Cape Malay Chicken Curry

    Have you ever wondered about the delightful world of Cape Malay cuisine? Well, let me take you on a tasty journey to explore one of its most beloved dishes – Cape Malay Chicken Curry. A native of the Cape Malay community in Cape Town, South Africa, it’s a one-pot sauce made with chicken and vegetables.

    Cape Malay cuisine has a rich history, tracing its roots back to when Malay slaves were brought to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company. Over the years, they infused their culture, traditions, and culinary prowess, giving rise to what is now famously known as Cape Malay cuisine. Among the many dishes, Cape Malay Chicken Curry truly stands out and captured the heart of many.

    What Does Malay Taste Like?

    Cape Malay curry shares some similarities with Indian curries, but the cooking techniques differ slightly. A good example is the species from Cape Malay curry that is not grounded like the Indians. They drop them whole into the broth, and the spices are often removed just before serving.

    It is served as a side dish with aromatic Cape Malay yellow rice, buttery roti, and simple tomato, onion, and cucumber sambals. 

    Is Cape Malay Chicken Curry Spicy? 

    Yes, Cape Malay cuisine is known for its spiciness, and Cape Malay Chicken Curry, in particular, can be quite spicy due to the use of various spices and chilli peppers in its preparation.

    Cape Malay Chicken

    Cape Malay Chicken Curry

    Cape Malay chicken curry a native of the Cape Malay community in Cape Town, South Africa, it's a one-pot sauce made with chicken and vegetables.
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
    Course Sauces and Soup
    Cuisine South African


    • 1 kg chicken (thighs, drumsticks - skinless and boneless)
    • 5 medium irish Potatoes (chopped)
    • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
    • 2 ginger (minced)
    • 2 small hot green chillies
    • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoon mango chutney
    • 3 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
    • salt to taste
    • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
    • fresh herbs for serving(cilantro or parsley)
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoon fennel seed
    • 2 teaspoon cumin seed
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric
    • ½ teaspoon paprika (not smoked)
    • 2 inch cinnamon stick


    • Shred or cut the chicken into smaller pieces and marinate
      1 kg chicken (thighs, drumsticks - skinless and boneless)
    • Add the black pepper, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and to the chicken
      1 teaspoon black pepper
    • Add the fresh lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl.
      2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • Mix well and let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
    • Peel and slice the Irish potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
      5 medium irish Potatoes (chopped)
    • Mince the garlic and ginger pieces finely
      4 cloves garlic (minced)
    • Slice hot green chilies and dice the onion.
      2 small hot green chillies
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and the diced onion to the hot oil sauté until it becomes translucent.
      3 tablespoon olive oil
    • Add the minced garlic and ginger, and the sliced green chilies, paprika to the pan. Stir and cook for a minute or until the raw smell disappears.
      2 ginger (minced)
    • Add the marinated chicken with all its spices to the pan and cook the chicken on medium heat until it browns slightly on all sides.
    • Add the chopped Irish potatoes to the pan with the chicken and stir everything together.
    • Add enough water to cover the chicken and potatoes.
    • Add the cinnamon stick to the mixture for added flavour.
      2 inch cinnamon stick
    • Allow the mixture to boil, then reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the potatoes are tender.
    • After the chicken and potatoes are cooked, add the granulated sugar and mango chutney to the curry, salt and stir
      ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
    • Garnish the Cape Malay Chicken Curry with fresh cilantro or parsley before serving and enjoy.
      fresh herbs for serving(cilantro or parsley)
    • You can pair it with steamed yellow rice or flatbreads like naan or roti.


    Note: The amount of water depends on your desired consistency, but about 1 to 1.5 cups should be sufficient.
    Keyword Cape Malay Chicken Curry
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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