Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Kampala's Khana Khazana

Uganda's population is - like many other African countries - a kaleidoscope of tribes and nationalities. The Buganda make up about 20% of Ugandans, but there are also the Lango, Acholi, Teso and the Karamojong, who are cattle herders living in the dry and very poor North-East.

There's also a big community of Indians in Uganda who first settled here during the British Empire. Expelled by Idi Amin in the early 1970s, they were invited back by President Museveni more than a decade later to return, reclaim their property and drive the Ugandan economy forward.

Although only 2,000 of the estimated 55,000 forced to quit have chosen to return, the Indian population is estimated at around 20,000 today.

Tonight I felt like Indian food. Bruno, the French architect, entrepreneur and owner of the beautiful Hotel Bougainviller where I'm staying, recommended Khana Khazana. It might not be the best Indian food in town, he says, but the best option for good Indian food in a nice setting.

Khana means cuisine and Khazana treasure - and that's not a euphemism. The dimly lit open air restaurant overlooks a tranquil garden and has a really good feel.

And you can't help but smile at the Ugandan hostess welcoming you in a beautiful bright red sari.

I ordered a cheese naan and n°56 Malai Mushrooms - medium spiced.

My waiter grinned and asked "are you sure you want medium?" I said "Yes", but he convinced me to go for mild medium instead. I'm glad I followed his advice. The creamy mushrooms were delicious - the Mango lassi and the Tusker too.

India meets Africa. Aventures's happy!


christine 18 June 2009 at 17:34  

Nice blog! From what you are saying about Khana Khazana they have a branch in Kigali, too. Might that be the next Starbuck's?

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