Somewhere between Newcastle and Ladysmith, overlooking the Mkupe Pass is an old fort called Fort Mistake. Many years ago a friend rang me up and suggested I meet him there. It’s been a standing joke between our families ever since. He recently sent me a Mauritian chicken curry recipe which has been handed down in his family, and aptly named it Fort Mistake curry. It is delicious and worth the making. This was a definite win in our house and I could have made double with no leftovers. So a big thank you to my Fort Mistake Man!
Fort Mistake Curry
- 1 to 1.5 kg chicken skin removed. You can easily use a whole chicken but if you don't fancy simple butchery, pieces will suffice, I would suggest thighs.
- 2 large onions chopped
- 3 large tomatoes chopped
- 10 to 15 curry leaves
- A bunch of fresh coriander to serve
For the masala you need:
- 70 ml oil sunflower or rapeseed
- 5 cardomon pods bruised,
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick broken into smaller pieces
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds.
For the curry powder you need:
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/5 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/5 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/5 teaspoon mace
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- 1Heat the oil in a large pot and add the masala ingredients. Cook until fragrant.
- Add the onions and lower the temperatue. Cook the onions over a low heat until glazed, around 8 minutes or so.
- Add the curry leaves and stir.
- Add the curry spices and fry for another minute until fragrant. (Your kitchen will smell delicious at this point!)
- Turn up the heat, add the chicken pieces and sear in the curry mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Lower the heat and add hot water 180 to 200ml.
- Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes, do not lift the lid.
- Stir and check the liquid level, add a splash more water if needed.
- Cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and taste. Add 1/2 teaspoon more of salt if needed or to taste.
- Lower the temperature further, until just small bubbles are seen, and cook for 25 minutes more.
- Add the coriander and stir through.
- Serve immediately with rice, naan breads and whatever sides you fancy.