Kuku paka

Kuku paka

This simple dish, sometimes called kuku na nazi, is a fabulous coconut curry from the east african coast. It is a perfect illustration of how african, arab and indian influences meld in the coastal region.

  • Recipe serves:4 to 6
  • Preparation time20 min
  • Cooking time30 min


  • 1.3kg chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 -3 hot chili peppers, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup oil or 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes or 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups coconut milk (440gm can)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
  • 2 Royco Beef Cubes, crumbled


  • Add the onion, chiles, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Add a little water if necessary.
  • Heat the oil or ghee in a large pot or wok over medium flame.
  • Add the onion puree, curry powder and cumin and saute, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked down.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then add the chicken, coconut milk, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer with Royco Beef Cubes, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Add more water as needed. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in the cilantro. Serve with with rice or chapatti.
  • Variations: For authentic flavor, grill the chicken pieces before stirring them into the simmering sauce.
  • If you like, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Some recipes add potatoes or hard-boiled eggs to the curry.
  • The potatoes can be cooked ahead, cut into chunks and stirred into the curry toward the end.
  • Eliminate the hot chiles for a milder dish.
  • Or substitute a chopped sweet bell pepper.
  • Reserve some of the coconut cream that gathers at the top of the can and stir it into the sauce at the very end for extra silky results.