Durban curry has become famous not only in KZN but also further afield. Originally introduced over a century ago by Indian labourers who worked in the sugar cane fields of Natal, the flavours of curry and other spicy dishes soon became popular with British settlers as well as Zulu tribes. Over time, these flavours evolved into the Durban curry enjoyed today by locals and visitors alike.  

Durban curries are typically hotter than other curries, with plenty of tomato, chilli and cayenne pepper. A typical Durban masala could easily feature as many as 12 ingredients, ranging from ground coriander to cinnamon, curry leaves, cumin, fennel, dried chilli, ginger, garlic and many other spices. Typically, curry is cooked in a heavy pan, with onions browned in oil and spices added to simmer before meat, seafood, chicken or vegetables are added. The result is a heady flavour. Fresh coriander is often added just before serving. Curries include hearty meat curries featuring lamb or beef as well as chicken, fish, prawns and vegetables. Lamb and mutton remain the most popular choice of curries. 

Making a Delicious Durban Curry 

Ready to make your very own Durban curry? Here’s a recipe to get you started. 


  • 1 kg lamb, chicken or vegetables, cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium tomato, skinned and diced
  • 75ml oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 20ml masala curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10ml crushed garlic and ginger
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5ml fennel
  • 250ml water
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing


This curry takes about an hour to prepare and cook and serves four people. To start, wash your cubed meat, chicken or vegetables and drain. Heat oil in a heavy pan and add in your chopped onion, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Add masala, stirring well, then add your meat, chicken or vegetables to the pan. Add salt, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and fennel and mix well. Cook on high for a few minutes then reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 30 minutes. 

Once the juices evaporate, you can add additional water, along with the potato and tomato. When the meat or veggies are cooked, simmer for a few minutes. Serve with coriander, rice, rotis or with papadums.  

Browse our full collection of premium spices and make your very own Durban curry today.


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