African Curry denotes the various types of curry based preparations from the cuisine of Africa. The African cuisine can be broadly divided into Horn of Africa, Central, East, South, West and North African cuisines and each of these regional cuisines has its unique curry preparations. The concept of curries is believed to have been brought to Africa by the Indians who popularized the spiced vegetable curry based preparations here.
Popular Types of African Curries
In the Southeastern part of Africa, a particular type of curry is quite popular, which is prepared with shrimp, crab or chicken most commonly. The key ingredients of this curry base include tomatoes, curry powder, lemon juice, coconut milk, onion and garlic. This is a traditional preparation of Mozambique. The dish makes a good combination with onion hot sauce and tomato chutney.
Bobotie or bobotjie is a South African preparation of spicy minced meat and a baked egg based topping. The recipe is believed to have come from the colonies of the Dutch East India Company in Batavia and derived its name from Bobotok, an Indonesian term. This recipe then travelled to South Africa which was adopted by the community in Cape Malay and was modified with the use of curry powder for adding tanginess to the dish. Bobotie is generally relished with Sambal.
This dish was much popularized in the regions of Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century, when pork and mutton were the meats of choice for the preparation. In the modern times however, bobotie is most commonly prepared with lamb or beef. Likewise, curry powder has taken the place of marjoram, lemon rind and ginger. This African curry incorporates dried fruits like sultanas or raisins for sweetness and is generally served with banana, walnut and chutney garnish.
The South African settlers carried this recipe to various African colonies and today, the recipe is popularly used in Botswana, Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe with slight regional modifications. In the early 20th century, the Boer settlers who migrated to the Argentinian Chubut River Valley modified the recipe by packing the bobotie curry mixture inside a large sized pumpkin and baking it.
West African Curry
This is a relatively simple meat preparation using a curry base of desiccated coconut, onion, garlic, coconut, curry powder, curry paste, stock and Tabasco. This is a hot African curry in which the curry base is thickened with flour and mixed with chili, paprika and cayenne.
This is easily prepared and served with hot rice. In a large saucepan cubed beef, chopped tomatoes, onions, sweet red pepper, green pepper, peas salt and curry powder are added and simmered on reduced heat for about 2 hours or till the meat is cooked. It can be garnished with raisins, coconut and peanuts.
Creamy East African Curry
This curry is cooked with chicken, which may or not be marinated. The curry powder forms the base of the dish. Chopped carrots, green bell pepper and light brown sugar is added to the dish to enhance the color and flavor.
Popular African Curry Powders
South African curry powder - This curry powder is a mixture of cayenne pepper, ground coriander, cumin powder, fennel, ground fenugreek, freshly ground black pepper and turmeric.
Bo-Kaap Cape Malay Curry Powder – This is yet another South African curry powder where the seeds of coriander, black mustard, fennel, fenugreek and cumin are roasted and ground and mixed with powdered clove, black peppercorns, dried hot red chilies, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and chopped curry leaves.