Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Curry and Rice (or Toast!)

I’ve learnt so much about cooking since moving to South Africa.

I worked in restaurants since I was old enough to begin volunteering at the age of 12 in America. The day I turned 16 I began working officially in the restaurants and until I was offered my current office job, I’d never really left them. It was all I knew and I knew I was good at it.

However, it may surprise you that even though I have training in the kitchens, I hadn’t really learnt a lot about technique. I didn’t work in those types of restaurants. I’m pretty good at throwing things together and if you give me a recipe I can master it, but my overall cultural knowledge was limited!

Oh heck, I couldn’t even understand what in the heck mince was for the longest time when I moved to South Africa because I’d always known it as ground beef! I thought they were feeding me ground lamb! I SWEAR!

I love though how much Ma has taught me and that I’ve been able to merge the American ways with the South African ways in a lot of meals.

This one is however strictly what Ma taught me!

I have fallen in LOVE with curry since living in South Africa. It is not something I was so exposed to in my home growing up. I had no idea how to cook with it or how it would taste! But it is WONDERFUL! Especially having spent so much time in Durban, curry is a staple in our household now!

I want to share with you a simple but amazing meal. Curry and Rice! It really is easy, lovely, and delicious! Best of all....it is quick and versatile!

Todays version uses stewing beef. However you can use mince, chicken, even shrimp! Whatever suits your families tastes!

This recipe is based to feed just my husband and I so you will need to adjust accordingly. As well, you will need to be willing to taste test! The measurements are guestimates as I don’t usually measure but just throw together and adjust as we go!!


250g stewing beef
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 ½ c frozen mixed vegetables
2 tbl curry powder (choose your strength!)
1 tbl sugar

5 tbl vinegar
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp tumeric
Salt and pepper to taste


1.       Brown your onion over medium heat

2.       Add your stewing beef. Brown slightly. Add 1tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.

3.       Add water until meat is just covered. Add ½ tsp curry powder. Cook on medium heat until tender and begins to shred from bone. About 30 minutes. (If wanting a quicker way I suggest using mince or chicken which can be fried up in minutes!)

4.       Add potatoes after 20 minutes.

5.       Add vegetables after 5 minutes (or when potatoes are about half way done!)

6.       Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft but still holding together! We're not making mash in here people!

7.       Make sure to keep water level just above the contents of pot!

8.       Mix curry powder, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch in a mug. It needs to be thinner than a paste but thicker than a normal liquid. Think tomato sauce consistency!

9.       Add to pot and stir. Bring to boil while stirring then turn down to low heat. Allow to simmer about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add more cornstarch if necessary to achieve the desire consistency of sauce you are looking for. We like quite a bit of sauce to soak into the rice or toast. It should be the thickness of gravy usually. You can also add more curry, sugar ect to achieve a taste your family will like! Serve over rice or toast!

See I told you it was easy! I really hope you enjoy this and if you have any questions just ask! My husband (and son!) both love to add a little bit of chutney and sliced bananas to the top of theirs! I like mine plain! Try it both ways!

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