Open Categories +

Blog Home

Durban Chicken Curry

Melissa's Kitchen Masterlist
Effortless Entertaining
The Skinny on the Italian Diet
Now Trending:
I'm Melissa!

A Food Network chef + mama obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouth watering food. I also own a gorgeous cooking school in Italy. My mission? To share the secrets of La Dolce Vita so you can create a healthy, beautiful, delicious life filled with joy!


Ready to Manifesto Some Miracles?

tell me more

Grab a copy of my lastest book "Miracles Manifested" and enter to win a trip to Italy valued at $7000!

If you like South African style curry this dish is insane. To say that this might be the best chicken curry I have ever made is no understatement.

And it just happened by chance. I was craving a curry. Not the kind you get in America. In the US curry is a lot milder and has a ton of cream, butter, and coconut milk. It’s more Thai than Indian …

I wanted one of the curries that you get in Durban. The kind that makes you break out into a sweat. Bright red, hot and spicy, and layered with a myriad of spices and flavor profiles.

And this dish was on point. I think this is going to be a regular in our house.

Yebo (zulu for yes)

xxx Chef MM


Durban Chicken Curry

  • Author: Melissa Mayo




  • 2 TBS hot / 4 TBS mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs- skin on
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 28 oz /800 g can tinned tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 TBS apricot jam


In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the rub together. Sprinkle the rub on the chicken thighs and use your fingers to massage and coat the chicken evenly on all sides.

Heat 2 TBS of oil in a large skillet or heavy pot over medium/high heat. Add the chicken in batches so as not to overcrowd them. Sear the thighs on both sides (3-4 minutes) until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Slice the onions into 1/4 inch slices and chop the garlic cloves.

In the same pot add the sliced onions and garlic and cook on medium heat until golden and caramelized (6-8 mins).

In a bowl combine the tinned tomatoes, water, vinegar, bay leaves and apricot jam.

Place the chicken back in the skillet on top of the onions. Pour over the tomato mixture. Simmer uncovered for 80 minutes.

Serve with rice and sambals (tomato-cucumber salad and sliced bananas).



You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, but you might need to increase the cooking time and add some water to keep the chicken moist.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me @themelissamayo— I can't wait to see what you've made!

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment


I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

more about me

Ciao Bella,

enter now →

In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.

Win a one-week luxury trip to Tuscany 

The Magic of Italy
without the planning


Food Netwok Chef, Melissa is dishing up delicious food and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your soul.

find out more →

The Magic of Italy
without the planning


Food Netwok Chef, Melissa is dishing up delicious food and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your soul.

find out more →

Hands down the prettiest, do-it-yourself, easy-to-use, customizable, website templates on the internet. They look super expensive, but I promise they won't break the bank. 

Tonic Site Shop

Want a site like mine?

check it out →







Healthy living is beautiful … That’s why it’s calledLa Dolce Vita”.


I’m sharing my best recipes, travel guides, and Italian secrets for longevity & aging gracefully. Discover my tips and tricks to become a Rockstar chef, my current obsessions, and tools to embrace joy, find your purpose, and live deliciously!!


For delicious recipes, travel guides, inspiration and more, join me on Instagram.

follow along