True to the old adage, “he who has not travelled thinks his mother is the best cook.” After wolfing Indian food around Kampala from Khana Kazana, Copper Chimney, Masala Chat, Biryani House, Kyber Pass and Handy’s – I came to a conclusion that a diner who has not sampled the Speke Resort Munyonyo cuisines thinks the others are better cooks.
My choice was the Ugandanized “Chicken Tikka.” This time round I snaked my way to the kitchen to see Chef Ramesh Giri juggle several pans, take pinches of spices, hot pepper, curry powder and butter to prepare my delicacy.
Sweet scents wafted in the air as petals of flame engulfed the frying pan and his wrist.
“IN fifteen minutes flat,” said Giri “Your portion will be ready. I am just mixing the yoghurt, ginger and garlic.’
Elsewhere dough was being kneaded and rolled to bake the crunchy chapati called in the Tandoori oven. Another lad was steaming rice and sprinkling it with spices that kissed my nose and are still sniffed by the nose in my mind.
In another corner the half cooked chicken pieces were put on a wooden tray and sent sizzling, overturned in thick gravy and salted.
“Should we make it very hot, hot or mild?” inquired Ramesh. “In it are Garam masala, carmine, coriander, turmeric, chili and curry powder.”
“Mild” I responded as my tongue went into riot gear wondering how the portion would roll down my throat. “You can now go and pick a seat and table – the food is ready.”
On the table the waiter brought a toy sigiri (stove) with a flame burning. Another one arrived with a tray punctuated with an array of appetizers, chilis and salads that would make anybody fasting change to break their fast before time.
The appetizers were wasted because the job was done in the kitchen as I witnessed the process. My duty was to sample the flavors and take mental notes.
The chapatis were good to bite. They were crunchy and tender at the same time. The frothy thick sauce rolled down the throat with the grace of a ballet dancer. The miniature mountain of rice was as succulent with a coconut taste here and hot chilly there competing for the tongues attention with spices.
After thirty minutes of dining I swaggered out of Speke Resort Munyonyo knowing where to dine when my tongue went wagging for Indian food. The menu has: Rogan josh, Hyderabad biryani, Indian Chats and Masala dosa.
Take note that traditional Indian gastronomy is a mixture of spices and flavours. They are akin to the subcontinent’s cultural and linguistic diversity where culinary style varies from place to place. Each of them has its own unique taste and food value. Some might be piquant, others less so, but they are all colourful and enticing.
Other outlets are limited in space given the COVID-19 Structural Operation Procedures (SOPs) but Nyanja Restaurant has space to contain more than 200 diners in the gardens and others within the building.
Located 13 km on the south eastern part away from Kampala Business District (CBD) but the place is world’s different from the madding crowd. Its popular for events, workshops, accommodation, wellness and exhibitions of international standards. It boasts 60 VIP suites and late President Robert Mugabe appreciated the huts which he said were the closed high end architecture he had come across in his life.
Moneyed Col. Muamar Quadafi offered to buy the business but the proprietor Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia declined to take any offers. In a nutshell the first CHOGM symposium held on the African continent was hosted there.