The Patel Brotherhood is a private club in Dar es Salaam, and it is one of my favorite places in the city. First of all, the food there is super – terrific garlic & butter naan and rich, delicious curries. On top of the cuisine, I really enjoy the atmosphere at the Patel Brotherhood.
Food is grilled at a station in the corner of the courtyard. Badminton and tennis courts are off to the other side. Most of the members and guests are local Indian families, of all types, sizes, and ages. Kids are always running around, weaving in and out of the tables. On some nights, a projector is set up to beam broadcasts from India onto the big screen - cricket, football or shows like Indian Superstar.
Above are big starry skies with the occasional contrail from a flight arriving from Europe. Calls to prayer sound from nearby mosques. An underlying hum comes from table conversations being spoken in half a dozen different languages. Fragrant cooking smells hang in the air. I always feel a pleasant, peppery buzz after feasting on prawns masala and jeera chicken. Dinner at the Patel Brotherhood seems like an ideal multi-cultural experience.
P.S. There are a lot of people with Indian backgrounds in TZ. Many have Tanzanian citizenship but maintain strong cultural ties to their Indian heritage. A portion of Tanzania’s Indian community belongs to the Dawoodi Bohra sect of the Muslim faith. The men wear Western-style clothes, but the women’s attire is very noticeable. The two piece outfits are made are made of bright, candy- or pastel-colored fabric. The top is a hooded poncho and has the same design as the skirt, which usually features a doily border and appliqué flowers. I searched for a picture of the unique dress worn by the Bohra women, and I found just what looking for on a website called WorldGlobeTrotters.
Apparently, the couple behind the website has been travelling around the world for 7 years. They sound like interesting people, and they were in our area a few months ago. Too bad our paths didn’t cross. Check out a full version of this picture and more good pictures on their Dar trip report page.