South African Recipes

Mince Curry | Flavour-packed South African Favourite

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Delve into the delicious world of South African cuisine with this hearty, flavour-packed Mince Curry. It’s a beautiful blend of homey comfort and adventurous spice, promising a culinary journey right in your kitchen.

south african mince curry with peppers in the back

Mince curry

Matthew Rolfe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine South African
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Large saucepan or deep frying pan (If you don’t have one, a large pot will do)
  • 1 Wooden spoon (Or any old spoon will do)
  • 1 Chopping board and knife
  • 1 Measuring spoons (Don't worry if you don't have these, estimates will do)
  • 1 Can opener


  • 500 gram lean beef mince (The main act! An everyday staple from your local butchery)
  • 1 large Chopped onion (No curry is complete without it, right?)
  • 2 cloves Minced garlic (A dash of zing!)
  • 1 tsp Minced ginger (Just a smidge for a delightful kick)
  • 2 tbsp Curry powder (The heart and soul of our dish)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (For that warm golden glow)
  • 1 tsp Cumin (A smoky whisper of spice)
  • 1 tsp Chopped fresh coriander (Our secret garden-fresh ingredient)
  • 1 can Chopped tomatoes (In they go for a good old saucy time)
  • 2 Medium carrots, chopped (Crunchy loveliness)
  • 2 Medium potatoes, cubed (The humble hero of every kitchen)
  • 1 cup Frozen peas (Little green gems to brighten our dish)
  • Dash of salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil (To get our fry on)
  • 1 cup Beef broth (For that rich, meaty depth)
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing (The final flourish!)


  • Get the pan sizzling: Start by heating up the vegetable oil in your large saucepan or frying pan over medium heat.
  • Onions, assemble: Add the chopped onions to the pan and sauté them until they turn a lovely, translucent golden brown.
  • Spice it up: Next, toss in the minced garlic and ginger. Give it a good stir until the wonderful aroma fills your kitchen.
  • t's mince time: Now, in goes the beef mince. Stir and cook until it's beautifully browned.
  • Curry magic: Sprinkle in the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir it up, letting the spices coat the mince.
  • Saucy time: Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes, along with the beef broth.
  • Vegetable party: It's time to invite the potatoes and carrots to the pan. Stir them in, making sure they're covered with the saucy goodness.
  • Simmer down: Lower the heat and let it all simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick.
  • Peas, please: Add in your cup of frozen peas. Give it another good stir.
  • Season's greetings: Sprinkle in the salt and pepper to your taste. Give your curry a final good mix.
  • Serve it up: Once everything's nicely cooked and the aroma has you ready to tuck in, serve your curry hot with a garnish of fresh coriander leaves.
Keyword Mince Curry
south african mince curry with peppers in the back

Mince Curry Heritage

Now, the origin of the Mince Curry is a subject of delightful conjecture. It’s believed to have roots in South African Indian cuisine, a testament to the diverse cultural influences in the region. This version of curry, a fragrant blend of spices, hearty mince, and comforting vegetables, is said to have evolved from traditional Indian curry recipes, adapted over time to incorporate locally available ingredients and suit the South African palate. While this might not be the gospel truth, it certainly adds a fascinating layer to our culinary journey. After all, food is about sharing, adapting, and making memories.

Tips & Tricks

When making your Mince Curry, there’s a couple of things to keep in mind. The spices are what make this dish shine, so don’t skimp on them. Look for quality curry powder, cumin, and coriander to ensure you get the authentic taste. Also, don’t rush the simmering stage. Patience is key here; a longer simmer gives the flavours time to meld beautifully. And remember, food is more than just taste, it’s an experience. So have fun, experiment, and don’t forget to taste as you go!

Best Occasions to Serve Mince Curry

Mince Curry is a versatile dish, suitable for a myriad of occasions. It’s the perfect comfort food for chilly winter nights, warming you up from the inside out. It also shines as a centrepiece at holiday feasts, impressing guests with its flavours and homely appeal. Want to spice up your Sunday family dinner? Mince curry is your answer. Or maybe you’re hosting a themed party or a cultural potluck? Mince curry, with its rich South African heritage, is sure to be a conversation starter. Truly, this delightful dish fits into any celebration, adding a burst of flavour and warmth.

Recipes and sides that go well with South African Mince Curry

  • Savory Basmati Rice: A good mince curry is never complete without a side of steamed basmati rice.
  • Homemade Garlic Naan: It’s perfect for soaking up every bit of curry goodness left on your plate.
  • Spicy Lentil Dhal: A warming, flavour-packed side that complements the mince curry brilliantly.
  • Sambals: A refreshing mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, and chillies – a classic South African accompaniment to curry.
  • Chutney: A dollop of sweet and tangy fruit chutney balances out the heat.
  • Yellow Rice: Deliciously fragrant, and pairs well with curry.

Other similar recipes / alternatives

  • Chicken Biryani: This aromatic and flavourful dish is an ideal alternative if you want to try something different but equally delicious.
  • South African Bobotie: A traditional South African dish that swaps out the curry spices for a sweet and savory custard-like topping.

Ingredient alternatives

  • For a vegetarian version, you could swap out the beef mince for a plant-based mince alternative or lentils.
  • If you can’t get your hands on fresh ginger, ground ginger can be used as a substitute (1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon of fresh ginger).

Nutritional facts

(Assuming 4 servings)

  • Calories: Approx. 450 per serving
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 7g

Please note: Nutritional values can vary greatly depending on specific ingredient brands and preparation methods.

Troubleshooting (common problems)

  • Curry not thick enough: If your curry sauce is a bit thin, simply let it simmer for longer, uncovered, to reduce the liquid.
  • Too spicy: If you’ve accidentally made the curry too hot, adding a bit of coconut milk or plain yoghurt can help temper the heat.
  • Not flavourful enough: Remember, spices develop their full potential when they’re sautéd in oil, so don’t rush this step. And always taste and adjust your seasonings before serving!

There you have it! Enjoy making this fabulous Mince Curry recipe and feel free to experiment with your own flavour twists. Keep it lekker! 

mince curry with chilies

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