I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many people cooking as many dishes from a recently released cookery book as I have from MiMi Aye’s Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen.
One of the first recipes we cooked from the book was this delicious Burmese Braised Beef Curry, a really simple dish to make, and packed full of flavour. As a huge fan of coriander leaves, this was an absolute winner for me.
Publishers Bloomsbury Absolute have kindly given us permission to share the recipe on Kavey Eats. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Braised Beef Curry (Amè Hnat)
Amè hnat is the dish that we like to serve at family gatherings, as it’s so rich that it can be the star with lots of different side dishes. It reminds me of the Malaysian dish beef rendang but has more sauce. You can add a couple of quartered boiled potatoes to the curry near the end of the cooking time, which will soak up all the lovely juices – my eldest niece likes to fish these ‘gravied potatoes’ out for herself and I think she likes them more than the beef!
- 8 tablespoons groundnut oil or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 kg beef, cut into 5cm cubes
For the base
- 3 onions, roughly chopped
- 1 spring onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 5 cm piece of ginger
- 5 garlic cloves
- bunch of coriander, stems only
- 1 green finger chilli
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon MSG or ½ tablespoon chicken or vegetable bouillon
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the beef. Fry for 20 minutes, turning the cubes from time to time so they don’t stick to the pan. Juices will seep out but these will reduce down and the meat will brown.
Meanwhile, add the base ingredients along with 1 tablespoon of water to a blender or food processor. Blitz to a rough paste.
Transfer the meat from the pan to a dish and set aside. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil to the pan used to brown the beef. Heat over a medium-high heat and add the onion-tomato paste. Add the seasonings, stir and then fry for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the beef and 1.5 litres of water and cover the pan with a lid. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 2½ hours until the beef is tender and falling apart, stirring occasionally to stop the curry from sticking to the base of the pan.
When it's ready, serve the curry with steamed rice, any of the soups and a vegetable dish or salad to balance the richness. It also goes well with Indian breads, such as naan, puri and paratha.
See our full review of Mandalay and our interview with author MiMi Aye, and check out two more recipes, Classic Burmese Pork Curry, and Burmese Golden Pumpkin Curry.
Made the recipe? Let us know how you enjoyed it in the comments!
Browse our full collection of curry recipes from around the world.
If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote below.
Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye is currently available on Amazon UK for £18.20 (RRP £26). Recipe and image published courtesy of publishers Bloomsbury Absolute. Photography by Cristian Barnett.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!14 Comments to "MiMi Aye’s Burmese Braised Beef Curry (Amè Hnat)"
What a delicious recipe. I have had Malaysian Rendang and love it. This sounds like a really interesting book, Burmese cookery is something I haven’t tried yet.
This has something in common with rendang, and also some points of similarity to some Indian curry dishes, but it’s not quite like either!
This tempting post of yours couldn’t come at a more perfect time, as it’s dull and raining again in Paris today and I am craving the perfect, comforting spicy curry. I love the sound of this recipe – and the book too! Thanks so much for sharing this. Gorgeous photos too!
I hope you try and enjoy as much as we did!
Yum. This book is already on my Xmas list. That curry looks especially good – I’m also a huge fan of coriander – there more the better please.
I adore coriander, so yes, definitely a winning dish!
Can you tell me which cut of beef is best for this dish?
Hi Steph, I’ve asked MiMi to give her recommendation but in the meantime, I’d say any preferred cut of stewing/ braising beef would work here as it’s cooked for over 2 hours, which gives time for the beef to become tender.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made this last night and the beef basically fell apart to become extremely tender and soft. However, I’m wondering if your measurements for spice are correct? For such a large quantity of beef and oil, the quantities of spice seem low and the finished product felt lacking in “punch” of flavour, and was pretty overpowered by the richness from the beef and the oil and lacked anything to cut through that richness.
After having a mini bowl with a roti and some yoghurt, I ended up adding coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind to the final dish to add some extra elements and for my personal preference, ended up with a more rounded and balanced curry taste.
As someone unfamiliar with Burmese cooking but pretty familiar with South-East Asian cooking, I appreciate I may have completely ruined the curry. Could you perhaps share some insight as to where I may have gone wrong as I followed every ingredient and method detailed.
Thanks for your question, and sorry the curry didn’t match your expectations.
The recipe is extracted from MiMi Aye’s book and is word for word as it appears in the book. (I did just double check before replying).
My husband and I have made this recipe a few times at home and it’s always full of flavour, with a key aspect of ots flavour being the fresh coriander (known as cilantro in the USA). A bunch (as it’s commonly sold here) is a pretty large volume so I’m wondering whether you didn’t add enough coriander to provide the key flavour here. Could that be it?
Hope this helps!
No need to apologise! I realise my original comment came across perhaps a bit insulting but it totally wasn’t meant that way. I would simply like to fix my mistakes haha!
Now I suspect I may know the source of the confusion – for the paste, did you use only the coriander stems, or did you use the leaves as well? I thought it seemed odd at the time that the leaves weren’t incorporated, but I’ve followed recipes in the past that only called for coriander root so I thought it may be the same this time!
I originally only used the stems for the paste, but the day after leaving my comment I mixed a ton of coriander leaves through the curry and it definitely massively improved.
Thanks again for sharing the recipe. I will definitely make it again and update. 🙂
Tone is so hard to convey in writing that I always prefer to give the benefit of doubt and assume good intentions.
So pleased you were able to lift that coriander flavour the next day and enjoyed it much more. Really pleased, as we take love this recipe! 🥰
And thanks for coming back to let us know!
the dish is not a curry its more of a stew or Burmese would say ‘roast’ flavour. it is meant to taste beefy hence the name.
Thank you, I’ve used the recipe name the author has given in her book which is Braised Beef Curry, with the Burmese name also provided.