Lockdown Recipe of the day: Midlands Chicken Curry

Lockdown Recipe of the day: Midlands Chicken Curry
Midlands chicken curry with dried apple rings.(Photo: Tony Jackman)

Chicken pieces and dried fruit – in this case, dried apple rings – has long been a feature of traditional old-fashioned South African curries.

Serving curry at dinner parties and for family meals became very popular in the then Natal (KwaZulu-Natal) in the 1950s and 1960s. While the rich, hot mutton curries of the Hindu people were popular in the coastal regions, notably evolving into the Durban curry we know today, the hostesses of the KZN Midlands took a more conservative approach.

To protect delicate palates, they adapted the curries to milder dishes, using the popular dried fruits that had become available. 

Chicken was very popular and this would be cooked in stock with a little curry to make it spicy but not hellfire hot, and the fruits were added to give it a sweet flavour. Chopped pineapple was also very popular with the chicken but dried fruits absorb rather than add to the liquid content.

We have added coconut oil and coconut cream to this recipe for a rich taste and used just one tablespoon of a hot curry where we would usually use two or more, depending on the quantity.


Eight chicken pieces (thighs and legs)

1 heaped Tbs strong curry powder

1 x 250g packet of sun dried apple rings

3 Tbs coconut oil

1 x 400 g can coconut cream

400 ml chicken stock

3 Tbs chutney

Salt to taste


Sauté the chicken pieces in the coconut oil and the curry powder. When they are browned, add the coconut cream, chicken stock, salt and chutney. Stir well and cook at a medium heat for half an hour before adding the apple rings. Cook for another 30 minutes. Serve with basmati rice.

TGIFood Tip: A traditional way of serving this dish is with desiccated coconut and sliced banana as sambals. DM/TGIFood

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