Meet new people: Amit Prag!
Have you ever met someone new for the first time, yet have a familiar connection right away? You can’t quite put a finger to it… but the conversation flows as if you are meeting an old friend. This is how I met Amit last month, at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner in the city. After learning how to make spiced chai from scratch (Rooibos tea, masala spices, sugar, milk and… mint!), I learned about Amit’s incredible journey before settling down in Cape Town.
Originally from Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, Amit trained as a scientist and worked for corporate firms. Having lived in Germany before his studies, he decided to embark on an adventure again and explore the UK biotechnology sector as a career path. Becoming increasingly discontent with corporate life, he took a break, backpacked through Europe, and returned to South Africa to settle in Cape Town. After a brief stint trying the corporate world again, he gave up the corporate life and began an intense journey of self discovery. Through this, Amit found his passion to empower people to become more powerful, compassionate and inspiring leaders! He is an Executive Life Coach and Personal Development Coach, and the Founder of Entheos Coaching.
Get to know Amit
- What brought you to Cape Town?
I was a student at the University of Cape Town. After traveling for a couple of years I came back to South Africa and went back to Port Elizabeth. It didn’t take me long to realise that Cape Town was the only place for me to be, so I moved back to Cape Town 5 years ago.
- What’s keeping you in Cape Town?
I choose to stay in Cape Town because it is a good mix between big city and small village, between urban and nature. After spending a long time wandering, It seemed like a good place to settle for a time. Right now, I couldn’t imagine where else I would want to be.
- I am a guest at your dinner party. If you could serve me any meal that represents you, what will that be?
Hmmm, I would make Biryani, Chicken curry and black eye beans. The biryani would be tasty with many subtle flavours and served with Chas (a yogurt/buttermilk topping with spices). The chicken curry would have more complex flavours, spicy enough to open your senses, but not enough to cause pain or discomfort. Black eyed beans would also be done in North Indian style, because it’s my favourite bean dish and tastes yummy! So in a nutshell, something fresh, something spicy, and something comforting.
- Alright then, you are hosting your dream dinner party and you can invite 3 guests, Dead or Alive. Who will you invite & why?
Only 3? Tough one. A dream dinner party for me is to have an intimate dinner with close friends and enjoy the wine, food and laughs. If I were to choose notable personas, I would invite someone wise, someone funny, and someone hot. Lao Tzu (with a translator)… I find deep inspiration in his writing, and I would be interested in meeting him. Jeff Dunham because he is funny AND he doesn’t come alone. Hugh Jackman, smart and hot.
- You’ve had a bad day and craving comfort food, what will you eat?
Hot chocolate, and a soft cheese with crackers. Lamb stew with bread. Macaroni with white sauce. Mung bean curry.
- Share a happy memory you have about food
As a child, my family would go to the temple for prayers every Sunday. After that, I would go to the park with my cousins and ride our bicycles. We always returned home to the smell of Biryani. For me, that smell takes me back to the childhood joy of abandonment, and of riding bicycles or playing on swings in the park on a Sunday morning! This is why I remember coming home to my mother’s love as a plate of delicious Biryani.
- What would be a traditional family meal in your house?
It would be a vegetarian curry, with roti. Simple and delicious.
- What’s on your Food bucket list?
I’d really like to try cooked insects. I figure that if I eat prawns (which are pretty much just sea bugs), then I should be able to eat land bugs too. We’d solve the world’s protein problems if we ate insects.Other than that, I’d love to travel to China, Thailand, and Japan in particular to taste the local cuisines there.
- Tell me about your kitchen’s 5 senses: hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touch
Hearing the wind outside and the sounds of Bo Kaap. Seeing the spices and ordered chaos (along with some dirty dishes). Tasting the awesome flavours coming out of my kitchen daily, I am a fairly good cook. Smelling spices and space. As for touch…
- Finally, what is the best dining experience you’ve had in Cape Town and why?
There are many… I’ll go with breakfast at Lola’s on Long Street where I had a very simple meal once. It was beautifully prepared, just the right amount of everything and well presented. I also had good company – that always helps.