Fruit and Vegetable Curry

A sweet and savory dish from Southern Africa with an influence from Malaysia and the Indies. This is one that will always be a most favored and top selected dish when we have company over for a special meal.

Capetown Fruit and Vegetable Curry

Capetown Fruit and Vegetable Curry

Yield: 6


  • 4 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger root
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups cut green beans
  • 2 firm tart green pears or apples, cored and cubed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots (unsulfured)
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins
  • 1/2 cup apricot conserve
  • fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 6 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup raw or roasted peanuts
  • 2 bananas


  1. [I am adding this step for the night before, of course it is optional: chop up onions, green beans, apples or pears, bell pepper and apricots. Store veggies in the refrigerator over night. This saves a lot of time when you are ready to prepare this meal.]
  2. Sauté the onions in the oil for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger root, and curry spices and continue to sauté, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini and water and stir well so that the spices won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix in the green beans, pears, red bell peppers, and dried apricots. Simmer gently, covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a little more water if needed to prevent sticking.
  5. When the fruit and vegetables are quite tender stir in the currants and the apricot conserve. Taste curry and adjust the flavor to your liking. Add cayenne or Garam Masala spice if it is not spicy enough, lemon juice if you like more tartness, or more apricot conserve to intensify the sweetness.
  6. Serve on a bed of rice, topped with peanuts and sliced bananas.
  7. You may want to serve with Minted Cucumber - Yogurt Refresher along side. Find recipe below.
  8. Garam Masala Spice Mix - To add additional spice! Hot! Find recipe below.

Minted Cucumber-Yogurt Refresher:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and shredded, diced or sliced.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), minced or thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • Combine all the ingredients.
For the best flavor refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve chilled.

Garam Masala Spice Mix:
(A hot spice and a north Indian specialty to enhance the other seasonings in a dish or use at any time to spice up the flavor)

  • 2-3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Using a rolling pin, curs the cinnamon sticks into small pieces. Place all of the spices on a baking tray and heat in a 200-degree oven for 30 minutes. Stir the spices once or twice while they are baking.

Remove the spices from the oven, let them cool briefly, then pulverize them in batches in a spice or coffee grinder, or all at once in a blender. This process may take longer in a blender, but it will still work fine. Repeatedly stop the blender and push down the spices with a rubber spatula. Blend until all the spices are well ground.

Store garam masala in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place. It is best if used within 3 months.
Yield: 3/4 cup.

Save time, prepare your fruits and veggies ahead! 

Prepare Ahead by chopping up vegetables and fruits.

Save time: Do your prep work the day before. Prepare ahead by chopping up vegetables and fruits.

 The smell of these fragrant spices fill the kitchen!
Saute Onions

Sauté onions with spices…

Add additional ingredients and saute - This smells amazing!

Add additional ingredients and sauté – This smells amazing!

These recipes are from my favorite cookbook:
Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery)

Note: I think this recipe would work wonderfully if you wanted to add free range chicken pieces or tempeh. I plan to try this next time, myself!