Delicious Lobster Curry

One would think that living in Cape Town would permit consumers to buy a wide array of sustainable fresh fish but believe it or that is not so.

I quickly learned that to have delicacies such as crayfish or West and South coast lobsters, you have to catch it yourself, own a fishery, own a restaurant or at least know someone who owns a fishery. At Christmas, my boys supplied us with our Christmas eve meal of crayfish, fresh from the sea onto the braii(BBQ) experience.  Recently, I was treated to South coast lobster, which is a deep water, large tailed species often shipped all over the world. Thankfully, our  good friends happen to own a fishery so we did not have to go fishing for this catch. When we were invited to their house, Nadia was quick to mention that Iqbal was cooking his famous curry. I was quick to plead for a spectator’s position while he prepared the meal.

Lobster tails

Our Friday afternoon cooking extravaganza was a memorable one that I would like to share with you.


(serves 10-12)

According to Iqbal, this curry needs to be very spicy to be good, which is not so for fish curry.

4pds (2kg)    lobster tails

1tbsp              fenugreek(methi) seeds, soaked in hot water

2/3C(150ml) vegetable oil

10                   cloves

5                      cardamom pods

1/3-1/2C        fresh lemon juice (or bottled if fresh not available)

1tbsp              ground coriander (dhania)

1tbsp              ground cumin

1tsp                turmeric

½ tbsp.           chili powder

1tsp                crushed chilies

½ tbsp.           salt

½                     large onion, sliced and kept together

3                      fresh chilies, chopped with seeds

10                   tomatoes, crushed in a blender

2-3tbsp          mustard seeds, cooked in oil until they begin to pop.


Heat oil and add full onion slices to a large pot.

Once softened, add methi seeds and allow to brown with onions

onions and fenugreek seeds

Add cloves and cardamom seeds

In a separate bowl, mix all of the spices together with lemon juice creating a paste.

Making the spice paste

Add hot mustard seeds as they begin to pop in the oil.

popping mustard seeds

Once the onions are lightly browned, add spice paste to onions.

Adding the spice paste

Cook for 3-5 mins.

Add tomatoes, mix and bring to a boil.

Relegated to opening tins

Add lobster tails with shells

Iqbal doing his magic

Stir to be well coated with sauce

Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Before serving, taste and add more chilies if not hot enough.

chopped chilies

Cook then finish off with a sprinkling of chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Lobster ready to be served

Serve with rice

Well seasoned plate

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