Creole Easy Chicken Cari

Cari is a general name for some of the main dishes of Mauritian cuisine and Reunion cuisine. This name derives from Indian curry, which is pronounced Kari in Tamil, one of the ethnic components of Mauritius and Reunion.

Curry is also a generic term that can refer to food in the Creole sense. Symbol of their culture and identity, it is part of the daily life of most Mauritians and Reunionese.

The only powder used in chicken cari is that of the turmeric root (called “saffron” or “saffron pei” in Reunion Island). The most famous Péi (country) saffron is cultivated locally on the heights of Saint-Joseph. Imported turmeric is also found in shops.

The cari is prepared by browning meat, fish, and vegetables to add condiments and herbs. Not all caris are ready in the same way, so we can’t generalize them. Unlike sausage rougail, it is best if most curries don’t taste like a pot.

Local products are preferred for the composition of curries because imported products are too expensive.
For chicken cari, for example, tradition has it that we use a pot (a kind of casserole dish made of cast aluminum) in which we begin by browning the meat (cut into pieces beforehand) in oil. Neutral sunflower-type oil.

Service and how to eat a creole chicken cari
Except during festive meals and when guests are not present, the curry is served at the table in the pot used to cook it. It is filled with non-sticky white rice 4.5, cooked by the evaporation technique, usually in a Chinese-type rice cooker, without salt and fat.

The Reunionese say that the rice must be “well-grained”; it must not “make glue”; to do it, it is put in water before cooking to eliminate as much as possible the starch it contains. The rice is accompanied by “grains,” that is to say, red beans, pink coconuts, white coconuts, Cape peas, lentils, or other similar legumes prepared in a pressure cooker with water and some spices ( onions, garlic, thyme, turmeric).

A chili rougail (in the sense of a small, very spicy seasoned preparation with a base of your choice: tomato, shrub tomato, that is to say, the local tamarillo, green mango, onions, peanut paste tomato (Rougail Dakatine), etc.) or pickles used as condiments.

Most Reunionese needs to mix everything (rice, grains, and curry) from the start on their plate, but gradually do it for each bite. The Reunionese tradition is to put the rice on the plate first, then the grains (beans, Cape peas, Cilaos lentils, etc.), and finally the meat and the sauce. A tomato or chili rougail generally accompanies curries for lovers of spicy dishes.

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Creole Easy Chicken Cari

Recipe by MayeliceCourse: Creole Recipes, EasyCuisine: Creole ReunionDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time





Chicken cari from Reunion is one of the classic dish with turmeric.


  • One whole chicken or six chicken legs

  • 1 tbsp Curcuma

  • Five tomatoes

  • Four cloves garlic

  • One onion

  • Two thyme spring

  • Tree tbsp olive oil


  • Cut the chicken and brown it over the heat (in a pot containing the oil).
  • Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients. Crush the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Once the chicken is golden brown, remove it and add the onions melted while stirring, then add the saffron, the ingredients crushed beforehand.
    Stir and finally add the tomatoes. We mix and melt the tomatoes. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then add a glass of hot water, stir, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes more.
  • Once you’ve got a sauce, it’s time to taste.
  • Eat with rice, grains, and an excellent little tomato rougail, of course.

Recipe Video


  • The day after is even better to eat!

GET YOUR COOKING CLASS: Learn how to make this Creole chicken Cari recipe with Mayelice in a virtual class. Get fully interactive, ask questions, and be helped in real-time.

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