Recipe/ Southern African Food

Durban Chicken Curry


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper
  • 1 or 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced.
  • 1kg chicken or 8 pieces (preferably thighs and drumsticks or wings)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 potatoes, diced into centimetre cubes
  • 1 small swede/rutabaga (optional)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • Coriander/cilantro leaves to garnish


  1. In a heavy based pan, melt the butter in the vegetable oil, then add the spices to temper and become fragrant. Be careful not to sear or burn the spices, but allow the gentle heat to do its work for about a minute.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry until softened. This should take about 3 minutes on a medium heat.
  3. Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken pieces. Chicken on the bone such as thighs, drumsticks or wings work best with this recipe as the bones enrich the flavour and the chicken remains moist. Allow the meat to brown and coat the pieces in the onions and spices very well.
  4. After about 5 minutes, add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and give the pot a good stir.
  5. Throw in the diced potatoes, swede, chicken stock and curry leaves. Check for seasoning as it may require a pinch or two of salt at this stage if necessary, then allow to simmer for about 30 minutes on a low to medium heat. *Care should be taken to ensure there is enough heat to cook to potatoes through. You will notice they absorb much of the water and become fluffy when ready.
  6. When ready, garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and serve on a bed of basmati rice and a sambal on the side.

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

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