Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Zulu Curry Cabbage

By John Burton Jr of The Food Cravelogist

Always one to fiddle around with new flavors and cuisines, I stumbled upon a mouth-watering cabbage recipe in a book entitled The African Kitchen.

I was immediately arrested by the simplicity, but bowled over by the flavor! According to the author, the recipe is popular in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The onions and peppers provide an organic sweetness while the curry showcases the right spice element, without being overwhelming. Equally, I found this flavor profile would not be too off putting by loved ones who were not familiar with these ingredients. You know its one thing to like it yourself. However, when you are introduce a new dish to family; that’s a different story. However they were pleasingly surprised sounding off like firecrackers at first bite, “Mmmm,” the room echoed. After they gobbled down the first serving, they desired more of this “newfangled” cabbage dish.

Zulu Cabbage

1 small white cabbage
1 white or yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
2-3 tbsp of sunflower oil or olive oil
1-½ cups/12 oz can of canned tomatoes chopped
½ cup of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp of mild curry powder
Salt and pepper
*optional grilled chicken breast (cubed)

Slice or chop cabbage, onion and bell pepper.
Heat oil in frying pan and sauté onion and bell pepper until onion is soft and translucent.
Add the stock and cabbage, cover and cook until cabbage begins to wilt.
Add tomatoes (and juice) and curry powder and cook for about 30 -45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more stock if necessary to prevent sticking.
Add salt and pepper to taste preference.
*Toss in chicken breast

Inspired by Josie Stow and Jan Baldwin’s “The African Kitchen,” Interlink Books, 2005

About John Burton, Jr.
A marketing guy during the day, I am an admitted foodie! My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. However I can easily be cajoled into partaking in a scrumptious meal any time of day: lunch, dinner, brunch, linner (between lunch and dinner) or midnight snack.
As Marketing Consultant of The Burton Group, I provide communications, marketing and public relations solutions a diverse group of companies and organizations. My client list has included: Sak’s Fifth Avenue/Off Fifth, Rainforest Films, Pantene, The Inspiration Network, and Wells Fargo. News outlets such as CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, LA Times, The Howard Stern Show and Jet Magazine are just a few places where my clients have appeared.
A few of my favorite foods include: Chicago-style deep dish pizza, Italian Cream Cake, and almost anything containing cinnamon. Signature dishes are mozzarella macaroni and cheese, kale salad with pepitas, and sweet potato and black bean burritos with a mango salsa.

About Sanura

Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer at Food Writer at


This entry was posted on December 31, 2014 by in 2014, Kuumba and tagged , , , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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