This chicken and vegetable curry is one of my favorite dinners, especially on weeknights. It’s filling, packs in plenty of veggies and lean protein, and incredibly tasty.
I wrote this curry recipe while living in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s adapted from a recipe from a small spice shop in Bo-Kaap, a neighborhood where a large portion of the city’s Cape Malay population lives.
Living in Cape Town for a year may have given me a bit of a bias, but some of the best curries I’ve ever had came from this style of cooking!
This isn’t a creamy curry, and don’t worry, you aren’t missing out because of it. It’s very spicy thanks to green chiles and a little cayenne pepper, but you can definitely turn down the heat to your liking.
Although this recipe calls for chicken, I often substitute lamb and cook it the same way. Lamb is excellent in this recipe, but not quite as popular a meat choice in the US!
If you’re anything like me and prefer to do the minimum amount of work possible to get dinner on the table, this recipe would totally work in a slow cooker.
I would still brown the meat, but then just throw all the other ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for about six hours. Slow cooking is a great way to really develop these flavors!
Hungry for more curry recipes? Try our pumpkin curry, easy Indian lamb curry, spicy eggplant curry, and even our chicken curry pot pie.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 green chile seeded, ribs removed, and finely diced
- 1/2 inch piece ginger peeled and shredded
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp garam masala or your favorite masala
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups frozen veggies of your choice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once heated, add the onions, chile, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are just translucent
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the stockpot with the veggies, turn the heat up to medium-high, and brown on all sides.
- After the chicken has browned, add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, mixed spice, turmeric, and masala. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Fry until spices are fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and chicken stock to the stockpot. Bring to a simmer and let cook with a lid on but tilted to let steam escape for 20 minutes.
- Add the veggies and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Taste the curry. If you’d like it to be spicier, add the optional cayenne pepper and let cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve over rice or in a wrap. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
We usually eat this curry over white rice cooked with a bit of ground coriander, but it’s also great in a roti (a wrap, essentially) or you can definitely eat it as is. One of the tricks I use to making this dish so easy is using my favorite frozen veggies.
Although frozen veggies aren’t great when roasted (or served on their own at all, if we’re being honest) the perfect way to use them is in soups and stews, and curry is very similar to a stew. The mix I use has carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans.
If you have picky eaters in the house, I bet they’ll barely notice the veggies in there! They soak up all that delicious curry flavor and make it pretty hard to complain. You can absolutely use fresh veggies if you prefer!
Photos by Chelsea Miller, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Chelsea Miller
Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.
11 thoughts on “Cape Malay Chicken and Vegetable Curry”
This recipe sounds delicious! I have never had a curry before, and I am definitely going to have to dial the heat back a bit for the kiddos, but we are definitely going to try it.
This was the best blog post to log on and find. Me and my husband just made Malal Indian Curry tonight for dinner and we were talking about how we wish we could find a couple new versions of curry, just altered in different ways. I showed him the recipe and we are going to be trying it next week! 🙂
My mouth is watering just by looking at these pictures. It looks absolutely divine! I think I’ll make this tomorrow, it’s my turn to cook dinner. I’ll surprise my family with this dish. I use a lot of these spices when I make Indian curries, but I’ve never tried making a Malay dish before, it should be interesting.
This blog has the most beautiful, sumptuous pictures EVER. I love coming here. It’s like going to a destination wedding, only without the wedding part, and without having to leave home.
I love the look of this curry. My ex-boss is Indian, used to cook constantly, and made a lot of curry. This recipe reminds me of being at her house, and enjoying the food.
There is kind of a long list of ingredients here, but do-able. And I don’t know what masala or mixed spice is, but I’ll find out, because I definitely want to make some of this curry.
I love lamb, so I might try the lamb first and then the chicken. Either way, can’t wait to make it and taste it!
I love curries anyway and the addition of extra veggies in this recipe makes it seem even more appealing. I’m not too keen on frozen vegetables served on their own either but they do work well in one-pot dishes. This looks so quick to make too and would be perfect for a weeknight.
Oooh, this looks so good. I’m always amazed at how many countries have curry based dishes, but it’s not that surprising considering how delicous and economical they are. I think I’ve got most of the ingredients for this on hand too! I’ll have to give it a go soon.
Looks like a beautiful dish, and I love Malaysian food. One problem I have whenever cooking with really spicy chiles is the end result often has a really sour taste under the spice. What am I doing wrong, or is there anything you can recommend to offset that?
Now that it’s Fall, my thoughts are turning to heavier meals, and this curry looks like a delicious way to incorporate either chicken or lamb (one of my favorite meats) and vegetables with a little spice. I love the flavor of green chiles, and am looking forward to making this in my slow cooker.
You had me at curry!!! I love curry. I’ve only eaten Indian curries and Japanese curries. I’ve never tried a Malaysian curry. I’m eager to try this. Anything that has garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cilantro in the same dish can’t be bad!!
I love curry, but most of the time I am disappointed when I order in, so I do tend to make my own quite a now. This looks really good, but I wouldn’t bother with the frozen veggies, definitely not my thing.
Well I was a little glad to see the word optional next to the cayenne pepper in the recipe, because while this does sound delicious, the heat and humidity here lately is making it kind of tough to eat spicy foods. I do think that all of the vegetables would certainly help alleviate that a little bit, but I would probably take steps to make it less spicy as I can. Sounds very delicious though, and thank you for sharing.