How To Make Delicious South African-Style Curry

South African dishes are known for their bold combinations of sweet and savory spices. Stews and curry dishes are common throughout the country, but especially near Cape Town where the Indonesian and Indian populations have influenced the cuisine. This delicious curry dish will delight your taste buds with a true taste of South Africa. 


  • 1 pound stew beef, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


Toss the cubed beef in the flour and salt. Set aside.

Place a large Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chili powder to the pan, and saute gently while stirring constantly for 1 minute. This will help bring out the flavors of the spices. Once a minute has passed, add the onion, ginger, garlic and bay leaves to the pot. Continue sauteing for another 2 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, and then slowly add the beef to the pan, a few pieces at a time. You don't want to add the beef too quickly, or else too much liquid will accumulate and the beef won't brown. Make sure each set of beef cubes has begun to brown before adding more. Keep tossing the beef around until it is evenly browned.

Add the green pepper to the pan, and cook for another minute or two just to soften the pepper slightly. Then, add the water, beef stock, vinegar and apricots to the pan. Bring to a simmer, and then cover. Simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Stir every 30 minutes during cooking.

Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the buttermilk. Taste the sauce, and add additional salt if you prefer. Let the curry cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving; it will thicken up slightly as it cools.

Serve this delicious curry over white rice or boiled potatoes, as is tradition in South Africa. Any extra sauce is delicious over egg noodles.