Cape Malay Chicken Curry with IMBO Kidney Beans

Cape Malay Chicken Curry is a fragrant and flavorful South African dish with influences from Malay cuisine. The addition of IMBO kidney beans not only enhances the dish’s texture but also provides a protein-packed and hearty element to this classic recipe.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Cape Malay curry powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (400g) IMBO Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • Cooked rice or flatbreads for serving


1. Brown the Chicken:

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.

2. Sauté the Onions and Spices:

  • In the same pot, add the chopped onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic, Cape Malay curry powder, ground turmeric, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant.

3. Return Chicken to Pot:

  • Return the browned chicken pieces to the pot and coat them with the onion and spice mixture.

4. Add Broth and Simmer:

  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is partially cooked.

5. Add Potatoes and Tomatoes:

  • Add the cubed potatoes and chopped tomatoes to the pot. Stir well.

6. Continue Simmering:

  • Cover the pot and continue to simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked, the potatoes are tender, and the flavors have melded together.

7. Add IMBO Kidney Beans:

  • Gently fold in the drained and rinsed IMBO Kidney Beans and allow them to heat through.

8. Adjust Seasoning:

  • Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

9. Serve:

  • Remove the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves from the curry. Serve the Cape Malay Chicken Curry hot over cooked rice or with flatbreads. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Cape Malay curry powder has a unique blend of spices that includes coriander, cumin, and fennel. Adjust the amount to your taste to control the level of spiciness.
  • You can customize the vegetables in the curry by adding sweet potatoes, bell peppers, or peas, according to your preference.

Cape Malay Chicken Curry with IMBO Kidney Beans is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that make it a favorite in South African cuisine. The aromatic spices and the heartiness of IMBO kidney beans combined with tender chicken create a truly satisfying dish. Enjoy this curry with family and friends for a warm and comforting meal.



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