South African Recipe

I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen the last few days, it’s been light meals and rushing around. My middle son has started college, and yes he is studying at a culinary school, wants to become a chef so he can teach his mum a few professional tricks. Our home feels empty with 2 of my boys now almost out the house, my 17 year old is staying at the college residence. Although he drove me crazy when he was at home I miss him terribly. The only positive is that I got to cook a Spicy Durban Chicken Curry, only because I didn’t have to hear his moans about the fact that he hates Chicken Curry and even more so if it was chicken on the bone.

This Spicy Durban Chicken Curry will definitely tantalize your tastebuds with it’s robust flavours. There are many different versions of cooking a chicken curry but my favourite is this one, cooked the South African Indian way with no fancy frills, just plain old chicken curry.

If you have eaten a curry cooked in a South African Indian home you will know a lot of our meat dishes are cooked with meat on the bone. The bone adds loads of flavour to the sauce or gravy as we know.

We do cook our chicken curry very similar to the way we would cook a Durban Lamb Curry https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/durban-lamb-curry/ . There’s is no quick fix to cooking a delicious curry, you cannot achieve the same results if you just add all the ingredients to the pot and just cook it in a hurry. You do have to layer the flavours, saute your onion and garlic, roast your spices and let the curry simmer on a low heat. The longer it simmers the more flavourful it becomes. It’s even more delicious if you allow it to stand for a while before serving.

I remember my mum sometimes cooked the chicken curry and then popped it into the oven for a short while, this totally enhanced the flavour of the curry. Like I have mentioned in a previous post it is best to roast your spices and grind them, you can store them in an airtight bottle. I don’t grind a whole lot, just enough to last me a couple of weeks so that way I know it still maintains its freshness. Nothing beats freshly ground spices.

If you love curries then you may also want to try some of these recipes:

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/mince-curry-potatoes/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/gadra-borlotti-bean-curry/


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Spicy Durban Chicken Curry
Spicy Durban Chicken Curry cooked with Indian Spices
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES CHICKEN
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES CHICKEN
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Instructions
  1. Heat ghee and add the whole spices, cinnamon, bay leaf, elachie, black elachie, star aniseed. When it becomes fragrant add onion, chilli and curry leaf
  2. Saute until onion is slightly brown
  3. Add ginger/garlic paste and saute for a further minute
  4. Add the ground spices, coriander, cumin, soomph, chilli powder, masala and turmeric
  5. Mix well, add a few drops of water to prevent scorching and fry for a minute
  6. Add the chicken and potatoes. Season with salt. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes
  7. Add half cup of water and simmer until potatoes are tender and soft. The tomatoes and amount of water I've added creates enough gravy, however you can add more if required. Please note that your gravy should be thick, not runny
  8. Sprinkle in the garam masala and crush the methi leaves with your fingertips and add it in. Mix well. Turn heat off and allow your curry to stand at least half an hour before serving.
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Mince Curry with Potatoes was often cooked by my mum when I still lived at home, all of my mums lamb dishes were out of this world, delicious. My kids always rave about her cooking and insist that I cook lamb dishes exactly like “Ma”.

Most South African curries are cooked in a similar way to this Mince Curry with Potatoes, my Durban Lamb Curry is one of them. Although most curries are cooked the same way it’s always about getting the balance of spices right to make an amazing curry. I sometimes mix my own masala but I find a store bought one is so much more convenient, especially if you don’t have all the spices to go into making your own masala. . I must also admit living in Johannesburg is not the same as Durban where you have a spice shop around every corner and sometimes it is a challenge when you run out of spices. However, even store bought masala can ruin your curry if it’s not a great tasting masala. Over the years I’ve tried many different brands and although I try and stick to the one’s I love, I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with this too. So you will find that you may need to change your brand from time to time, I wish store bought masala recipes could be consistent but trust me they never are.

I try and stick to a medium strength masala as I find the extremely hot ones really does ruin the flavours in a curry, I love hot but not so hot that all you can taste is chilli. It’s not that difficult to make your own masala but it is time consuming as I do love roasting and grinding my own fresh spices. I will soon post a recipe for my very own masala.  I use Kashmiri Chilli Powder more for the bright colour it adds to my curries, it’s a South African thing, your curry has to look the right colour.  Anything but a bright red colour is unacceptable by South African Indian standards.

This Mince Curry with Potatoes is spicy, with just the right amount of heat, and mouthwatering. My favourite way to eat it is with fresh, crusty bread and sambals. You can also have an Indian version of a sloppy joe using this cooked mince.

 


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Mince Curry with Potatoes

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MAIN COURSES LAMB

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MAIN COURSES LAMB

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Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a flat pot on medium heat and add cinnamon, bay leaf, star aniseed and black cardamom.

  2. Once it becomes fragrant add curry leaf and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.

  3. Add ginger/garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add chilli powder, masala, turmeric, fennel, garam masala and cook until it forms a paste, about 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water to prevent scorching.

  4. Add mince meat and potatoes and mix well. Season with salt. Turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes

  5. Add grated tomatoes and allow it to simmer until potatoes are soft. During the cooking time you can add a 1/4 cup of water or a little more if you feel the curry is drying out. I don’t usually require too much water.


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Authentic South African Recipe

There is a perception that it’s the only those that live in Durban can make the perfect Lamb Curry. I was raised in Durban so I hope that counts. However, my mum who still lives in Durban makes the best “Durban Lamb Curry“.

I try my best not to use too much oil in my cooking and it’s something I take into account when cooking a lamb curry too. However, my 17 year old thinks it’s the reason my Durban Lamb Curry is not authentic enough. I definitely should add more oil and more masala, according to him that’s what takes the Durban Lamb Curry from good to great.

So here I was put to the test to replicate my mum’s Lamb Curry and I think I have done pretty well, This lamb curry turned out perfect with it’s robust flavours and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. I think I have finally passed the test.

South African Indian dishes are a little rustic compared to dishes cooked in India, we do not blend everything into a smooth paste. You would also notice that we refer to the sauce in our curries as the gravy, somewhat confusing for those that don’t understand the South African Indian “lingo”. I think people are more familiar with seeing the gravy placed in a separate vessel on the side of the dish.

Lamb Curry was my absolute favourite dish until I had to quit eating red meat, nothing beats a good Lamb Curry. This recipe can also be used in a “bunny chow”. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain. It is a hollowed-out half or quarter loaf of bread filled with a curry of your choice and I think the Lamb Bunny Chow is one of the most popular bunny chows.

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Durban Style Lamb Curry
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MAIN COURSES LAMB
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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MAIN COURSES LAMB
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil, add cinnamon stick, black elachie, star aniseed and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds until it is fragrant. Add onion and curry leaf.
  2. Once onion is translucent and slightly brown add the ginger/garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
  3. Add masala, turmeric, soomph and garam masala and fry for a further minute. It will form a nice thick paste. Add a few drops of water if required.
  4. Add the lamb and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, Add tomatoes, season with salt and cover and cook until sauce starts to thicken
  5. Add the potatoes to the meat and allow it to cook for 5 minutes, be careful not to let it burn. Add a cup of water. Here you can add less water if you do not want too much gravy and if you are using very soft cooking potatoes. Sometimes the potatoes cook quite fast and your gravy would not have thickened by then, leaving you with a watery curry. Turn the heat down to a low setting and allow your curry to cook until gravy is thick and potatoes are soft.
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This is another Indian classic dish. It’s made with veggies and basmati rice or any long grain rice.  It is healthy and delicious with whole spices that makes this dish so fragrant. I wish you could smell my home whilst I was cooking this breyani, smelled divine. With my picky eating family I normally  think twice before making a veg breyani, I think the fact that it has veggies  in it is enough to put my two boys off dinner but they eat or they starve.  I always try and make dishes to please everyone in my family except me but today I thought I will be selfish and make something I can enjoy too. Breyani, I know can be a tedious process but trust me this breyani is cooked in one pot with no fuss and can be ready in just over an hour. I used green beans, carrots and peas with potatoes. Please try and use vegetable that remain firm, you really don’t want your vegetable getting all mushy in your breyani.  I bought a bag of basmati rice which cost me a small fortune but it was the worst rice I’ve ever cooked, I usually buy the Maharani Basmati rice, which is of excellent quality but the store that I normally get it from was out of stock. I settled for another brand and was highly disappointed. Therefore I had to use normal long grain rice for this breyani. But rest assured it is still delicious. You can double the recipe if you feeding a larger crowd but this was enough for my family of 4, with leftovers.


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One Pot Vegetable Breyani

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Cuisine Indian
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN

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Ingredients

Cuisine Indian
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN

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Ingredients

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Instructions
  1. If you are using Basmati rice you can soak it for half hour, add the spices as in STEP 1, season with salt and give it a quick boil for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you have some egg yellow food colouring you can add some to the rice but this is optional. If you are using long grain rice, such as Tastic (which I've used), you can soak it for half hour, season and cook until it's half done. Here too you can add some food colouring should you wish and fluff with a fork.

  2. Boil the potatoes until they are half cooked and set aside. Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg celcius. Heat oil in a flat pot, add the cinnamon, bay leaf, star aniseed and black cardamom. Allow it to fry for a few seconds, once itl becomes fragrant add the onion.

  3. Add thyme and chilli and let it saute with the onion until the onion is slightly brown. Remove half the onion and set aside.

  4. Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the green beans, carrots and peas. Fry for 3 minutes. Add masala, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, fennel, garam masala and turmeric, mix well and let it saute for 3 minutes. Add tomato and mint, season with salt. Cover and allow it to simmer until tomatoes are cooked.

  5. You can now add the potatoes and rice. Give it a little mix. Pour in a cup of water. Sprinkle the onion on top. If you are using butter you can add that on top too. Cook in the oven for an hour. If you think it needs to cook for longer you can add a little more water and cook until it's fully cooked.


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