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The best leaf masala seafood potjie



For the coconut rice

400g basmati rice, rinsed
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
165ml water
Pinch of salt
90g dried coconut flakes, toasted
90g fresh coconut, shaved

For the curry

¼ cup ghee (clarified butter)
800g (approx. 4) onions, thinly sliced
20g garlic, thinly sliced
15g ginger, finely chopped
1 Tbsp green
Thai chillies, chopped
10 fresh curry leaves
4 Tbsp leaf masala
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
¼ cup white wine
1 cup fish stock
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 cans (400ml each) coconut cream
800g full-shell mussels, debearded and cleaned
800g crayfish
800g yellowtail (or any firm white fish), cut into 5 cm cubes
½ punnet (10g) coriander, chopped
Salt, to taste

For serving

Spring onion, sliced


  1. To make the coconut rice, place the rice, coconut milk, water, salt and dried coconut flakes in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Remove from the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. To make the curry, heat the ghee in a large cast-iron pot over medium-hot coals.
  5. Fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes without burning the garlic.
  6. Add the leaf masala, curry powder and turmeric and stir to coat the onion. Cook for 1 minute.
  7. Deglaze the pan by adding the wine, fish stock and lime juice. Pour in the coconut cream and bring to a boil. Reduce for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the seafood, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. All the seafood should be cooked once the mussels have opened and the prawns have turned pink. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  9. Stir through the coriander and season to taste.
  10. Fluff up the rice with a fork and top with the fresh coconut shavings.
  11. Serve the rice with the curry, garnished with spring onions. Add sides such as cucumber raita and rotis, if you like.



Use any of your favourite seafoods, such as prawns, crab or squid. The recipe works just as well in a Dutch oven cooked on the stove.

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