Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

How to get that Beautiful Red Colour in a Durban Curry

kashmiri chilli to make red curry
Durban Mutton Curry Recipe, using Durban Curry Lovers All-in-One Masala

One of the questions, most frequently asked on our Facebook Group, “We are Durban Curry Lovers“, is how to get that beautiful red colour in a Durban Curry.

Whilst a teaspoon of paprika or tomato paste will most certainly make your curry a bit redder, the real red from a Durban Curry comes from the Chilli Powder.

Masala mixes like, “Mother in Law”, have a higher chilli content and will result in a deep red curry, but the best results come from using Kashmiri Masala, whether as part of your masala mix, or adding a few spoons of Kashmiri Chilli Powder to your favourite masala.

Kashmiri Chilli Powder is made from a milder, vibrant red chilli, which is grown in the Kashmir area in India . The Kashmir area is famous for their huge chilli markets with piles of chillies as large as a shopping centre parking lot.

Turmeric will give your curry a more orange colour, whilst adding extra dhania, jeera or soomph powder will make it slightly browner, so if you like to add extra of these powders then simply add some Kashmiri Chilli Powder to make your dish more red.

kashmiri chillies to give durban curry red colour
Dried Kashmiri Chillies


Our Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala has the perfect ratio of Kashmiri & extra special chilli powder, to give you a Durban Curry, which is perfectly balanced in terms of colour, flavour & aroma.

Our online store also carries Kashmiri Chilli Powder, Kashmiri Masala & Mother in Law Masala.

If you found this article from a search online, you are more than welcome to join our Facebook Group, “We are Durban Curry Lovers”, where a wonderful group of people, share their tips, tricks and family secrets in the quest to becoming master curry chefs.


What are the smoke points of different cooking oils?

smoke points of different oils
tempering spices for curry oil smoke point
Tempering Spices for Curry

Oils are an absolutely integral part of cooking. Considered as fats, they are not only useful for searing, frying, grilling, or sautéing meats, but they are also primary components of salad dressings, mayonnaise, marinades and more.

Oil is extracted from seeds and nuts, such as sunflowers, olives, coconuts, avocados, almonds, walnuts.

Each type of oil is different and is better suited for a specific use. Some are better for frying, some are better for making mayonnaise and some are better for drizzling over salads.

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your cooking oil is its smoke point, or better described as the temperature at which the oil starts smoking. Smoke point is also sometimes called the burning point and it is thus better (mostly) to not exceed the smoke point of the oil which you are using.

When you cook a curry, you wish to use an oil with a high smoke point, especially when tempering your whole spices.

Below is a list of the different oils and their smoke points. It is quite interesting to see how different levels of refinement affect the smoke point.

We ran a poll on our Facebook group, “We are Durban Curry Lovers” on what oil do the members prefer to use, and the overwhelming winner was Sunflower Oil.

If asked, we would confidently state that Sunflower Oil is the best oil to use when cooking a Durban Curry.

FatQualitySmoke point
Avocado oilRefined270 °C520 °F
Safflower oilRefined266 °C510 °F
Sunflower oilNeutralized, dewaxed, bleached & deodorized252–254 °C486–489 °F
ButterClarified250 °C482 °F
Mustard oil250 °C480 °F
Beef tallow250 °C480 °F
Pecan oil243 °C470 °F
Palm oilDifractionated235 °C455 °F
Soybean oil234 °C453 °F
Peanut oilRefined232 °C450 °F
Rice bran oilRefined232 °C450 °F
Sesame oilSemirefined232 °C450 °F
Sunflower oilSemirefined232 °C450 °F
Sunflower oil, high oleicRefined232 °C450 °F
Corn oil230–238 °C446–460 °F
Peanut oil227–229 °C441–445 °F
Sunflower oil227 °C441 °F
Almond oil221 °C430 °F
Canola oil220–230 °C428–446 °F
Cottonseed oilRefined, bleached, deodorized220–230 °C428–446 °F
Vegetable oil blendRefined220 °C428 °F
Grape seed oil216 °C421 °F
Olive oilVirgin210 °C410 °F
Olive oilExtra virgin, low acidity, high quality207 °C405 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed)Refined204 °C400 °F
Coconut oilRefined, dry204 °C400 °F
Castor oilRefined200 °C392 °F
Olive oilRefined199–243 °C390–470 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed)Expeller press190–232 °C375–450 °F
Lard190 °C374 °F
Olive oilExtra virgin190 °C374 °F
Corn oilUnrefined178 °C352 °F
Coconut oilUnrefined, dry expeller pressed, virgin177 °C350 °F
Sesame oilUnrefined177 °C350 °F
Olive oilExtra virgin160 °C320 °F
Peanut oilUnrefined160 °C320 °F
Safflower oilSemirefined160 °C320 °F
Sunflower oil, high oleicUnrefined160 °C320 °F
Butter150 °C302 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed)Unrefined107 °C225 °F
Flaxseed oilUnrefined107 °C225 °F
Safflower oilUnrefined107 °C225 °F
Sunflower oilUnrefined, first cold-pressed, raw107 °C225 °F

What is Tempering Spices & Why do we do it?

tempering spices for curry
tempering spices for curry

It is said that the soul of a curry is made when tempering your spices within the first 10 seconds of the cook.
But what exactly is tempering our spices, and why is it so important?

Tempering of spices is a traditional method  to extract the full flavour from spices and is also known as “Tadka”. 

At the beginning of the cook, whole or ground (powdered) spices are heated in hot oil which brings out the flavour in the spices -and carries it forward into the ‘essence’ of the dish.

For Durban Curries, traditionally spices such as cumin seeds (jeera), bay leaves, cardamom, chillies, mustard seeds & cloves are used to build the flavour of the curry.

Every curry chef has their own personal preference to what whole & powdered spices they temper for Durban Curry, so keep experimenting until you find your own special mixture.

Of course, you could simply use our Durban Curry Lovers, All-in-One Masala and you will not need to add any whole or powdered spices. If you would like to make your own masala (curry powder), then this article will show you how.

Here are some points to remember when tempering spices.

  • The oil must be very hot
  • Use sunflower oil, vegetable oil or Ghee. Olive oil is not good for tempering spices
  • Heat the oil and then add the spices. Experiment in which order gives you the flavour profile which you prefer
  • When the oil starts ‘shimmering’ it is ready
  • Reduce heat when you add your spices
  • Tempering should only take 5 – 10 seconds. When the whole seeds pop, they are tempered
  • Do not burn your spices. If they burn, start again as the burnt taste will ruin your dish
  • .After your spices have tempered, you can add your onions and continue with your method.
  • Do not even try to temper fresh herbs, add them at the end.

If you found this interesting, you may be interested in reading about the different smoke points of cooking oils and why we use them for different purpose.

If you have any questions about tempering spices or any other aspect of cooking curry, you are most welcome to join our group or wonderful member on our Facebook Group, ‘We are Durban Curry Lovers

How to Store Fresh Curry Leaves

how-to-store-fresh-curry-leaves

A very interesting question was asked on the group yesterday, and that was “what is the best way to store fresh curry leaves.”

This question holds a lot of meaning for me, because when I moved to Cape Town from KZN at the end of 2015, I simply could not find fresh curry leaves anywhere.

I was quite heartbreaking, to say the least. Especially since I left a beautifully healthy tree behind in KZN, that was a gift from a former Police Brigadier, but that is another story altogether. Durban Curry is just not Durban Curry, without Curry Leaf.

On my first holiday back to Durban, I made sure to stock up. I filled a 2L ice cream container as tight as I could. They were still pretty fresh when I got back to Cape Town, my job was not to make sure that they stayed this way.

You should have smelled my luggage, heavenly. I was tempted to take a bite out of my towel.

When I got back to Hout Bay. I now had the task of trying to preserve this very rare and valuable commodity and, for me, freezing was the only option.

I bought a pack of kitchen swabs and layered the curry leaves between the swabs, in the ice cream bucket. (almost like a lasagna), then kept the tub in the freezer – being careful to remove when I needed as fast as possible and get the tub back in the freezer.

It worked very well, all things considering and the smell of fresh curry drove the neighbours mad for weeks – and then I ran out again and could not find for a very long time.

I found some at the PnP at Gordons Bay, they had a 3 for 2 Special in little punnets. I bought most of them and again froze them, but this time in the punnet. They did go much darker than when I had them ‘wrapped’ in the swabs, but the flavour was just the same, or at least the difference was hardly noticeable.

Funny enough, I eventually ended up moving to Gordons Bay, and now have a regular supply. (no it is not what you are thinking … ok maybe, it is)

Here are some of the wonderful ideas and suggestions made by the members of our group, We are Durban Curry Lovers.

  • I usually store them with my curry powder mix in a sealed container.
  • In an airtight container. I have started storing my fresh herbs, Dhania, Parsley, curry leaves in my old coffee containers. My Parsley is a month old. Dhania 3 weeks. Stays fresh.
  • Freeze them, if you don’t have a growing plant.
  • You can store curry leaves in a glass bottle with lid and keep in your fridge.
  • You can also wrap in foil and keep in the fridge.
  • Mine stays in a plastic bag in the crisper draw in the fridge… Can last for months. I’m also struggling to find a curry leaf tree in New Zealand .
  •  Chop the curry leaves up and store in glass bottle topped with vegetable oil in the refrigerator. Use a dry clean spoon every time when needed, it lasts for months.
  • I mix mine with my curry powder and put in the freezer or fridge.
  • Freezer. Like fresh when you take them out. But they thaw quickly so just take out what you need and put the rest back soonest.
  • My cousin gave me a young Curry Leaf plant, which is growing nicely in a larger pot now. I take fresh leaves every time I make curry…lovely aroma (editors note: ha ha, show off)

(Thanks to everybody for sharing, there sure is a lot of wisdom in our group.)

So friends, the common denominator here seems to be to keep the curry leaves cold or frozen. There are some great ideas here and they work for the people who shared them, so it is worth giving a shot.

If you have a method that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below, it would be greatly appreciated.

For interest sake, here are some of the health benefits of eating curry leaves.

  • Helps keep anaemia at bay
  • Weight loss
  • It can help in treating dysentery, constipation and diarrhea
  • Relieves morning sickness and nausea
  • Eliminates bacteria
  • Good for diabetics
  • Good for eyesight
  • Reduce stress
  • Heals wounds, burns and skin eruptions
  • Hair Growth
  • Improves Memory

There are even studies that show that curry leaves may help to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. A study done in rats suggests that curry leaves not only protected against future damage to brain cells, but actually reversed some effects of past brain cell damage. While this early research is promising, the study has not yet been reproduced with humans.

Here is an interesting article on the benefits of eating curry leaves on netmeds.com and some more Curry Cooking Tips & Tricks.

How to Reduce Heat in a Curry

reduce-heat-curry

What Makes a Curry Burn your Mouth?

To understand how to reduce heat in a curry, we must first understand what makes a curry hot. 

Whilst most of us understand that it is the chilli in a curry which makes it hot, I found it very interesting to learn that it is not the actual taste of a chilli which is hot.

What burns your mouth, is actually a chemical reaction to Capsaicin.

Capsaicin, which is the chemical in the chilli which makes the magic happen, activates a protein in your cells called TRPV1.  As it is the job of this protein to sense heat, when it does, it alerts the brain that there is something burning in your mouth.

The brain then responds by sending a flaming lightning bolt of pain back down to you mouth to tell you to , “get that chilli out of your mouth”

It is the same physical response to putting your hand on the stove, feeling the pain and then quickly pulling it off to prevent further injury.

The more sensitive your body is to capsaicin, the more it burns.

HINT: Downing a glass of water will only spread the capsaicin around your mouth. As the capsaicin spreads around your mouth, it will come in contact with more pain (vanniloid) receptors and make your mouth burn in more places.

Ok smarty pants, but how do I actually reduce the burn?

Here’s the key: Capsaicin dissolves in fat, oil, and alcohol but not in water. 

The first decision which you need to make, is if you are prepared to let your remedy alter the taste, texture or even the look of your dish.

If you are not prepared to alter the above, the simplest option would be to add more ingredients and thus lessen the amount of capsaicin by ratio. It may get complicated as you have to try and cook a ‘second dish’ and then add it to the pot of fire … but hey, it is a thugs life.

1. Add Dairy: One of the best ways to counteract capsaicin is by adding a dairy product, such as whole fat milk, heavy cream or yogurt. Coconut milk, is a popular ingredient in many types of curries, and will also reduce the ‘heat.’

2. Sugar & Acid: Try a teaspoon of an acid, such as vinegar, lemon juice, or even some chopped tomatoes. The acidity and will help to neutralise the alkalinity of capsaicin. Add a spoon of sugar to mask the vinegar. Do so with caution and add little by little until you are happy with the results.

I can not think of any other ways to ‘turn down the burn’. To avoid adding too much chilli in the first place, taste as you go, keep practicing and you will become a master curry chef in no time. 

If the food is already on the table and you need to call the fire brigade, alcohol helps to dissolve capsaicin, anything over 13% will do. A shot of spirits works better than you would ever think, so try it and your night may just turn out to be one to remember.  Else, serve extra starch and a glass of milk, if all else fails.


If you have any tips, tricks or family secrets in reducing the heat in a curry, it would be much appreciated if you would share them in the comments below.

HINT: If your fingers are burning after chopping chillies, mix up some baking soda & water and then submerge your hands in the mixture.

Some more tips & tricks

6 Ways to Reduce Excess Salt in a Curry

excess-salt-curry

6 Ways to Reduce Excess Salt in your Curry

  1. Raw Potato: Peel and wash a raw potato and cut into half. Add the raw potato to your curry and remove after about 20 mins. The potato will suck up some of the excess salt.

  2. Boiled Potato: If you do not have any more raw potatoes, and you have a boiled potato in the fridge or are cooking, you can also place a boiled potato into the curry. The potato will suck up some of the excess salt.

  3. Flour dough: Here is an interesting one. Make some dough balls from flour and water and place them into your curry (almost like a dumpling). Leave them in for about 20 minutes. The flour will absorb some of the excess salt.

  4. Vinegar and sugar: Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar along with a tablespoon of sugar to the curry to balance out all the flavours. Since vinegar is sour and sugar is sweet, the overall flavour and taste of the curry should not change. If you need to add more, then try with a little and work your way up until you understand the ratios.

  5. Onion: You can add either raw or fried onions. If you add raw onion then cut the onion in two pieces and put it in the curry.  Remove the onion after few minutes. The onion should absorb some of the excess salt.

  6. Cream or Milk: I left these for last, as these will alter the flavour and texture of your curry. Whilst it may not be a bad thing, in fact nothing with cream is ever bad, if you do not wish to change the outcome of your final product too much, then start from the top of this list.
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If you know any other methods, or have tried any or these, it would be greatly appreciated if you shared in the comments below.

How to Get those Beautiful Yellow Potatoes in your Curry

mutton curry
mutton curry

I am sure at one time or another – I know that I sure have – you have looked at those beautiful yellow potatoes in a curry and though to yourself – just how do they get them like that?

The secret is not too complicated at all, in fact it it very easy.

There are two easy ways to get yellow potatoes, one is to sprinkle some turmeric over your potatoes, and the other is to mix a few drops of Egg Yellow food colouring in with your potatoes.

Peel and quarter your potatoes, place in a bowl and use one of the above methods, and let stand for 20 mins or so before you add them to your curry.

Potatoes Mixed with a bit of Egg Yellow Food Colouring for Curry

yellow curry potatoes with turmeric

Potatoes Sprinkled with Turmeric before adding to the Curry

Another tip, is to poke your potatoes with a fork. This will both allow the colour to penetrate into the middle of the potato, and it will also allow gravy to penetrate into the middle of the potato and make it nice and soft.

Add your potatoes into your curry, about 20 minutes before you estimate that it will be ready.

Using the tips above, you will have your guests scratching their heads, trying to figure out just how did you get your potatoes that beautiful colour.

Or, you could just skip all the hard work and just use Durban Curry Lovers, All in One Masala.

durban-curry-lovers-masala

Created by a genius, master spice blender to be a true all in one Masala.

What is Garam Masala?

what-is-garam-masala

GARAM MASALA,  is a dry spice blend widely used in Indian cuisine, it is used in anything from curries and lentil dishes to soups.

It is made from whole spices of cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cardamon pods. The seeds are dry roasted in a pan to release their aromatic flavors and then ground to a fine powder.

What is the difference between Garam Masala and Curry Powder?

One of the key differences between these two spice mixes is the fact that garam masala is not based on turmeric, which is one of the main ingredients in many curry powder variants.

Garam Masala has a sweeter taste when compared to curry powders and usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom along with many other spices.

Benefits of Garam Masala

Garam masala is full of antioxidants which help in preventing skin problems and also helps to fight inflammation. According to Dr. Rupali Dutta, garam masala has carminative properties (relieves flatulence) and apart from boosting digestion, it also helps in fighting bloating, flatulence and even nausea.

Do you add Garam Masala in near the beginning of your cook, or near the end?

Now this is something which is completely down to you, the curry chef.

We recently held a survey on our Curry Lovers Group on Facebook, and around 1/6 of the respondents voted that they add their Garam Masala near the end, and 4/6 voted that they add their Garam Masala in the beginning of the cook and 1/6 said that they do not use Garam Masala in their curries.

What happens if I add too much Garmam Masala?

If you add too much Garam masala it will make your food bitter, mainly due to the cardamon and cumin.
The best way to try and rescue your dish, is to add some sort of sweetener. I guess the South African’s will add some Mrs Balls Chutney, which is a much loved national treasure.

How do I make my own Garam Masala at home?

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own Garam Masala at home.

How to make Durban Curry Powder

containers of seeds and spices to make curry powder
Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk via Unsplash
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How to make Durban Curry Powder

You may ask why would we would want to make our own Durban Curry Powder, when we can buy it already mixed?

Well, just as we all have our own taste in music, fashion etc, so do we all have our own preferences on what constitutes the perfect balance of flavours in a Durban style curry.

We know that it must be red, we know that it must be hot and we know that when we cook with it, it must send a whiff of wonderful fragrances over the fence to torment the neighbour. (Even if just to torment the neighbour with the wonderful smells coming out of our kitchen, that is reason enough to want to learn how to make Durban Curry Powder.)

let’s face it, some may like a little more ginger, some may prefer a dash more cardamom or fenugreek, some may prefer it a little milder or crave it more fiery and want to add more cayenne pepper or chilli powder.

In our quest to become currymasters, we must learn to master our own blend of spices so that we can prepare our own curries, according to our own tastes.

The recipe below is a good starting point, from which you can tweak and adjust quantities to find the perfect balance for your unique palate.

I have included the steps where we roast and grind the specific seeds to make the specific powdered ingredients, but it is also perfectly acceptable to use already ground spices – as long as they are of high quality.

To roast and grind seeds is simple: Place the seeds in a dry pan on a moderate heat until they become aromatic. Do not let the seeds burn, lift the pan and give it a shake to ‘stir’. Once you are happy with the roast, simply grind in a spice grinder, pestle & mortar or even in a food blender.

The texture will be different with each method, but course it will add a whole new dimension of flavour

  • Author: Shane

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground Dhania Powder (Corriander Powder)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground  Elaichi  (Cardamom)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Dalchini Powder (Cinnamon)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon  Methi (Fenugreek)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground Jeera (Cumin)
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cloves (teaspoon not tablespoon)
  • 6 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Cayenne Pepper Powder (organic is best)
  • 1/2 Adrak Powder (Ground Ginger) 

Instructions

  • Set out your ingredients separately
  • Get a clean, dry, glass jar and set next to the ingredients
  • Roast your seeds, grind into a powder. Measure them out, as per the recipe, into the glass jar.
  • Add your pre-powdered ingredients
  • Close the lid and give a good shake to mix all the ingredients.
  • Stand back and take a bow, you have just blended your own masala / curry powder.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.

Notes

Learn how to:
Make your own Garlic& Ginger Paste
Blend your own Dhania & Jeera Powder

Disclaimer: No neighbours were harmed in the making of our Durban Curry Powder. I love him to bits and he torments me right back with the flavours of his hometown – Mumbai.

Curry Cooking Tips: 2 Garlic & Ginger Paste

We all appreciate the convenience of store bought garlic & ginger paste, but how many of us have even made our own?

You know when you visit someone and their curry just smells better than yours, but you use a similar recipe & technique – and even shop at the same spice shop?

I am willing to bet that it is because they make their own Garlic & Ginger Paste.

Don’t get left behind, here is a recipe to make your own.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 250 grams Garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1-3 Green Chillies, chopped. (keep seeds if you want it hot)
  • 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Water as required (see method)

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or liquidiser
  • Blend together, adding little bits of water as required to get your preferred texture
  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 months in a sealed container, or freeze for up to six months.

Hint: Use an ice-cube tray and place just the right amount for your normal usage into the ice tray and freeze. Remove the frozen blocks when you need them.

Curry Cooking Tips: 1 Dhania & Jeera Powder

cumin-coriander-seeds-curry
Cumin / Jeera seeds on the Left
Coriander / Dhania seeds on the Right

What is Dhania Powder?

Dhania is simply another name for Coriander and Dhania powder is made by grinding the seeds of the coriander plant into a powder.

To process your own dhania powder, place a cup of seeds in a heavy based pan and roast on medium heat until you can easily crack open the seeds between your fingers.

It normally takes 2-4 minutes for the seeds to be perfectly roasted and ready to grind.

When cool, the seeds may be ground into a powder by hand with a pestle & mortar, or mechanically with a coffee grinder or even in a food blender.

More about coriander on Wikipedia

What is Jeera Powder?

Jeera is simply another name for Cumin and Jeera powder is made by grinding the seeds of the cumin plant into a powder.

To process your own Jeera powder, place a cup of cumin seeds in a heavy based pan and roast on medium heat, until you can see that the colour has changed and a fragrant aroma comes off the pan. It is important to make sure that the seeds a roasted evenly.

It normally takes about 2-4 minutes for the seeds to be perfectly roasted and ready to grind.

When cool, the seeds may be ground by hand with a pestle & mortar, or mechanically with a coffee grinder or even in a blender.

More about cumin on Wikipedia


Remember to let your roasted dhania & jeera seeds cool properly before grinding. After you have ground the seeds into powder, store in an airtight container.

Using Dhania & Cumin Seeds in a Durban Curry.

Although everybody has their preference, the starting point for the ratio between dhania and jeera powder is about 2 parts dhania powder to 1 part jeera powder.

Hint: If you are only going to be using your dhania/jeera powder to make curries, then you can roast 2 cups of dhania/coriander seeds & 1 cup of jeera / cumin seeds together and then grind them at the same time.

How to make a Durban Bunny Chow

durban bunny chow
A typical Durban Bunny Chow and Sambals. Ready to be eaten with your fingers.

A Durban Bunny Chow is made by hollowing out a loaf of white bread and filling it with your favourite curry. Normally the loaf is cut into quarters, but often bunnies are made with half and even whole loaves.

Whilst any curry can be used to make a Durban Bunny Chow, such as chicken, fish, vegetable or the very popular sugar beans curry – by far the most popular and the most famous of all is the Quarter Mutton Bunny, which is obviously filled with Mutton Curry.

Cutting the inside of the quarter loaf is pretty much self explanatory, but it is putting in the curry which is the art.

The trick is to take a ladle and first pour gravy down the sides of the inside of the loaf, taking care to use the prefect ratio of gravy and oil to soak the bread to the prefect consistency.

Then you can add a smallish piece of potato and start spooning your curry into the bunny. Once you have filled your bunny, then spoon some gravy over the top and down the sides of the bunny.

For me, it is perfect when the gravy starts to pool at the bottom of the loaf, on the plate – but everybody has their own preference so just make it how you like it, there are no rules…. except that Durban Rules, ok.

Bunny Chows are served with a salad, known as Sambals, which is usually made with grated carrot, onion, chilli and tomato. Every curry master has their own special recipe for sambals, as much as they have their own special recipe for their curries.

Bunny Chows are eaten using your fingers and are the best when washed down with an ice cold Coca-Cola from the bottle.

What are UTD Potatoes and why do we use them for Currry?

Up-To-Date or UTD Potatoes were originally developed in Scotland, but are now grown commercially around the world – notably in South Africa, Australia & Burma.

Whilst they are known as UTD commercially, in the homes of the people of Durban they are affectionately known as gravy-soakers.

Up-To-Date Potatoes are an oval shape, slightly flattened, with light skin and slightly off-white skin. They are great for making mashed potatoes and lekker slap-chips.

Due to their low moisture and high starch content, UTD Potatoes are the perfect potatoes for stews and curries. Gravy-Soakers cook up to be light and fluffy and, of course, they suck up the beautiful rich gravy of our curries and stews.

A perfectly cooked gravy-soaker will retain it’s shape but when we break it up on the plate, it will have a consistency almost like mash – not quite but almost.

Hint: Before adding your potatoes to your curry or stew, poke them a few times with a fork. This helps the gravy to soak into the potato. My Uncle Peter, when he wants to show off his famous curry recipe, even roughens up the outside of the potato by ‘drumming’ on it with a knife. He says it helps the gravy soak through the outer layer.

more info