African mushroom mince curry with roasted cherry tomatoes

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It’s always good to have a reliable and delicious curry recipe, and this recipe is just that. Nothing is as captivating as a curry aroma and the earthy, perfect balance of sweet and savoury with a hint of heat. This dish knows no season; it is always enjoyable during cold or warmer days.

This dish is particularly well-known in South Africa. Traditionally it is made using beef, but here we use protein-packed lentils along with minced mushrooms to give it that umami kick.

This healthy, quick and easy recipe won’t leave you hungry. We hope you enjoy it.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 17 minutes, plus cooling

Total time: 1 hour 27 minutes

African mushroom mince curry with roasted cherry tomatoes

African mushroom mince curry photographIngredients

Stage 1

  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, grated using a food processor or by hand
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

Stage 2

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Stage 3

  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp tomato pure
  • 40ml soy sauce
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Stage 4

  • 3 vine tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 75g brown lentils
  • 10ml vegetable oil

Stage 5

  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt

Stage 6

  • Cooked-down mushrooms (from Stage 1)
  • 400g tinned coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Basmati rice (serves 4)


  • 200 g Basmati white rice
  • 375 ml water
  • Garnish
  • Parsley (optional)

Curry Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 356°F / Gas mark 4
  2. Add the ingredients from Stage 1 into a large pan and cook down for 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously. Ensure all the water has evaporated from the mushrooms and they start to fry. Take off the heat and put them in a dish to one side.
  3. In the same large pan, sweat down the ingredients from Stage 2 on a medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring continuously. It’s done when the onions and celery start going translucent.
  4. Add Stage 3 ingredients to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add Stage 4 ingredients to the pan and mix well. Allow to cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils have absorbed most of the water, making sure to stir occasionally.
  6. During this time, roast the tomatoes. Mix the cherry tomatoes in the oil and salt (Stage 5 ingredients), place on a baking tray seed-side up and roast for 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
  7. Add Stage 6 ingredients to the pan and mix well. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, start cooking the rice (see below).
  8. Serve hot with cooked rice and garnish with parsley (optional), along with the roasted cherry tomatoes.

Rice Method

  1. Place the water and rice in a medium-sized pan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down low and cover with a lid.
  3. Leave for 13 minutes, keeping the lid on to trap the steam.
  4. Turn the heat off and leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes, keeping the lid on.
  5. Remove the lid, fluff with a rice paddle or fork, and serve!


Recipe written and created by Ngwafu Tansie, founder of gwafuvegan.

“As a black queer chef, it's fundamental for me to represent within the hospitality industry and showcase my culture, inspiring young people to believe that you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it.”

Follow Ngwafu on Instagram and Facebook, or visit Ngwafu's website.

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