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Another wonderful food story from Erica Platter and Clinton Friedman’s recently published Durban Curry Up2Date. Yes, healthy can be delicious!

“Healthy eating advocate Malindi Widlake has made it her mission to create delicious food for her family. Yes, aren’t we all on the same page? No, we are not. Malindi is cooking, and dreaming up, and re-imagining dishes because she must. Her husband and young daughter are chronic kidney disease “warriors” as she describes them. A low-sodium diet is the bottom line for them. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan dishes feed into this regime, and are kinder to Malindi’s own auto-immune problems, and the environment. So, initially not by choice, she is now a fervent follower of a strictly plant-based diet. Her Saltfreesaffa blog and website, her Instagram and Pinterest posts, have thousands of followers. She now gives lessons in cooking fresh, no-fuss, quick health-food to other young mothers.

Durban curry-style cooking, so much of it vegetarian, has inspired and encouraged her. This variation on a familiar theme is one of husband Mike’s and daughter Rosie’s favourites. Chana Masala Durban-style. Especially teamed with Malindi’s Sweet Potato Rotis (see under Rotis & Rice).

And here, in a book where such chefferies as drizzles and tweezers are foreign, is an exception to the rule: the divine, locally-grown, cashew-nut concoction which she recommends you drizzle (yes) over each helping.”

Malindi’s Fastfood Chickpea & Potato Curry with Cashew Cream Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, grated
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 green chillies, de-seeded, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 can finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes, roughly chopped into 3 cm cubes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt if needed
  • 2-3 tsp coconut sugar (or brown)
  • 2 tsp garam masala


Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add onion and cumin, cook gently.

In a mortar and pestle or food processor grind into a rough paste the garlic, ginger and green chillies. Add paste to onion-cumin mixture. Add ground coriander, chilli powder, turmeric. Stir to coat onions in all these delicious spices.

Add tomatoes, cubed potato, chickpeas and water. Cook for around 20 mins or until potatoes are perfectly tender and curry gravy has thickened.

When the curry has thickened and the potato is cooked, season to taste with salt and coconut sugar. Remove from the heat, stir in garam masala.

Serve with…

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked at least 4 hrs, drained
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Whizz until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl every now and then. Add extra water if needed to reach the consistency of thick cream. Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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