Slow Cooker Beef Zigni Curry

I’d never heard of Zigni Curry before.

Zigni is an East African curry which uses a spice blend called ‘Bebere’. It is a very interesting blend and nothing like the spices used in an Indian or Asian curry – I actually think it tastes a little sweet. The level of heat can easily be controlled via the chilli powder.

This dish is really easy to make because the slow cooker will do most of the work for you. If you don’t want to use beef then chicken thigh meat would also be fine.

Side dishes include rice or couscous – I used the latter because it is so easy to prepare.

Ingredients – serves 6:

  • 1kg/2 lbs beef, cut into chunks (I used rump steak, but casserole beef would be fine)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 2 beef stock cubes (I used Oxo cubes)
  • 800g/28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 400g/14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • rice or couscous, to serve


  • Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with a little cooking spray.
  • Brown the beef chunks in a non-stick frying pan and then transfer to the bowl of the slow cooker.
  • Put the oil, onion and garlic into the frying pan and cook over a medium heat until the onion just starts to soften.
  • Put the paprika, mixed spice, ground coriander, cloves, ginger, cardamom and chilli powder into a small bowl and stir to mix. Add the spices to the frying pan with the onion and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
  • Crumble the stock cubes into the slow cooker and pour in the cans of tomatoes. Use a big spoon to mix the contents of the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 7 hours.
  • Add the drained chickpeas to the slow cooker and cook on low for 30 minutes, then add the frozen peas and cook for a final 30 minutes.
  • Serve the Zigni with your choice of rice or couscous. (I sprinkled some finely chopped coriander and red chilli over my version just to make it look a little less brown!)
  • Enjoy!

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