Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recipe: Lamb in Yellow Curry (from Arun Thai Restaurant, Sydney)

Khamtane Signavong is listed on my Channel 10 'Celebrity MasterChef' profile ( ) as my favourite chef. Many of you would not have heard of him.He's not a 'celebrity' chef but he should be. Kham is talented, generous and gifted with a wine palate few restaurateurs possess. His Arun Thai Restaurant on Macleay St, in Potts Point, Sydney, is a pebble's throw from our place and has become our second home. This is authentic Thai food without fanfare but sublime in its freshness and exquisite execution.

This recipe is from Kham's first cookbook 'Lemongrass and Sweet Basil'(published by New Holland). The red curry paste in this recipe has many ingredients but can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a month and used for other curries. Don't be tempted to use a store bought paste if you really want to experience my favourite yellow curry.
Set aside about 3 1/2 hours.

Recipe - Lamb in Yellow Curry (gaeng khari gae)
200ml (7 fl oz) coconut cream ( I use the Ayam brand)
2 tablespoons Red Curry Paste (recipe below)
800g lean leg of lamb, boned and cut into chunks
800 ml (1 1/4 pint ) coconut milk
100g (3 1/2 oz) onions, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoon medium or hot yellow curry powder with a high tumeric content
6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons palm sugar
12 small potatoes
4 samll onions
Coriander leaves, sliced, fresh chilli and fried shallots to garnish

Red Curry Paste (nam prik gaeng phet)
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
15 big dried red chillies, soaked in hot water, then drained and deseeded
1 stalk lemongrass
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated galangal
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Kaffir lime zest, finely chopped

First make the curry paste. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and grill for 5 minutes. Toast and grind the dry seeds. Blend all the ingredients together to form a paste using either a pestle and mortar or a food processor.

Then heat the coconut cream in a large saucepan over low heat, add the red curry paste and cook, stirring until the coconut oil separates and rises to the surface.

Add the chunks of lamb and mix together well , add the coconut milk, and bring to a boil, then add the chopped onion and simmer (uncovered) for 3 hours, until the meat in tender.

Add the tumeric, curry powder, fish sauce, palm sugar, potatoes and small onions and cook until the potatoes are tender. Garnish and serve with steamed jasmine rice.


  1. Oh good lord that looks beyond amazing. I have everything except the galangal to make it...i'll pick up some galangal and make this on the weekend. thanks for sharing; can't wait to try this one.

  2. Hi Indira, I gave this curry a go for dinner today and boy does it pack a punch! :) Fantastic flavours and just a great hearty dinner. After trying it today, I'll definitely be making it again - minus the 15 dried chillies! Mine, I suspect, made the Red curry paste, which I added, extra hot. Lucky I had a glass of milk handy!! Thanks again for the recipe Indira.

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  4. Hi suziwong,
    I hope you find it as delicious as I did. Note the chillies need to be deseeded. Indira

    Hi Christine,
    I have to apologise to you! After receiving your post I went back to check the recipe and realised I'd omitted to say '15 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water, deseeded!' I'm so sorry! No wonder it packed a punch!I've amended the recipe accordingly. Kham will be ever so unhappy with me! Indira