Pomegranates and Turkish Food in Centurion

by | Apr 12, 2023 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg, Markets/Shopping, Pretoria | 9 comments

Centurion, an anonymous no man’s land between Joburg and Pretoria, is home to a magical place called Buyuk Chamlija: a self-described “Socio Eco Techno Village” that grows fat, juicy pomegranates and has a Turkish restaurant shaped like a beehive.

Heather picking pomegranates
I think one of the best things about pomegranates is the word itself — I want to say it (and write it) over and over. Originally from the Mediterranean, pomegranates grow well in many parts of South Africa and their harvesting season is in March and April. (Photo: Fiver Löcker)
Pomegranates at Buyuk Chamlija
Pomegranates!

Fiver and I spent an afternoon at Buyuk Chamlija — I’m going to call it BC for short — during its annual pomegranate festival. We picked pomegranates, sipped pomegranate juice, and ate Turkish pizza and pomegranate ice cream. We watched young families playing basketball and frolicking in fountains. We had a short conversation with a nice Turkish man named Hussein, who works at BC and knows a lot about pomegranate farming.

Landscaped strolling paths at BC.
Lady in the pomegranate grove
There were pomegranate trees scattered all around the property.
Fiver with a pomegranate
Fiver and a pomegranate. BC’s pomegranates are delicious, by the way — so sweet and juicy.
Hussein explaining how pomegranates are farmed
Hussein explaining how pomegranates are farmed.
The pomegranate festival tent.
Making pomegranate ice cream
Making pomegranate ice cream with fresh pomegranate seeds and condensed milk.
Pomegranate ice cream
The finished product.
A cut-open pomegranate
A cut-open pomegranate.

One thing we didn’t do, however, is figure out what BC actually is. Hussein said it’s run by a Turkish non-profit — I don’t know which one, but it’s not affiliated with the Nizamiye Mosque in nearby Midrand (for some reason I thought it might be). Anyway, BC seems to be quite a large operation and I’m curious to know what it’s all about.

I need to do more research and I don’t know enough to write an informed, comprehensive blog post about BC. But in the meantime I wanted to tell you about the pomegranates (love that word!) and the restaurant, Tadinda, which is almost certainly the most interesting building in Centurion.

Beehive-shaped restaurant at Buyuk Chamjila
Tadinda (also referred to as “the Karinja” on the BC website), the beehive-shaped restaurant at BC. It’s in a beautiful, park-like setting, surrounded by sprawling indigenous trees.
Inside Tadinda restaurant
Inside the restaurant’s largest dome — it’s surrounded by smaller domes.
Another look at the outside of the restaurant.
Outside the Tadinda restaurant
And another look. I struggled to capture how incredibly cool this restaurant is.
Turkish food at Tadinda
We were in between meals and had already filled up on ice cream at the festival, so we only had these small, pizza-like snacks. But the restaurant has an extensive menu of authentic Turkish dishes and all the food that came out looked delicious. (The service was a bit slow, though.)

That’s all on BC for now. I suggest following them on Instagram; in addition to the pomegranate festival, they are planning annual olive and cherry festivals and various other events. Also I think the restaurant is open every day.

Pomegranate!
Pomegranate! The end.

9 Comments

  1. Nancy McDaniel

    Hw cool LOVE the domes. And how beautiful pomegranates are growing on a tree. I have never seen such a thing. I’d love to try the ice cream (I love Chobani Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds)

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I also had no idea how they grew. They are very fun to pick, too!

      Reply
  2. Dave Freeman

    I have always loved pomegranates (love the word, too) ever since I ate my first one as a young boy. I have always been fascinated with how the seeds/pearls form on its interior and with the wonderful flavor of the juice. I buy Pom brand juice regularly, even though it’s way too expensive here. Love your posts and so proud to know you!!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Aw, thanks Dave. I hope you’re doing well. xx

      Reply
  3. dizzylexa

    Love, love pomegranates and that Tadinda building is stunning.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Yeah. We’ll have to go back!

      Reply
  4. AutumnAshbough

    Those pomegranates look huge. And restaurant is a pretty unique building. Pomegranates are tasty, but like a lot of foods with seeds, they are best eaten outside!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I know, the pomegranates in the store look so puny after having these. And yes, our kitchen looked like a murder had taken place there after Thorsten cut up the first one ????

      Reply

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