Curried chicken, Durban-style

Curried chicken, Durban-style

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting time
  • 1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 1 whole free-range chicken, skinned
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 fresh, hot, green chillies, chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t pure chilli powder, the coarser the better
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

Using a sharp knife, make two deep, diagonal slits in each breast, going all the way to the bone. Make two deep slashes in the thighs and drumsticks as well.

Place the chicken, breast up, in a roasting tin (or round or square cake tin) lined with a very large sheet of heavy foil that can enclose the bird eventually.

Put the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, fresh chillies, salt, olive oil, cumin and coriander in a blender and blend until you have a paste. Rub this paste all over the chicken, inside and out, making sure you go into all the slits. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.

Dust the top of the chicken with the chilli powder and black pepper. Bring the foil over the top of the chicken and crimp it so the bird is completely enclosed.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Open up the foil and baste the chicken with the accumulated juices.

Continue to bake, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, basting the bird two or three times during this period.

TASTE's take

The Barmanias, a Muslim family whose roots are in Surat, Gujarat, make this mean, Indian-style chicken. The entire bird is skinned, then marinated and then roasted in a covered dish until it is meltingly tender. The spicing pays homage to India in general, but is not recognisably Gujarati. It is, however, irresistibly delicious and quite easy to prepare.

Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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