Flavour-filled dinner recipe for Cape Malay Curry with Caramelised Bananas


For the spice mix:
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 cardamom pods,crushed and outer husks removed

For the curry:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 chicken thigh and drumsticks pieces, bone-in and skin removed
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red chilli, seeds and membrane removed or ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cinnamon quills or sticks
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
400g tin whole tomatoes, mulched
250ml coconut milk

Caramelised bananas:
1 firm banana
melted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar

How to

For the spice mix:
Toast all the dry seeds together in a pan. Do not add any oil when frying as you want to natural oils of the spices to be released. When a slight dry smoke wafts up from the pan and you can smell the pungency of the spices, remove from the heat. Place the spices in a mortar and pestle and crush until fine or for a finer texture, mill in a coffee grinder.

For the curry:
Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken pieces in batches until they are well coloured on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat a little oil in the same pan and sauté the onion and garlic until softened. This should take about 7 minutes. Add the chilli, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Cook the spices and onions together for a minute or two and then deglaze the pan with a splash of water. Scrape the spice mix into a blender and blitz to form a paste.

Add the chicken back into the pan and stir in the paste mixture. Cook for several minutes so that the spicy paste coats the chicken. Stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk. Place the lid on and simmer on a medium heat for approximately 35 -40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Caramelised bananas:
To make the caramelized bananas, slice a just ripe, but slightly firm banana in half. Brush with melted butter and dunk, cut side down, into brown sugar. Caramelize in a hot pan until tender and sticky. Serve whole and scoop out as a topping for the curry.

Handy hint:
As with most curries, this Cape Malay curry will taste even better the following day as the flavours mature.

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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email diannebibby@gmail.com.