Erica Platter, Clinton Friedman, and Devi Sankaree Govender’s book, Durban Curry – so much of flavour, recently came second in the world in its category, best Book in the World, in the World Gourmand Book Awards, a worthy position for a fabulous book. It makes on realise that our national dish is not boerewors or Bobotie and really gives an insight into the wonderful heritage of food brought to South Africa by the Indian community. They have left a lasting mark on our dinner tables. Perhaps more than any other immigrant community.
This recipe is from star chef Jacqui Rey, power behind catering company Food Matters, consistently rated the best in KZN, first choice of big business, of the polo set, of glam party throwers, of brides and grooms. Recently she fed the guests at Springbok and Sharks rugby star Pat Lambie’s wedding. And because she’s based on the coast north of Durban but caters for the tastes of the entire province, the one dish she absolutely has to offer every client is a tip-top curry.
“I do all sorts. Prawn. Surf and turf – that’s chicken and prawn. Lamb. At the end of a wedding, or a cocktail party, I often do baby bunny chows in mini-rolls, or curry in tiny rotis, or little bowls.” Curiously, when the IPL, Indian Professional Cricket League, came to Durban a few seasons ago, and Jacqui won the contract to organise all the VIP catering, the one dish that wasn’t offered was Durban curry!
“I pointed this out, kept saying how good it would be to showcase our local dishes, but I was told that only Indian curries, made by chefs from India, would do!” Everything Jacqui makes is delicious. Her cakes, wedding or not, are legendary; she was judged one of the World’s Top 100 Bakers in 2013 .
This subtle curry is another triumph, and husband Jif’s favourite.
Lamb Knuckle Curry
125ml sunflower oil
4 onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb ginger, grated
82ml medium masala
5ml turmeric powder
5ml ground jeera
5ml ground coriander
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs curry leaves
2 kg lamb knuckle
15ml coarse salt
Extra dhania, curry leaves to garnish
Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Add onions, cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, cook a few mins. Add curry powder and ground spices. Stir continuously until mixture is well done. Add lamb knuckles, turning to coat with spice mixture. Keep cooking about 20 mins, taking care not to burn. Add 1 tin tomatoes, thyme and curry leaves. Put lid on, cook on a very low heat until lamb is tender (about 2 ½ – 3hrs). Add second tin tomatoes just before lamb has finished cooking. Check seasoning, add salt if necessary. Garnish with fresh dhania and curry leaves.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE