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Authentic Cape Malay Curry Recipe

Authentic Cape Malay Curry Recipe

Cape Malay curry is a flavourful and aromatic dish that reflects the rich culinary heritage of the Cape Malay community in South Africa. Combining a blend of spices with tender meat and vegetables, this authentic recipe captures the essence of Cape Malay cuisine.


For the Curry Paste:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • Cape Malay Curry Sachet
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste

For the Curry:

  • 500g meat of your choice (chicken, lamb, or beef), cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 400ml (1 2/3 cups) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Mrs Balls chutney
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened.
  2. Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger, cooking until fragrant.
  3. Add the Cape Malay Curry spices and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld.
  4. Add the cubed meat to the pot, ensuring it is well-coated with the curry paste. Allow the meat to brown slightly before adding potatoes and carrots.
  5. Pour in coconut milk, chicken or vegetable broth, and add tomato paste and chutney.
  6. Drop in bay leaves.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, covering the pot with a lid.
  8. Let the curry simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the flavours are well-developed.
  9. Check the seasoning and adjust salt if necessary. Remove bay leaves and discard. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Cape Malay curry is traditionally served with rice, roti, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. Accompany with sambals or a dollop of plain yoghurt for added richness.

This authentic Cape Malay Curry recipe invites you to savour the distinctive flavours of South African cuisine, marrying the aromatic spices with tender meat and vegetables in a rich, fragrant curry. Whether enjoyed with family or shared with friends, this dish is a true celebration of the diverse and delicious culinary traditions of South Africa.

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