Recipe updated: 20 February 2020. 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. I used my very own Homemade Masala which makes this curry all the more delicious.
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 flavor 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 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 flavors, saute your onion and garlic, roast your spices and let the curry simmer on a low heat. The longer it simmers the more flavorful 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 flavor 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:
Spicy Durban Chicken Curry
- 1 kilogram chicken pieces
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 2 large tomatoes blanched and grated
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 star aniseed
- 2 black elachie/cardamom
- 1 tspn ground coriander
- 1 tspn ground cumin
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 1 tspn garam masala
- 1 tspn dried methi leaves/fenugreek leaves (optional)
- 3 tbsp masala
- 1/2 tspn ground soomph/fennel
- 1 cup water
- 4 potatoes cut into medium sized cubes
- Heat oil. Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, star aniseed and black elachie and fry until fragrant
- Add onion and curry leaf and saute until onion is golden brown
- Add ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
- Add the chicken together with the masala, cumin, coriander, garam masala, fennel and turmeric. Mix well and turn heat down to the lowest setting and cook for 10 minutes. You can add a few drops of water to prevent scorching, only if necessary
- Add the tomatoes, close the pot and simmer until the tomatoes are cooked
- Add potatoes, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes
- Add a cup of water and allow curry to simmer on low heat until potatoes are soft and tender. Add the dried methi leaves in the last few minutes of cooking time
- Garnish with coriander. Best served with rice or roti
- Chicken on the bone works best for a delicious Durban Curry
- Allowing the curry to cook with the spices for a few minutes allows all the flavors to infuse into the chicken
- I used a mild masala, you can adjust the amount you prefer accordingly
- If the potatoes cook quite quickly, depending on the altitude (if you are living near the coast potatoes may cook quicker), you can add less water
- In Johannesburg potatoes do take forever to cook therefore you may require a little more water
- Do not mix the curry after adding the potatoes, especially if you are using very soft cooking potatoes, to avoid the curry becoming a mushy mess