“The people who give you their food give you their heart,” so said Cesar Chavez. The secret to cooking, then, one could argue, is pouring your heart into every dish you make…and, as a special touch, putting your name to it. This edition’s recipe, a best-seller at the Fig Tree Restaurant, is easily one of the most requested, as those who those whose tastebuds it has danced across are eager to recreate the magic for themselves. Luckily, our affable Chef Godfrey Kinyanjui doesn’t mind sharing his heart for his beloved Kuku Bizari Ya Pwani, a traditional chicken curry from Kenya, the country of his birth. Learn how to make this popular dish from Chef G himself!


  • 40g fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1½ tsp turmeric (ground)
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1kg chicken fillets (cubed)
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 x 250g cans crushed tomato
  • 2 green chillis, finely chopped
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Fresh coriander, coarsely chopped


  1. Halve the ginger, garlic, turmeric, ground coriander, lemon juice and vegetable oil and combine them in a bowl. Add all the cumin, garam masala, yoghurt and cubed chicken, then mix well until all chicken is coated in marinade.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. If you have the time, Chef G recommends refrigerating overnight.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, curry powder, chilli flakes, cinnamon sticks, paprika, remaining ginger, garlic, ground coriander and turmeric. Stir until onions soften.
  4. Add marinated chicken and cook for 10 mins. Add crushed tomatoes, green chillis and remaining lemon juice.
  5. Cover and simmer for about eight minutes, or until chicken cooks through.
  6. Stir in coconut cream and honey and simmer uncovered for about four minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, and garnish with fresh coriander.

At the Fig Tree, we serve this lip-smacking curry with all the trimmings: fragrant basmati rice, warmly toasted roti, a crisp poppadum, sambals, vegetable pickle, chutney…and a bonus starter, a scrumptious samoosa. In Kenya, Chef G says it would usually be enjoyed with a chapati, similar to a roti. “Strangely enough, in South Africa, I like to have my kuku bizari with a bit of salad,” Chef shares.

The surprise addition of the coconut cream conjures up fond memories of Mombasa, for Chef G. “Kuku bizari ya pwani means chicken curry from the coast. The streets of Mombasa on the coast of Kenya are lined with coconuts, and I remember this whenever I pour the coconut cream into this dish.” Chef G, who wears both the Kenyan and South African flags with pride on the collars of his immaculate chef’s jacket, is humbled at the love shown to his signature dish. “Ah, I’m so honoured and proud that everyone loves this piece of Kenya. It’s like joining the two cultures: my Kenyan heritage, and South Africa, which is so special to me.”

Click HERE to watch Chef G share the story of Kuku Bizari Ya Pwani, and plate the masterpiece up in our kitchen.  

Let us know if you try it out. Tag us when you post your final product (we know you will!) on Facebook or Instagram @simbithicountryclub.