Random Recipes: Burmese Curry

There are few things more random than the meanderings of a two-and-a-bit-year-old, so I put mine to good use and got her to select the cookbook for this month’s Random Recipe challenge.

I can’t remember how I came to be in possession of Great Ways With Steak & Chops. It was probably a joke gift – I have ‘Cooking For Couples’ and ‘100 Dishes For Two’ that we got as engagement presents. GWWSC was published in 1972 by the Australian Women’s Weekly and written by its well-respected food editor, Ellen Sinclair. Her name should have prompted me to open this book earlier, but food snobbery being what it is, I thought the whole book would be full of appalling examples of 70s cuisine. There are many things in this book I will never, ever, make – such as Veal Oscar (veal steaks topped with canned asparagus, lobster meat and bearnaise sauce) or Pineapple Bacon Cutlets (lamb, topped with tinned pineapple rings, wrapped in bacon, breadcrumbed and baked), but GWWSC actually has some interesting, even enticing, recipes. This is one of them.

Burmese Curry

Ellen Sinclair, who wrote loads of other titles for the Australian Women’s Weekly, certainly knew her stuff. These recipes are very well-written and easy to follow (even if the photos are hilariously awful). The original recipe was very dry, so I splashed in about a cup of water as detailed below and upped the chilli quotient as detailed below. This can also be cooked in the oven – after adding the water clamp the lid on and let it bake for about 1 1/2 hours at 150C.

900g chuck steak, cut into 2cm chunks

2Tbsp oil

4 onions, finely chopped

5cm ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2tsp turmeric

1/2tsp chilli flakes

1 beef stock cube

1 1/2 – 2 cups water

2tsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan with a lid. Add the meat and brown well, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook until golden brown.

Add turmeric, chilli, water and stock cube and bring to the boil, stirring.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for one hour or until the meat is tender. Add soy sauce and salt to taste. Serve with rice. Serves 4-6.



  1. August 22, 2011 / 7:33 pm

    Seriously but nicely random. This sounds very good but I think I'm developing a craving for Veal Oscar. Perhaps I'll go and rest in a darkened room until the feeling goes away.

  2. August 22, 2011 / 7:38 pm

    I love the title of this book- and the curry sounds ace. I wonder if there is a second volume: 'Yet More Great Ways with Steak and Chops'?! And have you made much use of '100 Dishes for Two' and 'Cooking for Couples'??

  3. August 22, 2011 / 8:56 pm

    Nice to get to know how to make Burmese curry.I love cookbooks like that..also ones taht tell other stories around it.Last one I read and cooked from it was Apricots on teh Nile recomending:)

  4. August 22, 2011 / 9:19 pm

    Random Recipes certainly throws up some interesting recipes. Love the look of your 70s book, and the curry sounds quite delicious.

  5. August 22, 2011 / 9:37 pm

    Doesn't sound too bad. I love old cook books, the more tragic the better! Recently managed to get myself a set of the 70s Cordon Bleu cook book series at $1 a book .

  6. August 22, 2011 / 11:03 pm

    Isn't it fascinating getting a glimpse into what cookbooks people have in their homes? I love this cheesy 70s one. Veal Oscar sounds amazing – seriously who could come up with stuff like that. I'd love to do one of those esoteric degrees on food fashion – would be FASCINATING.
    It would have been hilarious if you had got veal oscar as your random recipe. Awww – so close!!!!

  7. August 23, 2011 / 5:42 am

    Fascinating! The title of that book and the cover design need to be placed in a museum. I love it and Lou is right when she says that it's so interesting to see what cook books people have squirrelled away. I'm so glad this challenge is working for everyone. Never has it been so random! And such a result, that curry really does look good and quite simple too. Thanks for taking part again. Xx

  8. August 23, 2011 / 7:59 pm

    Oh, how I love those old books. Their joy is twofold: the tacky, tacky recipes and photos, and the occasional gold that you can find too. This curry sounds fantastic, pretty sophisticated for the time, even!

  9. August 23, 2011 / 8:23 pm

    the book cover looks right out of the 70's. Have to say have eaten a couple of Burmese curries and they were good!

  10. August 24, 2011 / 8:07 pm

    You've made me want to go and raid my Grandma's recipe book shelf! I think there is a huge future in retro cooking 🙂
    The curry actually sounds pretty good – reminds me a little of my Mum's old Chow Mein recipe which has curry powder and soy sauce in it.. (along with many other strange things!)
    I have been drooling over your earlier lamb post too. x Rhi

  11. August 25, 2011 / 2:47 am

    I have a Burmese curry recipe from an English diplomat's wife I met in Bangladesh. I must check to see if it's similar. And must get round to cooking it!

  12. August 25, 2011 / 2:48 am

    PS: I bet it's much nicer than a Myanmar curry. More politically correct and less politicall rife!

  13. September 1, 2011 / 12:48 pm

    Curried beef … soft and spicy? Can't go wrong!

    As for the cook book? Once you get past the 'campy' look and the 70's penchant for using tinned fruits and veg, I'm thinking you can find some good things in that very orange book!

    As for Veal Oscar … I personally love it, but with crabmeat and fresh asparagus. Guess how old I am!

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