Creole chicken curry recipe

Posted on 25 April 2014

Although authentic Mauritian curry powder isn’t readily available in South Africa, this creole chicken curry recipe about as close as you’ll get to replicating a Mauritian lifestyle.

Creole Chicken Curry

A good Creole chicken curry recipe (cari poulet) is a favoured dish in Mauritius and the Asian influence means it’s spicy yet, unlike Indian curries, no cream or yogurt is added. It’s tomato based and you marinate the meat overnight before cooking.

In search of this curry while on holiday in Mauritius a few years ago, my brother-in-law and I skipped the tourist traps and headed to eateries favoured by the locals. Naturally, once back in South Africa I set to work to recreate it in a potjie. Although authentic Mauritian curry powder isn’t readily available here, you can substitute it with any mild curry powder and add cardamom and fennel; it’s about as close as you’ll get to replicating a Mauritian lifestyle on that island in Upington.

Serves 6

You’ll need:

  • 2 kg chicken pieces, bone in, skin removed from some pieces
  • 1 tot vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh coriander


  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tot fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tot fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tot fresh parsley, finely chopped and stems included
  • 2 tots medium curry powder
  • 1/2 tot fennel seeds, finely ground
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tots vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Here’s how:

Mix together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, but preferably overnight.

Heat the oil in a potjie and fry the onions until soft, then add the chicken. You don’t need to cook it completely; you just want to give it a golden colour. Add the rest of the marinade and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for an hour, until the chicken is tender (stir carefully, so it doesn’t fall off the bone). Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce has reduced. Top with fresh coriander and serve with white rice.

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