Durban Lamb Curry Recipe

Unlike in the U.S., in South Africa lamb and mutton are the most popular and widely cooked meats. I think this is the most popular curry dish in South Africa. It is important to use fresh curry powder.


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 large onions, finely chopped
    1 bay leaf
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 ½ Tablespoons curry powder
    2 Tablespoons cake flour
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    3 pounds lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cubed
    1 pound medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
    6 to 8 dried peaches or apricots, finely chopped
    30 ml fruit chutney
    2 Tablespoons beef boullion
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
    2 teaspoons salt
    fresh ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, or until transparent.
    Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, garlic, curry powder, flour and turmeric and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
    Add the meat and brown lightly, adding a little more oil if necessary.
    Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
    Simmer over moderate heat for 1 hour.
    Serve immediately with basmati rice and bowls of sliced banana, dried coconut, diced pineapple and chutney.
About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.