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Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe for a Spicy Curry from Cape Town. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
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5 from 1 vote

Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe

This Cape Malay chicken curry recipe makes a richly spiced curry from Cape Town, South Africa. Eaten with aromatic Cape Malay yellow rice, buttery roti, and simple tomato, onion and cucumber sambals, it’s an incredibly delicious curry that you’ll be sorry to finish. Our tip: make double the amount, as it tastes even better as leftovers the next day.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cape Malay, South African
Servings: 4
Calories: 526kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 1 kg chicken pieces mix of thighs & drumsticks, skin on
  • 250 g white onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 60 g fresh ginger grated
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt more to taste
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 200 g tinned tomatoes crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks


  • In a Dutch Oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil followed by the sliced onions. Fry until they start to turn golden brown. Add the salt and sugar and stir through.
  • Add the grated ginger and when it becomes fragrant, add the chicken pieces.
  • When you have a little colour on the chicken pieces add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the spices. Stir the spices through until the aromas start to come forward.
  • Add the chicken stock, stir through and cook covered for 40 minutes on a slow bubble. Add extra water if the stock reduces too far (it shouldn't).
  • Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir through. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked through.
  • If the sauce has reduced too far with the curry, add extra water. Check for seasoning. It should be rich and flavourful.
  • At this stage you can serve the curry with the potatoes, but traditionally it is left overnight to deepen the flavour of the curry. Either way, add the potatoes to the curry and gently stir.
  • If eating the next day, allow the curry to cool a little before transferring to the fridge.
  • Reheat the next day and serve with Cape Malay yellow rice.


Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg