Skip to content

Tooky’s Durban Chicken Curry.


Origin: This time of the year Durban has got to have undoubtedly the best weather in the world! Hot steaming days and balmy nights that are starting to get a little nip in the air.

Weekends are lazy and most often on the agenda is a day at the beach, followed by rugby and a braai thereafter. An unexpected downpour this last weekend put paid to any outdoor plans any of us had! 

Click here to go straight to printable recipe

My partner in-crime in  the kitchen is my best friends husband, Tooky , one of the few male friends I love buying birthday and Christmas presents for – Yebo you guessed it – He loves recipe books!

We were invited to join them for a Sunday seafood braai and I believe he spent Saturday scouring the rocks at Salt Rock for fresh mussels and crayfish as his wife Ally knew I would need some tender-loving-care on Sunday, as we were dropping my daughter off at the airport to return to Stellenbosch where she is studying.  (Sob!)

Their plans were dashed with all the rain and we arrived to plan B which was a wonderful starter of Mussels Peri-Peri with Butter beans, and a main of a  delicious Durban Chicken Curry and rice which he adapted from the last recipe book I bought him – East Coast Tables!

Be sure to also try the Mussel dish –it was amazing.

(As I am posting this I am having a chuckle to myself, as  on Sunday we grabbed any serving dish we could find as we were more worried about how it tasted than how it looked - I have just noticed the sambals above are served in a lovely Italian pasta dish! Nice concentration there food stylist! Well I hope the REAL curry leaves in the background, off a REAL curry tree in Tooky’s garden on the pic below make up for the boo- boo)

 Tooky’s Durban Chicken Curry.  (Feeds 4 -5)

1 whole chicken jointed into 6-8 pieces

2 Tablespoons turmeric powder

2 white onions thinly sliced

1/2 cup oil

2 Tablespoons butter

r2 tsp crushed garlic

2 tsp crushed fresh ginger

2 sticks of cinnamon

2-3 whole cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp crushed black peppercorns

2 cardomom pods

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1 large tomato

75g tomato paste

1-2 cups water

4 potatoes

Fresh coriander/dhania


  1.  Remove excess fat and all the skin from the chicken pieces and rub with the turmeric powder. Leave to marinade while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a heavy based saucepan, fry the onions in the oil and butter slowly for 10 – 15 minutes. Allow them to sweat and cook slowly.
  3. Now add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two followed by the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cumin, peppercorns and cracked cardamom pods.
  4. Rinse the turmeric off the chicken pieces and pat dry, and then add to the pot.
  5.  Cook for 20 – 30 minutes slowly until the chicken is half cooked. Remove the chicken and keep to one side.
  6. Add the chilli and coriander powder, and then the liquidized tomato and paste. Add the potatoes and 1 -2 cups of water making sure that the potatoes are covered in gravy. Cook with the lid on for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Lastly add the chicken back to the curry, stir well and cook with the lid off on a very low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, allowing the gravy to thicken. Season with salt to your liking.
  8. Serve with sambals and fresh coriander leaves.

Sambal salad: ( A side dish to serve with any curry)

1 tomato

1 onion

1 chilli

1 carrot, grated

2 Table spoons red wine vinegar

2 Table spoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh coriander


  1.   Finely chop the tomato, onion and chilli.
  2.  Add the finely grated carrot and mix in the vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3.  Mix in the fresh coriander and serve with any curry.

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS