Durban Masala (South African Curry Powder)

6 teaspoons of mild chili powder
1 teaspoon really hot pepper powder like cayenne
1 teaspoon of ground coriander (you may also use whole)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (you may want to use whole pods, shelled)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (or the whole stick)
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Get a suitable spice jar or container and begin to add the mild chili powder, cayenne, fenugreek, ginger, and cloves.

For the cardamom and coriander seeds, use whole spices and lightly toast them in a pan until aromatic. Once toasted, grind into a powder.

Add the ground seeds into the spice jar. Give the jar a shake, and store on the shelf until ready to use.

There are four element to a Durban curry:

1. Heat. Durban curries are said to be much hotter than other curries and will often incorporate the use of hot and spicy cayenne pepper, or a very hot spice known as curry masala, which is different from store bought curry powder.

2. Red Colour. The use of tomatoes, tomato puree or concentrate in Durban curries is another feature which sets it apart. This will normally result in its lovely red colour. Some people opt to add paprika to the dish, however sticking with the tomotoes, you could not go wrong.

3. Sweet spices. You will often find the use of garam masala in Durban curries is very popular. But the real sweet spices you are trying to get at are either cinnamon, cardamom or cloves, or a combination of all three spices.

I also find that I tend to use different combinations of the three sweet spices depending on what kind of meat I am using. For instance, I am more likely to use cloves in a lamb or goat (mutton) curry as I believe these ingredients were made for each other.

4. Curry leaves. You will not find a Durban curry recipe which has not incorporated curry leaves into the dish, either by adding the leaves whole, or grinding them along with other curry masala spices when creating a home made spice blend.

You can therefore achieve creating a Durban curry with as many spice combinations as you please, but so long as you have the above 4 elements incorporated within your recipe, you are bound to achieve something close to the authentic Durban Curry.

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