Burmese-style Curry

Fragrant lamb curry and toasted cumin-coated sweet potatoes make a mouth-watering match in this Burmese speciality from Alan Coxon
By Alan Coxon
Burmese-style Curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sweet potatoes

  • 1.6 kg sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 200 ml corn oil
  • 100 g butter

For the curry

  • 675 g lamb
  • 2.5 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 green or red chillies
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry paste
  • 1 tbsp sesame or corn oil
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 45 ml tamarind water, you can use diluted concentrate, available from supermarkets
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

Tips and Suggestions

If tamarind water is difficult to obtain, substitute the juice of 1 extra lime.


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Boil the sweet potatoes in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly.

2. Dust the potatoes in cumin.

3. Heat the oil and butter together in a roasting tin on the hob. Roll the potatoes in the fat and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they are beginning to colour lightly. Transfer the tin to the oven and cook for a further 25 minutes, until crisp and golden.

4. Meanwhile, make the curry. Cut the lamb into 4cm cubes and place into a bowl along with the ginger.

5. Remove the seeds from the chillies, finely chop the flesh, and add to the lamb. Stir in the shallots, garlic, sugar, turmeric and curry paste, and mix well.

6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the lamb. Cook until the meat has browned and the curry is fragrant.

7. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the lamb is tender.

8. Serve the curry and potatoes with a dollop of crème fraiche or plain yogurt.

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