There are many different types of curry the world over; in South Africa the current trend is for all things Thai, but I often forget our local faithfuls: the Cape Malay and Durban curries.

During the late 1800s, when South Africa was a British colony, thousands of Indian labourers were brought to then-Republic of Natalia (today KwaZulu-Natal) to work in the sugar cane plantations. Today the province still has the highest Asian population of our country. And the best curries I have ever eaten, anywhere in the world.

It came to pass that our household had had an overdose of meat; none of us could face another slice of turducken or gammon and the dogs were presented with a windfall of scraps. I was presented with a plea for vegetables: Durban vegetable curry.

Sliced onion

Sunflower oil
Minced garlic and ginger
4 Tablespoons of mixed masala (I have these, brought over for me from India by Old Spouse.)

A sprinkle of turmeric

A tablespoon of sugar
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
Butternut, potato, sweet potato and green beans

Chopped coriander leaves

Salt & pepper to taste


Serve with Basmati rice.


45 Comments Add yours

  1. halfp1nt says:

    मुझे आशा है कि यह एक उचित डरबन करी थी!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You enjoyed the cricket?

      1. halfp1nt says:

        Lol, there was cricket?

        I hope it was a proper Durban curry! Or as we say here, was it karo (hot)?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Breakfast on leftovers 🙂

  2. Liane says:

    The people from Kwazulu Natal certainly knows about curry! I remember as a little girl – when we lived in Port Shepstone / Uvongo on the South Coast – my dad used to LOVE the bunny chow – the curry in a half (or quarter) loaf of bread. DIVINE! It became a regular treat in our home after we moved away – just had to ‘soften’ the curry a little (I’m not too good with spicy food). Their idea of “mild” is rather dangerous! haha

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, bunny chow is a local legend 🙂

  3. nrhatch says:

    I love vegetable curries. With a side of Chutney. Yum!!!

    1. Liane says:

      Chutney is great! So is coconut and bananas! Yum!

      1. theonlycin says:

        I like it with a drizzle of sour cream 😉

  4. halfp1nt says:

    And here I thought it was only my Giant Rat who likes sour cream with his curry!

    The use of bottled/fruit chutney, banana and coconut is a ‘white’ addition to curry to break the heat. The only sambals served on the side by all of my Muslim and Hindu friends is either diced tomato, onion and chillie (preferably with seeds left in) or grated carrot with chillie. And of course the mango pickle which a good curry can’t be without!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I had to bottle 500 jars of mango achar for a Mango Airlines/Loerie Awards promotion a while back. The house stank for weeks and I have never been able to face the stuff again.

  5. Supa says:

    We went out on christmas Eve to an Indian restaurant we haven’t been to, we both had awesome curries. Roger had lamb and I had prawn, we are definately going back.

  6. Lyndatjie says:

    I was born in Durban so I was brought up on the strongest curries in the world. To this day – I still eat my curry the way I like my men… HOT!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also like it very, very hot 🙂

  7. souldipper says:

    The man who taught me how to cook curries (following his mother’s skils to the letter – or so he claimed) had been raised in India. His father was British and his mother Indian. He always included coconut and banana – but would add other condiments occasionally. The chutneys he chose were varied. But I loved his crispy, crunchy chiapatis. Yum. I can smell it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      He sounds an interesting man 🙂

  8. soutenepeper says:


    en op sy heel lekkerste binne-in ‘n halwe witbrood wat jy uithol en met botter teen die kante smeer – katkop in afrikaans ? of bunny chow – haashap

    1. theonlycin says:

      Beslis, en die sous loop so mens se ken af 😀

  9. poetic presence for food. nice

  10. leigh says:

    Craving bunny chow 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Seems everyone is 😀

  11. Yum! Yum! Love those curries. Thai is big here. “Karo” is corn syrup here. LOL! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      LOL, I just Googled Karo, very interesting results.

  12. Sounds amazing Cindy, I love a good curry and ginger just adds so much piquancy. I love coconut milk too.

    1. theonlycin says:

      All good things 🙂

  13. Tandy says:

    I just love a good curry, and our Malay curries I think are amazing 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      They really are 🙂

  14. I love curry. All types!!! My knight does not! So it is not often that i get to push teh extreme and serve it up for dinner. BUT on a different note- CIN- Today is too hot for curry. Or am i wrong?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ve been told it’s never too hot for curry 😉

  15. nursemyra says:

    I like yoghurt and cucumber on the side with my curries

  16. The best curry I’ve ever eaten is my Dad’s, purely because it is made with love, but Moyo’s (at UShaka) is a close second – nearly blew the top of my head off, but it was well worth it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Moyo at Zoo Lake also do a very fine curry 🙂

      1. When I’m in Jo’burg… 😉

  17. I seldom eat curry, unless I can get it my way

    1. theonlycin says:

      Then I am flattered that you ate mine 🙂

  18. slpmartin says:

    My kitchen is stocked with curry from all around the world and some lovely cook books to aid me in my cooking…always glad to have one more recipe. 😉

  19. Pseu says:

    Today I made a South African recipes lamb curry – one of three dishes for my house party. The recipe came from a book I bought in South Africa when we were there a few years ago. It was voted ‘the best’ of the three dishes I made by several people (The chicken and chorizo was second!)

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