Wander Cape Town logo

Curry Mince Recipe | Best Mild & Flavourful Filling

Table of Contents

If you’re looking for something warm and tasty on a winter’s night or classic comfort food for any other day of the year, there’s nothing better than a delicious curry mince. It’s extremely versatile and can be served over rice, pasta, or as the perfect filling for your vetkoek recipe.

Even better, you can choose to add a little extra kick to it with cayenne pepper or hot curry powder, or you can keep it mild, deeply flavourful, and extremely satisfying. However you choose to enjoy it, you’re sure to love this easy curried mince.

How to make mince curry

Finely diced ingredients is one of the key characteristics of this curry. In order to enjoy multiple flavours in each delicious bite, you need vegetables that are small enough to coexist on one spoon. So most of the effort for this recipe will be based in the prep stages.

There are plenty of vegetables involved, so it’s best to start chopping well in advance of the time you’re wanting to put the stove on. Depending on your speed and how many of the vegetables you choose to include (as this recipe can be altered according to your preferences), you should budget around half an hour to an hour.

Once everything is prepared for the pan, it all gets very simple. You can cook the curry comfortably while you make vetkoek to stuff it into. Alternatively, if you’re enjoying this as a mince curry and rice, bring out the wine, because this will be a relaxed cooking experience.

Where does mince curry come from?

curry mince and vetkoek cooking

Ah the eternal question: who invented it? It’s unclear if anyone can claim this recipe as their own. After all, it is undoubtedly a recipe that developed from a number of different influences.

The most likely origin for this recipe is Durban. Durban has been home to many Indian immigrants from as early as the 1800s, making South Africa the country with the second-highest population of Indians, after India. They likely had the fantastic idea of sprinkling curry powder into this mix of meat and veggies.

Wherever it comes from, we’re thankful that it’s here now.

Mince curry recipe

As the name of this recipe suggests, this is a meat-heavy meal. Still, I am the biggest fan of all sorts of vegetables and I always try to include as many varieties in each and every meal that I can. You’ll notice that in our other recipes, like our chicken potjie recipe and our Greek stuffed peppers. Even this one has a multitude of colourful veggies. However, meat is king for this particular recipe.

You’ll want the accompanying vegetables to be a tasty backdrop to the curry mince, to improve the taste and texture and bulk things up, while not overtaking the flavourful mince. If you’d like, you can use a mixed mince instead of lean beef, so that it’s more budget-friendly. The extra fat will also make it that extra bit flavourful.

This recipe should also be relatively dry. You don’t want it to be too saucy, as it then won’t stuff into the vetkoek nicely. If you’re having it on rice and like to drench it with flavourful sauce, go ahead and add some extra water!

Mince curry recipe

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine South African
Servings 5


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg mince beef or ostrich works best
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes in addition to fresh
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger if you have it, fresh is always best
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  • In a large pot or saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and then all of the mince.
  • When the meat is just slightly cooked, add the onions, garlic, and all of the spices.
  • Once this mixture has browned, add the finely chopped tomato, potatoes, carrot, and green pepper along with the canned tomato.
  • Add the cup of water, so that the vegetables can cook by themselves for a while.
  • Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to a low-medium, and take it easy.
  • It should cook like this for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water occasionally if you feel like it may burn, but be careful not to make it saucy.
  • Once the potatoes start to soften, you know that this easy mince curry recipe is coming to its finishing line.
  • Check the flavour and if you’re happy with the slight curry kick. If you’d like it to be hotter, add a little cayenne pepper. You can also add salt and pepper until you’re satisfied.
Keyword curry, mince

Ready to make our favourite curried mince recipe?

vetkoek with curry mince

Armed with this wonderful, flavourful, simple South African mince curry recipe, you’ll be ready to make a meal that everyone will love. Whether you’re stuffing it into vetkoek or serving it over rice, this is a dinner that is sure to put a smile on every face at the table.

If you give this recipe a try, please let us know how you and your loved ones enjoyed it – we love to hear from you! And we’re always only too happy to improve our recipes so that you can make the most wonderful meals with us.