With all this talk of Durban’s gravy train and details of the Durban Salute (a type of bribery), one wonders whether sufficient attention is being paid to the curry brigade that deems it normal for money to flow up and for problems to flow down. Without a doubt, Lamb curry is the most important culinary enterprise.

Lamb curry is a dish so remarkable and decidedly decent that it has literally saved lives. Breaking bread being the civilised way to make peace, Lamb curry is the civilised way to make lifelong friends. To be served with salads and breads or rice, it is both spicy and satisfying.

Durban being the pirate cove it has always been, the old mafia adage of not eating alone, that is of not hoarding what you’ve stolen all for yourself, remains relevant. Now all that remains is to ensure that you don’t eat alone, for there can be no greater sin than that of eating alone.


1 kg Lamb
1 large Onion
2 large Tomatoes
1 tsp freshly crushed Ginger
1 tsp freshly crushed Garlic
3 tsp Masala
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Garamasala
1 stick Cinnamon
1 tsp Somph (Aniseed)
1 sprig Curry Leaves
4 tbs Cooking Oil
1 pinch Salt
1 bunch Coriander Leaves


Cut meat up into suitable portions, wash and drain.
Peel and slice onions.
Scald tomatoes, peel and cut into small pieces.
Prepare ginger and garlic.

Heat oil and add somph, cinnamon then onion and curry leaves.
Fry until golden brown.
Put masala, turmeric, ginger and garlic into tomato.
Add tomato mix to fried onions.
Allow to cook to puree.
Add meat with salt to the puree.
Allow to cook on medium heat until meat is tender.

If gravy tends to become too thick or dry, add a little water at a time to give sufficient liquid to prevent burning.

Stir and check if meat is cooked.
If cooked add garamasala and return to heat.
Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

Recipe care of What’s Cooking Ann, December 1981; Durban.



Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender is the Chief Political Officer of MicroGene.

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