

 

Frozen veggies, pastries, soya products.

 

Cookies and sauces.

 

Honey, oils, prayer goodies.

 

Happy customers and more prayer goodies.

 

Ample space to move around lots of rows of goodies with store supplied trolleys.

 

Disco mukwas and somph (saunf) sweets.

Wide variety of rices and more pots.

A beautiful display of colour and variety.

 

More tasty treats.

 

And finally the really tasty mixtures; blends of India.

A very long row of everything.

 

Even a blend for the potjie pot.

 

An interesting onion & rice mix.

 

And even some help for those who want to try their hand at Indian Delights.

 

Now all this looking in-store is certainly energy consuming.

 

So why not stop off at the Chaat Shop.

Snacks for all to eat.

 

A spacious dining area.

 

A vibey kitchen where good hygiene is obviously not-negotiable.

 

Fresh ingredients only.

 

As a retailer based in Durban, the primary focus of the business has always been to service the retail market. With the increased influence of “Bollywood” and the increase in awareness of South Africans of Indian origin to become aware of their roots, the business has seen tremendous growth. However, the growth of the business cannot solely be attributed to these influences. Spice Emporium is a family run business and the growth of the business can also be attributed to the personal touch of the husband and wife team that manage Spice Emporium. Customers are not viewed as customers rather as friends and it is this personal attention and value to customers that have attributed to the growth of Spice Emporium.

Spice Emporium is managed by Vinod Harie and his wife Chandrika, whom between them have over 50 years of experience. Spice Emporium was born from the vision of Vinod who noticed that there was a niche in the market for a high quality, speciality and ethnic food store.

Timol and I met Chandrika earlier today.

She is delightful and friendly and I am sure she will, if not in a meeting or doing something else to keep this grand emporium on track, find the time to meet you in the aisles with her smiley face.

Call +27 31 332 5888 or go to the world of Spice Emporium where you get World Food with Home Flavour.

The flagship store is situated at 31 Monty Naicker Street towards the beach in Durban City Centre.

There are two branches: one at Gateway Theatre of Shopping, a premier shopping centre in the heart of the new Umhlanga Town Centre, about 30 kms north of the Durban CBD, and at the Reservoir Hills Mall on Mountbatten Drive, Reservoir Hills.

Go pay them a visit, you will be greatly surprised at what you will find!

Carefree holidays, eels, motorcycles & jaffles

There were many holidays spent at aunt Norma’s house in  Zululand.

I was in my preteen and teen years at the time.

Some memories from my visit’s stick like gum:

  1. fishing with uncle Mike
  2. him sending me in the water only to be greeted by a large eel instead of a fish
  3. burning my new trainers in the fire that same trip
  4. uncle later giving me the same eel for dinner
  5. my cousin’s boyfriend’s Yamaha DT 50 motorcycle
  6. the rides allowed on this motorcycle to “give them space”
  7. my other cousin giving me a rude introduction to Tequila
  8. my aunt “exploding” food from her pressure cooker all over the kitchen roof
  9. carefree holidays
  10. JAFFLES for breakfast lunch supper and whenever else possible

I enjoyed the tasty jaffles so much that my aunt bought me my own jaffle maker, which I still have kept nestled away in my cupboard.

It’s now 30 years later. The jaffle maker is out…

Now to make a top-class jaffle you need  super hot filling. Think of it as a “pie made of bread”.

You wouldn’t eat a lettuce and tomato pie now, would you?

So to bring the jaffle maker back to life in a respectable manner, Timol and I went for a spicy chicken curry filling.

 

For the spices and other ingredients, the shop of course (where there is a large selection and bargains galore)  – Spice Emporium, who I see have an online facility. Read the metrobeat article here.

Albany Best of Both was our choice of bread.

The two slices of bread were buttered on either side, before a dollop of curry was placed in between (not too much otherwise it “blows” out the sides.

The really naughty part: grate and throw some cheese on the curry before making the sandwich.

 

Place the sandwich into the jaffle maker, squeeze it shut and attach the clip.

Remove the crusts if they don’t fall off the sides.

Place onto the hot stove.

I always turn the jaffle maker over every few minutes and open it to check progress.

The jaffle above was a little “overloaded”.

When ready (lightly browned or darker if you prefer); place the jaffle onto a plate and munch away (do let it cool down slightly first).

 

Thank you to aunt Norma, uncle Mike and their daughters for all the wonderful memories, looking after me like one of your own and never telling my parent’s all the naughty things I did.

Home-made Portuguese Peri-Peri Chicken Burgers

What do you do when your local chicken outlet starts charging a cock and a rooster for one small Portuguese Peri-Peri Chicken Burger? I’ll tell you. You take matters into your own hands.

Head along to your local Durban stores and buy:

Coat or marinade the fillets overnight with Veri Peri sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic, dried bay leafs and parsley.

Braai (barbecue) over a medium heat

 

Do not overcook

 

Clean and cut to size

 

Unpack the fresh rolls

 

 

Slice the rolls in half and spread the Flora on the bottom half. Spread the Trim and more Veri Peri generously on the top half

 

 

Layer chicken, cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce and even more Veri Peri to ensure the burger burns!

 

 

Serve on a plate and have burger no 2 lined up (the person eating no 1 will surely want another)

 

 

See what I mean?