Northern Style Beef Curry

kaeng hanglay

This is an authentic Thai recipe from Muoi Khuntilanont's Kitchen. The recipe was written up by Muoi's husband, Ian Philpott.


This is a curry in the northern style. It could also be made with pork or chicken, in which case the cooking time must be shortened.

Note that traditional (Lea & Perrins) Worcestershire sauce is a matured mixture of fish sauce and tamarind juice, and as such is a very good substitute for the fish sauce and tamarind juice in this recipe.

  • 1 pound of beef, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
for the curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons of very thinly sliced lemon grass
  • 3 tablespoons of palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow bean sauce (tao jiao)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons prik ki nu haeng (dried red birdseye chilis), crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons of shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • pinch turmeric
  • quarter cup fish sauce
  • quarter cup tamarind juice


Simmer the beef in the coconut milk for 30 minutes in a covered saucepan.

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, and grate. Combine all the curry paste ingredients and process to a fine paste.

After the beef is cooked until tender, add the curry paste, stir to combine, and continue to simmer, covered for 10 minutes.

Since the beef is simmered it is possible to use cheaper (tougher) cuts of meat. If necesary extend the cooking process until the meat is tender.

Serve with white (Jasmine) rice, and the usual table condiments.