International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Inyama Yenkukhu

South African chicken in tomato gravy

South African chicken in tomato and onion gravy

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

The name of this straightforward yet satisfying South African dish simply means "chicken meat" in the Zulu language. But it's really so much more. With a minimum of ingredients and about an hour, you can make a tender, tasty main dish with a richly flavored tomato gravy.

Inyama yenkukhu goes great with mealie pap or South African yellow rice.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil -- 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • Chicken cut into pieces -- 3 to 4 pounds
  • Onions, roughly chopped -- 3
  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Stock or water -- 1/2 cup
  • Flour -- 1/4 cup


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high flame. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper, and working with a few pieces at a time, brown on both sides. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add the onions to the skillet and saute until wilted and translucent. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then add back the chicken. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  3. Remove the chicken pieces to a serving dish. Mix the flour into the stock or water until smooth, and then stir it into the simmering sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens a bit.
  4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and pour the sauce over the chicken in the serving dish. Serve immediately with rice, mealie pap or roasted sweet potatoes.

Inyama Yenkukhu Variations

  • Try tossing the chicken pieces with some seasoned flour first before browning. It will help to thicken the sauce.
  • Eliminate the tomatoes and substitute 1 cup of water, stock or white wine instead.
  • Turn this into a quick curry dish by adding 2 or 3 teaspoons of curry powder with the onions.


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