Chef Vonique van Zyl, the Executive Chef for the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Sandton Johannesburg, provides this recipe for one of Cape Town’s most popular dishes  – the Cape Malay Curry. The curry is less red and spicy compared with the curries that originated in India, and it is robust and deeply-flavoured.

Cape Malay Lamb Curry with Toasted Almond Rice

Ingredients for the Lamb Curry                               

500 gram lamb, diced
2 onions, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 tin (400 gram) chopped tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 cinnamon quills
3 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon chilli powder (you can put ½ teaspoon if you want it less hot)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup water
Frying oil
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Ingredients for Toasted Almond Rice

½ cup of sliced almonds
1 table spoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ large onion chopped
1 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup of vegetable stock
1 cup of water
Ground black pepper

Method for the Lamb Curry

  • Combine meat and spices in a bowl and set aside.
  • Sauté the onions in a medium saucepan until it start to brown, taking care not to burn it.
  • Add meat, tomato, sugar and water, stir through and simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the cubed potato and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add more water if necessary.

Method for Toasted Almond Rice:

  • Heat the oven to 180°C. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the almonds until golden brown 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and checking for even browning. Set aside.
  • In a pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are well coated. Add the vegetable stock, water, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Fluff with a fork, and season to taste. Stir in the toasted almonds, keep some toasted almonds aside for extra garnish.

Serving suggestion: When serving the Lamb Curry and Almond Basmati Rice top with extra toasted almonds and fresh coriander leaves. Serve with Cucumber Raita, Tomato Sambal, warmed Roti and Fried Poppadum

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