Sunday, June 26, 2016

Easy Durban Style Chicken Curry!

Dearest Reader,

Indian curry is my absolute favourite thing to eat. I can eat curry everyday and not get tired of it, which makes me think that I was an Indian in my previous life. What helped is growing up in Durban and Port Shepstone, in South Africa, where I was surrounded by Indian people and friends who shared the foods with me, which helped me be able to make authentic South African Indian Curry. I specify the area because curries differ, but personally, the style that I make, is superior. Ask anyone from Durban. LOL.

Here's how to make it, and the more of the ingredients I list you have, the better it tastes. You don't need to put all the spices I put in mine, but every spice you do not put does in fact make a huge difference in taste. I will also tell you what to substitute to make it less healthy and of course, more delicious. Ha!

Chicken Curry (Serves 2)


300g Chicken Breasts (Diced)
40g Green Onions (Finely Chopped)
200g Tomatoes (Puréed)
60g Carrots (Chunks)
180g Oil
100ml Water

Spices (17 in total)

2 to 4 Garlic Cloves
1 to 2 Tsp Garam Masala
1 to 2 Tsp Mild Curry Powder (Madras)
1 Tsp Turmeric
0.5 Tsp Fenugreek
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tsp Fennel Seeds
0.25 Tsp Ginger Powder (Or 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger)
0.5 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
0.25 Tsp Nutmeg
0.25 Tsp Cinnamon
4 Cloves
4 Cardamon Pods
1 piece of Mase
1 Star Anise
1 Branch of Curry Leaves (about 8 leaves)
1 Tbsp Fresh Coriander
Salt to taste.


On a high heat, sauté Onions and Garlic in oil in a pan (a wide bottomed pan is necessary for making curry because evaporation of moisture is needed to concentrate the flavours). Since curry is best cooked under a high heat, make sure that you do not leave the stove to check your Facebook or twitter because your food WILL BURN!

To the sautéing onions, add the spices and herbs and stir it in. The spices will absorb some of the oil, and that is fine. Immediately after stirring in the spices, add the tomatoes and the carrots, and water and stir. Let the mixture simmer and continually stir. At this point, it looks like a stew, because it is watery and has no shine from the oils.

Add chicken to the bubbling, stew like mixture, and make sure that the chicken is almost all covered in the sauce, and replace the lid for a minute to let the chicken change colour a little, allowing it to cook.

Now comes the tough, but easy part: Keep stirring your curry mixture under this high heat and reduce the sauce until it is thick and until the oils are separating from the sauce. This takes about half an hour to achieve, or more depending on how big your batch of curry is, because you can multiply my ingredients and make for more than two people.

Avoid having the curry catch to the bottom of the pot. That is why stirring continuously is important. Alternatively, cook on a lower heat, leave the curry to cook on its own, but this will make the curry cook longer. When the curry has separated from the oil, you can spoon out the extra oil and serve. Other people like the oil, but I do not recommend it for healthy people. You can remove almost 75% of the oil you originally used if you let the curry reduce properly, allowing the water to evaporate.

The unhealthy version of this curry requires you to add potatoes to this mix and remove the carrots, or leave the carrots in. If you add potatoes, 1 potato, the size of a tennis ball is enough for two people. Please note that, the more you add things to the curry, the more you need to increase the other ingredients.

Your curry might not come out spot on the first time you try it, but with practice, you will learn to use this method of evaporating and reducing a sauce, using high heat and lots of oil to cook out the moisture thus intensifying flavour of a curry. It is a technique which separates stew from curry. And once you get the method, it becomes so easy. At least now, you have the correct ingredients for the proper flavour profile.

Have fun with this recipe.


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