The Essential Ingredients for a South African Indian Curry

Traditional Indian curries are comprised of a coconut and cream based gravy that is braised in a rich clarified butter called ghee. As individuals immigrated to various countries the curries differed according to the cost and availability of ingredients.

South African curries are renowned for its characteristic taste of tomato bases. The secret to each unique handmade delicacy is the freshest ingredients. South African curries often have a unique taste due to the different types and quantity of spices used.

There are five types of whole spices and five types of powdered spices used as a base of a South African curry.

These are:

Whole spices

1) aniseed
2) bayleaf
3) cinnamon stick
4) jeera (cumin seeds)
5) soomph ( fennel seeds)

Powdered spices:

) Garam masala (a combination of the 5 whole spices in a powdered form)
2) Chilli power
3) Turmeric powder
4) Jeera powder (cumin powder)
5) Dhania powder (coriander powder)
Curry leaves, spring onions, mint, thyme and coriander are the five fresh and essential ingredients used at the start of a curry dish. These ingredients add flavour to the oil which in turn flavours the curry. This is called the braising stage.

Dried red or fresh green chillies add intense heat increasing the spicy flavour of the curry. The addition of ginger and garlic paste to meat dishes eliminates its raw natural under tone.

Throughout time cooking that perfect dish with just the right amount of salt and spicing has become a task sort out by many, but following the above mentioned guidelines will help with future cooking endeavours.