Personally, what we love about NRI is its precise and evocative recreation of diaspora cuisine – and the untold beautiful, poignant story behind its peculiar fare.
It’s a memoir of the journey Indian labourers set out on during the British rule. Thousands of locals were forced out of the country to different colonies in Africa, South East Asia and the West Indies – to slog as indentured labourers on tea, sugar and cotton plantations. Faced with utter inhuman conditions, hostility and the prospect of never seeing home again, the workers found peace and calm in religion, devotional music and, of course, the rich food of our motherland. Ever wondered how the curried goat and roti combination became a household name in Trinidad? Or when dal-puri shops spread out in parts of the West Indies and Surinam? Well, here’s your answer.
Here’s stuff, both from the diaspora and other characteristically inventive dishes from Kochhar, that we recommend – in case you are headed there any time soon:
1) Bunny Chow
It’s a mix of Durban curry in hollow bread served with plantain chip and slaw.
Fun fact: Bunny Chow was created in Durban, in the 1930’s, by Indian plantation workers who carried the hollowed-out white loaf filled with mutton or bean curry with them to the fields.
2) Dalim Shakarkandhi Chaat
A chaat preparation of earthy, roasted sweet potato with dollops of yogurt, drizzled with a sweet and tangy tamarind chutney, and garnished with pomegranate seeds and roasted moong dal, both of which gave a pleasant crunch to the dish.
3) Chicken Liver Masala Toast
A delicious spicy, dry, authentic Tanzanian spiced chicken liver with a crisp toast to compliment the strong flavours is one of the popular favourites at NRI.
4) NRI Jhinga Chaat
NRI’s very own twist on a classic shrimp cocktail, from the cold section of the menu at NRI.
5) Malaysian Butter Shrimps
Button mushrooms tossed with kresik & Kecap Manis – simple, sweet and bursting with flavours, this dish is a must-try for vegetarians looking for a quick bite.
6) Singaporean Curry Noodles
Rice noodles, vegetables & Singaporean curry mix. This classic stir-fry gets its signature flavor from yellow curry powder, which imbues the dish with warm, savory flavours.
7) South African Piri Piri Chicken Wings
How can Chicken Wings get better, right? Cooked with authentic spices from South African, fiery South African Piri Piri Chicken Wings will change that mindset of yours.
8) Indi Brit Fish and Chips
Crisp fried spiced bekti with oodles of chonka mutter – this is a fusion of Indian spices and classic Fish and Chips.
9) Grilled Hickory Smoked Jumbo Prawns
Jumbo prawns marinated in hickory smoked BBQ sauce served with vermicelli betel leaf salad. As good as it looks, it tastes even better.
10) Nimbu Dhaniya Paneer
Lemongrass & coriander flavoured cottage cheese steaks with soya glaze & kachumber. Don’t miss this.