Burmese Lemon & Beef Curry

    1 hour

    This is an authentic Burmese Curry, taught to me by a Burmese friend.


    Western Australia, Australia
    5 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 400 gr diced beef
    • 1/2 Cup sunflower oil
    • 3 large chopped onions
    • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
    • 1/2 minced ginger
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
    • 1/2 Tablespoon turmeric
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 Teaspoon flaked or fresh chilli
    • 1 Piece gnapi (balachang/prawn paste)
    • 200 ml hot water
    • 1 Teaspoon salt
    • 1 Bunch fresh coriander

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Soften & melt gnapi in small amount of hot water & save.
    2. Peel lemon & save rind & juice.
    3. Fry chopped onion, garlic & ginger in oil until onion is soft & transparent.
    4. Add paprika, turmeric, lemon rind, chilli & fry with onion. Take care not to scorch, after a few seconds add a small amount of hot water & lemon juice to prevent burning of spices. Add melted gnapi & stir.
    5. Add beef to the pot, stirring to coat the meat in spices, fry careful not to scorch the spices, add hot water to stop scorching. Season with salt to taste toward the end of cooking time.
    6. Let simmer carefully for 30-45 mins. Dish should not be dry & it should not be too liquid. Add salt to taste. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh coriander.


    Use a high sided non-stick pot to cook this dish.

    Gnapi or Balachung

    Gnapi (Balachung) is dried prawn paste & can be purchased in a block at any Asian speciality store. Store the opened packet in a lock tight bag in the fridge (it is very smelly but essential to this dish)

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Wow, such a simple recipe, such wonderful flavour! I slow cooked it using some extra water as I used gravy beef. The lemon is a star, could be fantastic with lamb or goat too. My partner reckons its great with a bit of extra balachan sprinkled on top  -  14 Apr 2013


    Oh dear, you've made the fundemental error of confusing blachen with balachaung! The former is the paste, often sold in block form, the latter is the dried shrimp relish usually sold in jars. My late mother used to make balachaung at home and I know how she cooked it. I hope your readers don't soak their balachaung and add it to the curry, as it will make it unpalatable, not to say a terrific waste of ingredients!  -  19 Apr 2014  (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)