RECIPE: Hello Spring! It’s Time For Curried Chicken Feet / Walkie Talkies


It’s been a while since I posted hey…winter makes some of us lazy…self-included…..I somehow struggle to wake up early in the morning but in summer and spring I’m an early bird and that’s when I manage to get most work done.  Goodbye winter you won’t be missed! Until next time!  Finally, it is spring!!!  Yay!

Now, about the chicken feet…..

In Xhosa, we call them “amanqina enkukhu”.  In Jozi, they are called “maotwana” /“walkie-talkies” or “runaways”.  I always see my colleagues having pap and chicken feet for lunch.  Where I come from we grew up having them as a snack, especially in high school…one of my classmates used to sell them for 20c each.  In the townships, you find them everywhere including the street vendors.  They are even braaied.  Yum!

This is my mom’s favourite snack….after biltong.   If you’ve never tried them you may wonder what’s there to eat from these feet.  The funny thing is that there is actually meat. We even crush the bones.  There’s just something about them…or maybe the bone-crushing is therapeutic? Mmmmmm…I don’t know…you just have to try them yourself.  Chicken feet are high in protein, low in kilojoules and they won’t make your hands go deep into your pockets so they are perfect for spring.  The downside though is that they are quite sticky.  You need to wash the hands afterwards, I mean wash not wipe.

In this dish, the chicken feet are served with a spicy chakalaka and pap.  So, ladies and gentlemen, this is a hand affair…neither spoons, knives nor folks necessary.  Just ensure that your hands are clean.  Geniet!


Chicken Feet Walkie Talkie


Curried Chicken Feet Recipe

Serves: 4

± 500g chicken feet and/or heads

250ml (1cup) boiling water

2.5ml (½ tsp) turmeric

2.5ml (½ tsp)  black pepper

2.5ml (½ tsp) salt

30ml 2Tbsp) olive oil

5ml (1tsp) medium curry powder


  1. Immerse the heads and feet in a bowl of hot water and soak for about 2 minutes.
  2. Pluck feathers from heads and remove the beak and nails.
  3. Remove scales from the feet and remove nails, if any.
  4. Transfer the cleaned feet and heads into a saucepan.
  5. Add water, turmeric, black pepper, salt and stir.
  6. Put on heat until cooked, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove broth, if any is left.
  8. Add olive /cooking oil , curry powder and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  9. Serve as a snack or with pap or steamed bread.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 19 )

  • Maggz

    Oh Thuli, bless you! i am soaking my chicken feet in the water as I type this and I definiitely will geniet ;-). thanks for another lovely recipe and keep up the good work.

  • Grace

    We are having a bring and share lunch tomorrow as part of the Heritage month celebrations and i voluntered to bring the chicken feet , thanks for the recipe.

    • Hi Grace,

      It is my pleasure! Hope you had fun and your colleagues enjoyed your chicken feet dish.

  • Thuli, I am sharing your recipe with an Australian blogger!

    • Thanks Zirkie!! Hope they enjoy the recipe in Australia!!!! Whoop!

  • nokthula

    Its my turn to cook dinner I’l do ur recipe thuli I cnt wait to see hear them wanting more of my chicken feet thnx

    • LOL! You are welcome girl! Let me know how it goes hey! Enjoy! xx

  • Hazel

    Hello Thuli I saw you on tv i really think think is a great blog you have started and you inspire me a lot and i also love cooking traditonal food and ive been wishing to travel around south africa and learn other recipes from other mzansi cultures

    • Hi Hazel,

      I hope you are good! Thank you for watching I Am Woman – Leap of Faith, its a great show and there’s an inspirational woman in each episode! I’m glad you are inspired! 🙂 Please do travel, I take myself as a tourist in my own country. There’s so much to learn, so much to explore. South Africa is beautiful, colourful and there’s a lot of history! I hope you get to try out some of the recipes from the blog! Keep cooking girl, practice makes perfect!



  • Duduzile

    I have just discovered this site, and my God I tried your cow heels recipe and my husband can’t stop talking about them.

  • Thank you for the recipe.
    I am South African and never had the opportunity to have Walkie-Talkies
    I have been on a contract in Mauritius for a year and bought a chicken today. It came with cleaned feet, head, neck and liver. What an opportunity to cook my own Walkie-Talkie.
    I followed your recipe but fried some onions first.
    Excellent!! Now I have done it. Even more Proudly South African.

    • WOW David! Thank you SO much for your message, it made me happy to read about your experience. 🙂 It is my pleasure to give you a taste of South Africa even though you are in Mauritius. Home is never too far away!

      Keep well and stay awesome.

      Thuli Xx

  • Schalk

    Hi Thuli
    My wife and I are great fans!
    I grew up on chicken feet and have so much fond memories! My family bought 1,5kg in Gauteng and brought it all the way to Cape Town for me. I have it thawing at this moment and will prepare it tomorrow…. will have to eat alone though, the wife will not touch it… check the worry in my eyes!

    • Hi Schalk,

      Thank you for your comment. 🙂 You are doing it right. I always advise people to buy chicken feet in bulk and keep them in the freezer to use whenever the craving comes back. Send my love to your wife 🙂

      Thuli Xx

  • Fermata

    Just made and ate this… went a bit lighter on the salt, though, and threw in a bunch of cinnamon for good measure, and it was absolutely jaw-dropping! Thank you so much!

  • Hi Thuli,

    Just made these and they were finger lickin’ good!!!Love love your cooking!!!Inspired a lot by your dishes when I miss home. I live in Canada and I am Zimbabwean. Keep on keeping on😊

    • Hi Sindi,

      Sorry I’m only responding to your comment now. Thank you for visiting the blog – your kind words are really appreciated. Will keep on cooking and sharing! 🙂

      Thuli Xx

  • camagu mzauziwa

    Hi Thuli

    I am having a lite dinner with your recipe.. I am loving it.. I am hosting my boys this weekend to watch a Soccer Final match at my place.. I am definitely cooking them this recipe..

    Thank you

  • Bheki

    Just tried this recipe..had such a crazy craving for chicken feet and hearts.. It’s so delicious, Thanks Thuli

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