Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe

Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe

This delicious Cape Malay chicken curry with roasted bananas is a firm favourite, and is created by Dianne Bibby.

Serves 4-6

For the spice mix

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 cardamom pods, crushed and husks removed

Dry toast the spice seeds in a pan for several minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush until fine or mill in a coffee grinder.

For the curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 chicken thigh and drumsticks pieces, bone-in and skinless
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, seeds removed or ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
250 ml coconut milk


Heat the oil in a frying pan, season the chicken with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and brown in batches until well coloured on both sides. Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Add the chilli, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and sugar to the onions. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water. Transfer the onions to a blender and blitz to form a paste.

Add the chicken back into the pan and stir through the spice paste. Toss to coat and then add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cover with a lid and simmer on a medium heat for approximately 35 – 40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
To make the caramelized bananas, slice several ripe but slightly firm bananas in half. Brush the with melted butter and press cut side down, into brown sugar. Cook in a hot pan until caramelized and sticky. Serve alongside the curry with toasted coconut and chutney.

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

A big thanks to Dianne Bibby for this amazing recipe!

Dianne is a recipe developer, food stylist and writer. Food stories are woven into everyday life and it’s these stories that she loves to write about. She also teaches group monthly cooking classes in Johannesburg. Her food philosophy is relatively uncomplicated, and she finds inspiration in our rich South African culture, global food trends and seasonal produce. Find out more about Dianne and her delicious recipes on

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