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Burmese pork curry

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Burmese pork curry.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Burmese pork curry
The slightly sour flavour of this curry is its trademark. Use fresh tamarind pulp if you can get it - you'll need to soak it in hot water first, then strain it to remove the fibres and seeds. Otherwise use a quality pulp concentrate from an Asian grocer.


  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 red shallots, halved
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, shredded (20gm)
  • 900 gm pork belly, cut into 5cm pieces, blanched in boiling water
  • 2 large waxy potatoes, such as Dutch cream or Desiree, coarsely chopped
  • 45 gm raw peanuts, roasted and coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 85 gm tamarind pulp (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp each fish sauce and palm sugar, or to taste
  • To serve: coriander sprigs, thinly sliced spring onions and fried shallots
  • To serve: steamed jasmine rice (optional)
Curry paste
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 cm piece of cassia
  • 3 dried long red chillies, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cm piece of galangal, finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 red shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 coriander root, washed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste, roasted in foil until fragrant


  • 1
    For curry paste, dry-roast spices, then process all ingredients in a food processor with 1 tbsp water and ½ tsp sea salt until finely ground.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic, shallot and ginger and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add curry paste and stir occasionally until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add pork and 750ml water and bring to the boil, cook over low heat until pork is tender (1 hour). Add potato, peanuts and tamarind and cook until potato is tender and pork is very tender (30-40 minutes). Season to taste with fish sauce and palm sugar, scatter with coriander, spring onion and fried shallots and serve, with steamed jasmine rice if you like.


Drink Suggestion: Medium-sweet riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby