Heat the oil in a potjie over a medium-hot fire and fry the onion for about 5 minutes until it becomes soft. Then add the masala and (optional) chilli powder and fry for 1–2 minutes until the pan becomes sticky.
If the potjie starts to burn, add a very little bit of water – but only do this if it’s really necessary.
Add the meat, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
Throw in the tinned tomatoes, chopped potatoes and carrots, sugar, salt and pepper, then stir, scraping the bottom of the potjie with your spoon to loosen any and all sticky bits.
Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low coals for about 30 minutes, stirring now and again so that the bottom of the potjie doesn’t burn. If it does burn, it means your potjie is too dry.
Add a bit of water to rectify this but go easy.
After 30 minutes, take off the lid and stick a fork into the potatoes to make sure they’re cooked through. As soon as the potatoes are soft, the meal is essentially ready.
Cook uncovered for a few minutes to allow the sauce to become a thick gravy. As soon as this happens the curry is ready, so take the potjie off the fire.
Taste and adjust with a bit of extra salt if it needs it.
Cut the loaf of bread into quarters and then scoop or cut out the centres of each quarter loaf, essentially creating a ‘bowl’ of bread for the curry.
Fill the hole of each quarter loaf with the curry and sauce.
Serve the scooped out bread centre and a salad of tomato and fresh coriander leaves on the side.Recipe reprinted with permission of JanBraai from his latest book 'Red Hot'.