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Durban Chicken Curry Recipe


You may have tasted a Chicken Curry before, but you have never tasted a Chicken Curry until you have tasted a Durban Chicken Curry. Fiery hot with a wonderful gravy that soaks into the potatoes to teach you a lesson in deliciousness.


  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder (or garam masala)
  • 1 to 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 finely chopped or grated onion
  • 1.4cm of fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 8 pieces of chicken (preferably on the bone for flavour)
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 potatoes (diced into half-inch cubes)
  • 1 small rutabaga (swede) Optional
  • 1 cup of homemade chicken stock


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 burn the butter or the spices.

2. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry until softened. This normally takes about 3 minutes on a medium heat.

3. Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken pieces to brown, regularly turning into the onion and spice mixture.

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 (if using), chicken stock, and curry leaves. Taste for salt, then allow to simmer for about 30 minutes on a low to medium heat. Poke the potatoes with a fork, so that they absorb the gravy.

6. When ready, garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and you are ready to serve with your accompaniments, such as sambol etc.

Note: Traditionally, this curry is serves on a bed of basmati rice but there are many ways to serve it, such as in roti, in a bunny chow or my favourite with pap.

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