• Venison is a great meat to use for a slow-cooked curry – the spicy flavours work well with the gamey meat. Blesbok venison curry is a true taste of South Africa.

    Recipe by Mbongiseni Makhaye

    Photographs by Graeme Wyllie

    Blesbok venison curry

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 45 mins


    • 7cm fresh ginger, peeled and
    • chopped
    • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
    • 2 – 3 fresh green chillies, chopped
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) whole coriander seeds
    • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
    • 2 medium onions, thinly chopped
    • 1kg venison backstrap, cut
    • into 4cm cubes
    • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) ground turmeric
    • 5ml (1 tsp) cayenne pepper
    • 3 x 410g tins whole tomatoes
    • 5ml (1 tsp) salt and freshly ground
    • black pepper
    • 2 whole cardamom pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 4 potatoes, cut into chunks
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) garam masala
    • To serve

    • steamed basmati rice
    • poppadoms
    • mint yoghurt
    • fresh tomato and chilli sambal
    • 60ml (¼ cup) fresh coriander, chopped



    Finely chop the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Grind the coriander seeds to a coarse powder in a coffee or spice grinder and set aside.


    Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry until golden brown, stirring, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger mixture and fry for 2 minutes.


    Add the meat and fry for 1 – 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, cayenne pepper and ground coriander, coating the meat well. Add the tomatoes and seasoning. Stir then cover and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.


    Add the cardamom and cinnamon, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least one hour or until the meat is tender. Sprinkle the garam masala over the curry and rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.


    Serve the curry with steamed basmati rice, poppadoms, mint yoghurt and a tomato and chilli sambal. Scatter with fresh coriander just before serving.