Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world: Cape Malay chicken Biryani

This is my favourite chicken curry recipe and I have made it messed around with it three times. I do like chicken recipes that use thighs and drumsticks rather than chicken breast pieces. It is more difficult to get the timing right for chicken breast pieces and if you overcook them, they are tough and chewy.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe from Taste Magazine which you will find here:


3 Tbspns olive oil for frying

2 medium onions, chopped

7.5 ml chili flakes

1 tspn cayenne pepper

1 tspn fennel seeds

1 tspn ground cumin

1/2 tspn ground turmeric

a sprinkling of black peppercorns

7.5 ml salt

1 tspn ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 x cans diced Italian tomatoes

1 Tbspn garlic flakes

2 teaspoons sugar

1 Tbspn lemon juice

6 cups chicken stock

2 Tbspns Maizena or cornflour for thickening

Chicken 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs

1 kilogram baby potatoes with skins, cut in half

2 cans lentils – drained

Rice cooked separately in accordance with the instructions


Heat 2 Tbspns olive oil in a large pot. Brown the chicken pieces in batches of 8 pieces for approximately 5 – 10 minutes. Set aside.

Add another Tbspn of olive oil and fry the onions until transparent. Add the spices and garlic and fry lightly. Do not burn. Add the diced tomatoes, chicken pieces and the stock. Bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the potatoes. Everything should be nicely covered. Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Add lentils 10 minutes before service.

Enjoy with rice.


73 thoughts on “Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world: Cape Malay chicken Biryani

  1. Hi Robbie,
    Minus the chilli and the lentils, this looks delicious. I particulary like the look of the potatoes in it. It reminds me of the Massaman beef curry we sometimes get from our local Thai restaurant.
    I was interested to see that you got this from a local (to you) Taste site. I often use the Taste site here. The recipes are usually easy to follow, economical and delicious (or should I say ‘tasty’?).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kerfe. The original recipe only uses 8 chicken pieces. I double all recipes wrt meat because we are 6 and I cook for two days. I don’t double the spices though because that doesn’t work well. The only spice I double is the garam masala so you would reduce that to 5ml. I would also reduce the chilli to 5 ml unless you like it hotter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love curries, Robbie, but I’ve never made them from scratch (always pastes). I’ll bet the flavor of this is out of this world. The spices are some of my favorites. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I printed it and will give it a go. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am pleased you are going to try it, Diana. How I add the cornflour is I wait until the simmer point. Then I mix the cornflour with three Tbspns of the gravy from the pot, mix it to a paste and pour it in. I give it a stir and then leave it to continue simmering. If you halve the recipe, then you can reduce this accordingly.


  3. I like that—messed around with the chicken curry. I want to see that in the instructions—mess around with the chicken until it’s brown. 😊 Looks pretty tasty to me!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s part of the fun of cooking. Since my wife is the primary cook, I always ask for directions and recipes when I cook, but my wife is much more flexible. She’ll taste something and immediately sense what it needs.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad to see what is called a curry. I often read about people getting them and have had no idea what they were! I agree with you about thighs instead of breasts. Not only are they tastier when cooked a while, they are also less expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

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