Fatima’s Fabulous Beef Curry

Fatima’s Fabulous Beef Curry / Durban Curry (p)

Jackie Cameron
I met Fatima Stanley when I joined the South African Chef’s Association committee many years back. It is clearly evident that she is part of a large family (first born of seven) because, for her, nothing is ever too much trouble. Her friendliness and will to help out are inspiring. She has run top hotel kitchens, her own catering company, and was principal of Zen Africa Chefs’ School. Her latest venture, which I find exciting, is the MasterChef Culinary Academy. This is a skills kitchen where she trains disadvantaged youngsters from the Wentworth area, which is close to her home on the Bluff in Durban. Fatima is all about giving back. Perhaps she’s paying it forwards? If she says this beef curry is fabulous, then rest assured it is. I look forward to Fatima lending that helping hand at Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine.
— Jackie Cameron

Beef Curry


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Aromatics: 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 Tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 400g beef fillet, cubed 
  • 250 ml tomato puree
  • 250g chickpeas, cooked
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put oil in a large saucepan, over moderate heat.
  2. Add aromatics and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent: about 5 mins.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, thyme and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for 1 min.
  4. Add curry powder, coriander and cumin powders. Cook for 1 min.
  5. Add meat to pan. Cook, stirring, until all spices have combined.
  6. Add tomato puree, some chopped coriander, salt to taste.
  7. Allow to cook gently for about 15-20 mins on moderate heat.
  8. Lastly add chickpeas, allow to cook through for 5 mins.
  9. Garnish with coriander sprigs. Serve with basmati rice, roti and sambals.