Durban Chicken Curry Recipe

This Durban Chicken Curry Recipe is one of the most well-known of South African Indian cuisine.

Durban, a city located on the east coast of South Africa is the only city in the world with the highest concentration of Indians outside of India. This dish has influences of the cooking styles of many indentured servants who immigrated into South Africa.

Over time, this community developed its own style of cooking curry. In the last decade or so there has been a significant cutting back on the amount masala, oil and ghee used in the recipes, mainly due to the large incidence of hypertension in the South African community in latter years.

Durban Chicken Curry is known to be very spicy and this is a signature element of the dish.

What ingredients are needed?

  • 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 cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
  • 8 pieces of chicken (1 kg, preferably thighs and drumsticks or wings)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 potatoes (diced into half-inch cubes)
  • Optional: 1 small rutabaga (swede)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves

How to make Durban Chicken Curry:

Melt the butter in vegetable oil and add the spices.

Add onions, garlic and ginger and fry until softened for 3 minutes on medium heat.

Turn the heat to high and add the chicken pieces, ensuring that you brown them and coat them very well in spices.

Add tomato puree, chicken stock, curry leaves and simmer for 30 minutes on low to medium heat.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve on a bed of basmati rice.

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