Fort Mistake Curry

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

Fort Mistake Man
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Supper
Cuisine 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.
Keyword Gluten free, Mauritian
Cooking For John