Kadai chicken is a spicy chicken curry with crunchy vegetables in a tomato and onion based gravy. The well blended flavours of the bell peppers (capsicum), tomato, onion and spices enhance the taste of the curry. It was not widely popular in the South African Indian community until restaurants owned and operated by Indian nationals started opening up across the country after the birth of democracy. This savoury dish is usually served with Indian breads or basmati rice.


  • 1 full chicken
  • 6 teaspoons curry powder or masala
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed coriander and cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 aniseed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2ml cumin seeds
  • 2ml fennel seeds
  • 2ml mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs spring onions
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 3 tomatoes, grated
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 5ml sugar
  • 1 green chilli
  • Freshly chopped coriander for garnishing


  1. Remove the skin from the chicken and cut the chicken into desired sized pieces. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and drain out excess water.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  3. Stir in half the quantity of sliced onions and a sprig of chopped spring onion.
  4. Combine the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, aniseed, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds into the pot.
  5. Allow the onions to simmer until it turns a transparent colour. Stir in the chilli powder, curry powder, turmeric powder and mixed coriander and cumin powders.
  6. Allow the mixture to simmer for a minute or two. Add in the ginger and garlic paste.
  7. Combine the chicken into the mixture. Allow it to fry on a low heat for 6 to 10 minutes. Ensure that all the moisture from the chicken is dried during the frying process.
  8. Add in the garam masala and salt. Mix well to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
  9. Stir in the remainder of the onions, spring onions and the grated tomatoes.
  10. Allow the tomatoes to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes before adding in the sliced capsicum. A little water can be added to prevent the tomato mixture from holding at the base of the pot.
  11. Stir in the sugar. Ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.
  12. Remove the curry from the stove top.
  13. Garnish the curry with freshly chopped coriander and a slit chilli.