Cape Malay Chicken Curry by Zurie

Recipe by Zurie


  • 1
    onion, medium, finely chopped
  • 4
    tablespoons oil
  • 1 12
    teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2
    teaspoons hot pepper flakes (you can use fresh hot peppers to taste)
  • 2
    teaspoons fennel, ground (or 4 teaspoons whole fennel seeds)
  • 1 12
    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2
    tablespoons ginger, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1
    teaspoon turmeric
  • 12 - 1
    teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 15
    cardamom pods (whole pods)
  • 12
    teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1
    tablespoon garam masala (available from Indian shops, choose mild)
  • 1
    (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 12
    lbs chicken pieces (best to cut up a medium chicken)
  • 2
    teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2
    teaspoons brown sugar (I like sticky muscovado)
  • 1
    tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 -3
    teaspoons salt (or more, depending on type of salt)


  • Gather your spices together, and peel and chop the ginger. Put the 10 spices -- from the coriander seeds down to the garam masala -- in a mortar and pestle or even in a coffee bean grinder. Mash them together so the cardamom pods burst and the whole thing becomes a mess of spices.
  • Then heat the oil in a pot, add the onion over fairly high heat, and stir now and then, for a few minutes. Add the spices you mashed or grinded, and stir. You might need to add more oil: spices slurp up oil as they fry. Don't worry, you will be able to skim it off again later.
  • Stir and fry spices and onion for about 2 minutes. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and stir. The heat should be high enough so everything bubbles together.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and stir to coat well, keeping heat high until everything is bubbling away.
  • Turn heat way down until it just simmers, put on a lid, and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the garlic, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
  • Simmer with lid at a small angle, for about 15 minutes more.
  • Stir through, taste the sauce, and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Please note that it is easy, near the end of cooking, to skim off extra oil/fat with a spoon, as it collects in corners of the pot. On my photos you can see there isn't much oil or fat on the dish.
  • Serve this with rice. Tonight I served this with green vegetables and what you might call "grits and beans".