Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse on the kwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa

Weekly Photo: Lighthouse – Umhlanga Rocks

Following on the lighthouse theme, here’s a shot of the lighthouse at Umhlanga rocks on the kwaZulu-Natal coast near Durban in South Africa.

Built in 1954, the lighthouse has always been automatic. It protects ships from the dangerous local rocks as well as providing a beacon for the nearby port of Durban.

The photo was taken on a Samsung Note 4 during our 2016 South African holiday. The view is from the Lighthouse Bar in the Oyster Box Hotel.

This is a second post for Bren Ryan’s Photo for the Week – 4 – Lighthouse challenge. Couldn’t resist it as this is one of my favourite beach spots.

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Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse seen from the Lighthouse Bar at the Oyster Box Hotel.
Bunny Chow - Home made in the UK.

Bunny Chow – A Durban Speciality

 

One thing that has to be a part of any trip to Durban is a Bunny Chow. But Durban is far away, so I had to make one at home. There is something really delicious and comforting about a serving of good curry in a hollowed out loaf of bread with the gravy soaked into the bread! That’s my latest attempt above. A lamb curry garnished simply with coriander leaves. A bunny chow is, of course, eaten with fingers, using the bread.

 

History of the Bunny Chow

 

The bunny chow appears to have originated in Durban in the 1940’s, though there are different stories about how it came to be. One way or another Durban, and for that matter a good part of kwaZulu-Natal, has a large population of Indian descent. Durban is known for its curries.

 

The bunny chow is basically a curry in bread, with the bread used as a bowl. Originally the curry would have been vegetable, but over the years mutton and chicken have become common. I have also eaten beef curry in a bunny. And, of course, it is unusual to find a mutton curry in the UK, so lamb it is!

 

Typically it comes, in Durban, as a “full” (i.e. 800g loaf), “half” (half an 800g loaf) or a “quarter” (typically half a small, or 400g loaf). The middle of the bread is carefully removed as a single piece, leaving the crust as the bowl. The crust is filled with curry, and the bread removed from the middle used to top the filling. Sambals can be added as necessary.

 

Bunny Chow in the UK and Making Your Own

 

There are a number of places in the UK advertising bunny chow in various forms, though I have only once sampled a local version, from a South African kiosk in Camden Market in London. I have heard that it is popular in some places, with pubs offering it on one day a week, then two, then all week.

 

If you are making your own bunny chow, there are two parts to remember:

 

  1. Bread which can form a bowl;
  2. Curry which has plenty of rich gravy. It can be meat or veg.

 

Personally I prefer to make the curry to fill the bread, but you can buy the curry from your local Indian takeaway. The do look at you sideways if you don’t order rice or naan, though.

 

Simply remove the centre of the bread, fill the crust with your chosen curry, and enjoy!

 

A Google search brought up a few UK based bunny chow restaurants. Not surprising as there are a few South Africans around:

 

 

My Bunny Chow Recipe

 

I have a big family, so this is intended to feed 8 people. Curry freezes well, though we rarely have any leftovers to freeze.

 

Play with quantities and spice mix as you wish, using this as a base.

 

This recipe has been used for mutton and beef, and, with a couple of variations, chicken. In the UK i use it with lamb.

 

Ingredients

 

  • Cooking oil
  • 3 large white onions
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Ginger – I use about half of a ginger root from the supermarket
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 6 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 or 4 chillies – depending on how hot you like it. I use 4 supermarket chillies
  • salt to taste
  • 2kg meat
  • 3 tins tomato
  • Coriander leaves
  • Bread – 4 x 400g loaves, farmhouse, split tin or small sandwich loaves

 

Method

 

Brown the onions. add the garlic and ginger and fry it all together for a minute.

 

Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt and stir it all up together.

 

Add the meat, mix it all up and mix it all up well. Let it cook for ten minutes.

 

Add the tomatoes and chillies, turn the heat down and let it simmer slowly for about an hour. It’s cooked when the meat is tender and the oil is rising to the surface.

 

Cut the loaves in half and carefully remove the bread from the centre in one piece. Fill the crusts with curry, garnish with coriander leaves, put the removed bread and top and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Blogs which Caught my eye

Caught My Eye – 13 January 2018

Caught My Eye This Week – 13 January

This is a slightly new approach for Travels of the Hairy1. Reading other blogs and articles of interest, especially in my own niche, is a key part of staying up to date and keeping the ideas flowing. In any week I will read, probably a few dozen different blogs. Time is tight, though, so sometimes it’s a matter of ticking the “Like” box and moving on. In any week a few posts will stand out. I have decided to re-blog some of these in a quick summary.

There are many, many good blogs out there, these are just a few that caught my eye.

Sunrise on the Beach

Andrew Harvard’s post Positivity is contagious and makes it all better realy positively spoiled my week 🙂 with his Durban sunrise photo. We were right there in October, almost on the exact spot, though not at sunrise. And now we sit in the cold and (generally) grey of the English winter. I’m reminded of what I am missing. I have to say that I do enjoy Andrew’s photos.

For what it’s worth, the cost, south of Durban in kwaZulu-Natal, is where we used to spend our holidays. Durban is also where I went to University. So this is not just an “I went there once” comparison.

Sunny Winter Days

David Oakes Images – Sunny Winter Days. I do enjoy David’s excellent images. These photos from Derwent Water on a sunny English winter day particularly caught my eye.

I have to admit that I tend to be a fair weather photographer, unless there is something exciting like a sunny day after a few feet of snow. David’s images do tempt me to get the camera out even when it is cold and grey.

Those Christmas Markets

Peter and Dona’s post about the Christkindlmarket in Chicago on Living the Q Life made me wonder just how many German Christmas markets there are around the world. We seem to have developed a habit of visiting the Annual Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham. From the photos it looks as if they all offer similar products and follow a similar format.

I really think we may need to do a winter trip to a proper German market one of these years.

 

Just a Photo

Beautiful light in this image on Documented Wanderlust, showing a gathering storm.

Source: Gathering Storm, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin – Documented Wanderlust

How it’s done

There are a number of tools available, both free and premium, which will allow the user to follow website, blogs, etc. For me the key is that the tools I use are available on all of the platforms I use, being iOS, Android, Linux and Windows.

My two main tools are:

  • The WordPress app. This is available in the browser, or as an installed app on mobile devices.
  • Feedly. This tool is available in browser and as a mobile app.

    WordPress

    You need to be signed up with WordPress.com to use this. Sign-up is free and allows you to set up a blog. You don’t need the blog to use the app though.

    Using the reader, you can create lists, follow tags and follow WordPress sites. Generally it follows wordpress.com sites, self-hosted WordPress sites, using the Jetpack plugin are also visible.

    Feedly

    Feedly is a feed reader. Most blogs have an RSS feed of some kind. Feedly simply connects with the feed and displays posts in the feed.

Summing it up

Enjoy this little summary and watch for next week’s summary.

Valley of a Thousand Hills seen from Botha's Hill

Valley of a Thousand Hills

Valley of a Thousand Hills

Botha’s Hill

Taking a day away from the beach, we headed up the main road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg then turned right to Botha’s Hill. Eventually we came to the fantastic view of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. What a tremendous view of the hills under a stormy sky.

Comrades Marathon Country

Heading back down the old main road we came across the Comrades Marathon wall of honour commemorating the achievement of those who successfully completed the “Comrades”.

The Comrades Marathon is, of course, the annual run between Pietermaritzburg, provincial capital of kwaZulu-Natal, and Durban. A distance of around 90km Largely following the old main road. The run is “down” one year, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, and “up” the following year.

Lunchtime, Game Parks and the Meander

Heading back towards Durban we stopped off at the Phezulu Safari Park. It has a small wildlife park, but, having seen African wildlife many times in the bush, we were more interested in lunch. Sadly the restaurant was closed, but the view was good.

I’m told that a few of these parks have started up and this area features on the KZN Midlands Meander. That’s a trip worth doing if you are visiting the area. Having lived in kwaZulu-Natal we have seen most of the meander at various times, and it is a great area to visit.

A bit further down the road we found the Pot and Kettle. This somewhat eccentric appearing, family run restaurant gave us a good lunch.