Baked Cape Malay Chicken with Spiced Golden Rice

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A combination of fragrant Indonesian spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and coriander, and the dried fruits and sweet notes of African cuisine, South African Cape Malay curry came to fruition when Indonesian immigrants settled in the cape during the 17th century.

For this version, I like to create a fragrant sauce with our South African Cape Malay spice which is a mild yet aromatic blend, mango chutney for sweetness, tinned tomatoes and a few added extras, then submerge sweet red peppers and tender chicken thighs. I then bake it all in the oven together so the flavours infuse into the chicken and the sauce is bubbling and super-flavourful.

I have included my recipe for Spiced Golden Rice in this but you can just as easily served it with plain rice or even some steamed, mashed, or roasted potatoes.

I’ve made a Cape Malay Curry using lamb before which you can Click Here to view, as well as an all-veg version using cauliflower, green beans, and chickpeas, Click Here to take a look at that one.

We have many more wonderful herbs and spice blends from Africa & Middle East along with loads more recipes and serving suggestions.

Spices used in this recipe


  1. Preheat your oven to 200c.

    Place an oven-proof pan* on medium heat with a drizzle of oil and when hot, add your chicken thighs in searing for about 2 mins on each side, until nice and brown. Remove from the pan and set aside – they won’t be cooked through just yet, this is just the browning stage for flavour.

    *If your pan can’t go in the oven, simply do the stove-top steps in a pan then transfer to a baking dish.

  2. Return your pan to heat with your chicken oil still in there and add in your onion sauteeing for about 4 mins, until nice and soft. Add in your garlic, Cape Malay spice, and ginger and saute for a further minute, until nice and fragrant. Add in your chopped tomatoes then fill the now-empty tin with water and pour that in. Follow with your chutney, coriander, and crumble in your stock cube. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 mins then season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

  3. Add your capsicum to your simmering sauce followed by your browned chicken and submerge it all in the sauce. Place in your preheated oven for 35-40 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and opaque inside. Remove from the oven and allow to sit and rest for 5 mins.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, begin your rice. Place a medium saucepan on low heat. Add in your butter, turmeric, cinnamon stick snapped in half and cardamom pods. Allow the butter melt and spices to become fragrant – about 1 min. Add your water in and raise the heat, bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce your heat to low, stir in your rice and salt, cover with a lid and cook on low for 13 mins. When it’s finished cooking, take it off the heat but don’t remove the lid just yet – the rice will continue to cook in its own steam.

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