I am amazed at how many South Africans, be they white,
black, coloured, malay whatever, do not know how to
make a good curry.
So many have asked me for the recipe that I decided
to post it here and lift the veil of mystery once and
two golden rules.
1. Avoid using any form of commercially available marsala
mix or curry powder at all costs!
2. Use fresh ingredients wherever possible, and yes
this includes the spices.
Here is a simple recipe for a foolproof meat curry.
1kg Lamb, Beef, Shin or Chicken
2-3 medium/large onions
4 tablespoons pureed tomato (optional)
6 big cloves garlic
3 cm of fresh ginger
1 heaped teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red chillies (use more if you like
it really hot)
1 level teaspoon tumeric
2 pieces stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 bunch fresh green coriander (optional)
4 medium potatoes (quartered)
Remove excess fat and cut meat into cubes. Size depends
on your fancy.
Heat a thick-based pot on high heat.
Place whole cumin seeds and stick cinnamon in the hot
Let it roast for about 15 seconds.
Add 2 tablespoons oil and finely chopped onions and
Allow onions to fry until it begins to change colour.
Add meat, crushed coriander seeds, crushed red chillies,
tumeric, crushed garlic and ginger and half a cup of
Allow to cook for about 1 hour for lamb, 90 minutes
for beef or shin, 20 minutes for chicken, checking for
Tomatoes can be
added here if you choose. Tomato helps with the colour
and thickens the sauce, but an authentic indian chef
does not use tomato in curries.
Do not add too much water at a time. The colour is important
and this is achieved by cooking at high heat. Add a
little water when the mixture starts to stick to the
bottom of the pot, but be careful not to burn.
When meat is cooked as per the time table above add
potatoes, half a cup of water and salt.
Reduce heat and cook for a further 20-30 minutes depending
on size of potatoes. Check moisture regularly.
Add roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves (optional)
and allow to simmer on low heat for a further ten minutes.
Best enjoyed with roti (Indian flat bread) or white
rice. Add two pieces of stick cinnamon and two cardamon
pods to rice when boiling.
The best beverage to have with curry is a Lassi.
This is simply buttermilk mixed in a blender with your
favourite fruit juice, or fresh fruit pulp if you have
it. (50/50) You can add sugar or honey if you prefer
Mango is the most popular but you can use any fruit.
Besides being a delicious drink, the buttermilk neutralizes
the spices in the curry.
Real Indians seldom suffer from heartburn, piles and
ulcers. They even have glass of lassi every morning