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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Rating: 5
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES CHICKEN
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Ingredients
Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES CHICKEN
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
Servings
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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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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Flavourful One-Pot Indian Dish

I guess the next few weeks you will hear my moans about home renovations. I didn’t fully understand the stress that truly goes with it until now. Despite all my running around and making sure we have a smooth transition into our new home I still have to find the time to cook. Curries are truly a life-saver during stressful times, it’s a one-pot dish and can be made ahead. It’s why I thought this Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh with a crunchy carrot salad will work well with my busy schedule.

Living with my neighbours so close by I am sure they must get that aroma of curry at 10am in the morning. They are either cursing me for making them breath in the lingering curry smell or just because they can’t have some. At least I don’t cook a curry everyday or every morning so neighbours please bare with me until the craziness is over. I love sharing though so if my neighbours do stop by, I really don’t mind sharing my Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh.

Indians are great at sharing, nobody leaves our home without eating something or taking a doggy bag home. It’s a trait I have from my parents and I love it. I do hope my kids can still carry that love of sharing in their adult lives. Although my 10year is quite adamant he will not share his food with anybody…….let’s hope that changes.

Rogan Josh uses similar spices to what we use in our Durban Lamb Curry, it is cooked a little differently but both are equally delicious. https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/durban-lamb-curry/

This recipe makes an aromatic dish with succulent lamb as it’s simmered on a low heat for a long time, this also helps develop the depth of flavour. I know lamb has enough fat content but I did trim off all the excess fat from the leg of lamb pieces that I used. I used ghee and a bit of fresh cream for that added richness. It was mainly for the kids, my 10 year old will probably have it for every meal until the pot is empty, he loves any lamb curry that much, so I did splurge a little. I have noticed that the chefs at authentic Indian Restaurants use loads of onion in their dishes so for this one I added a lot more than I usually do.

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Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh
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Rating: 5
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MAIN COURSES LAMB
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Ingredients
MAIN COURSES LAMB
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Roast the cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, elachie, star aniseed, cloves until fragrant. Remove from heat, cool and grind into a fine powder
  2. Heat the butter ghee and saute onion and curry leaf.
  3. Once onion is translucent add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
  4. Add the cubes of lamb and mix in the ground spices. Add the masala and chilli powder. Mix it all well and saute for a minute or two.
  5. Add the tomato paste and yogurt. Season with salt. Add a pinch of sugar if the tomato paste is too acidic. If you feel the lamb is drying up too quickly you can add about a 1/4 cup of water or slightly more if required.
  6. Turn the heat down to a low settiing and allow curry to simmer for at least 40 minutes. The lamb should be tender and succulent. Add the garam masala
  7. Add fresh cream if you wish and serve hot
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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

Servings


Ingredients

Cuisine Indian
RECIPES MAIN COURSES
MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN

Servings


Ingredients

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Rating: 5
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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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My mum definitely makes the best Fish Biryani, there is no doubt about that. I always found it challenging cooking this dish to perfection but I am getting there. I cooked my version of Fish Biryani with Basmati Rice. You must know from all my posts that I have a real fussy husband, everything has to be cooked like it is in a 5 star Indian restaurant.

I’m not sure if I will get that five stars from hubby, for this dish, but I do know it’s reaching my mum’s level of perfection. Indian cooking can be intimidating even for someone that cooks with spices often. Even I can mess up my cooking on my bad days, it’s all about getting the balance of flavours right.

Biryani is a dish that looks really complicated but it is not all that bad. With any Biryani it’s about showcasing the whole spices. It is the whole spices that’s the star of any Biryani recipe, therefore you have to go easy with the masala and chilli powder. It is rather difficult not to use masala in South African Indian Cooking, almost all of our dishes are cooked with masala. I did try to go easy with the masala in this recipe, although it may not seem like it from the quantities.

We never use frozen fish when cooking Fish Biryani, it’s always fresh fish straight from the fishmonger into our pots. This is what adds to the authenticity of a South African version of Fish Biryani with Basmati Rice. I do live far from the coast but we are lucky that we are able to source fresh line fish from our local stores.

I know a lot of people will cringe at the thought of adding boney fish to any dish but it’s exactly how it’s done here. The fish is cleaned and sliced but the bones are still intact so it can be a mission when trying to eat it, however there’s something about the boney fish that adds all the flavour to this special Biryani. If you love Biryani’s as much as we do you can try my vegetarian Biryani recipe, https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/south-african-vegetable-biryani/

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Fish Breyani
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Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES SEAFOOD
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Indian
MAIN COURSES SEAFOOD
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. STEP 1 - Cook rice with the spices as stated in STEP 1, once it is half cooked, strain the rice. You can add a little egg yellow food colouring to the centre of the rice, cover with a lid and set aside. When you are ready to assemble the breyani fluff it up with a fork and the colour will spread to some of the rice grains.
  2. STEP 2 - Marinate your fish with all of the ingredients as stated in STEP 2, except the oil and refrigerate for half an hour. Heat the 1/4 cup oil and sear both sides of the fish, do not overcook and set aside. Do not discard the excess marinade as you will add this to the sauce.
  3. STEP 3 - The ingredients in STEP 3 is used to make the sauce that goes with the fish. In South Africa we call it a chutney. Fry one onion until golden brown and crisp, drain on a paper towel and set aside. Fry the second onion in the excess oil from the fish, add thyme, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, star aniseed, curry leaf and chilli Once the onion is translucent add ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute Add the masala, hilli powder, cumin, turmeric, ground fennel seeds, ground cardamom and fry for a minuteAdd any excess marinade from the fish Add masala, cumin, tumeric and fennel. Mix well and add a few drops of water if required, to prevent scorching and fry for a minute Add tomatoes and chopped mint Season with salt Cover and simmer until tomatoes are cooked
  4. Add the tomatoes and the excess marinade from the fish. Season with salt and simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until tomatoes are cooked.
  5. LAYERING - Spread half the chutney in a flat, thick based pot Assemble fish on top Layer half the rice on top of the fish. Place half the cubes of butter on the rice. Add half the chopped mint Repeat this process, ending with a final layer of rice. Sprinkle the fried onion over the rice and place the remaining cubes of butter on top. Pour over a cup of water and allow the biryani to simmer on the stovetop on the a very low setting for 40 minutes to an hour until the rice is tender and the liquid has reduced Place the cubes of butter on the final layer of rice Sprinkle the onion on top Pour in about a 1/4 cup of water and cook in the oven at 180 deg celcius for 1 hour. You may need a little bit of extra time if the breyani is still too moist
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