Pinotage and potjiekos go together like campfires and tall tales.
This is a mild and fragrant Cape curry made with boneless lamb cubes. If you prefer more heat, use a hot curry powder or add a teaspoon of ground chilli powder to the list of spices. If you’re using meat on the bone, cook the meat for an extra hour or more until it almost falls from the bone.
(serves 6, prep/cooking time: 1h30-2 hours)
• 45 ml vegetable oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 3 whole cloves
• 15 ml medium curry powder
• 10 ml garam masala
• 10 ml fennel seeds
• 5 ml ground cumin
• 5 ml ground turmeric
• 15 ml fresh ginger, finely chopped/grated
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/grated
• 15 ml tomato paste
• 1 kg boneless lamb cubes
• salt & pepper
• 250 ml water
• 1 can chopped tomatoes
• 1 kg baby potatoes
• a handful fresh coriander leaves, for serving
Heat the oil in a medium size potjie over medium-high heat (fire or gas). Add the onion, cinnamon stocks and cloves, and fry until soft and light brown. Add the curry powder, garam masala, fennel, cumin, turmeric and fry for 1 minute. Add the ginger, garlic and tomato paste and fry for another minute. Add the meat chunks and stir well to coat, seasoning the meat with salt & pepper. Now add the water and stir to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and bring the heat down to very low, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to coat in the sauce, then cook for another 30-45 minutes with a lid on until the meat is really tender and the potatoes are cooked. Keep an eye on the heat throughout - the curry will burn if the fire is too hot.
Serve hot, scattered with fresh coriander, with or without rice and vegetables, with a glass of Spier 21 Gables Pinotage.
(Recipe: Ilse van der Merwe, Photography: Tasha Seccombe)