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Curry in Burmese is called sipyan which literally means ‘oil returns’, a sign when the gravy is ready. Although a curry, very little spices are used, instead the flavour is created by caramelising the onion, garlic and chilli paste. Duck and potato are my favourite combination but equally great with chicken or just vegetables.
- Serves: 2
- Cooking time: 1 hr 30 mins
- For more Burmese recipes, visit http://www.hsaba.com
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ medium sized duck, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 waxy potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 100 ml groundnut oil
- 150 ml water
- Mix the ground turmeric, salt and fish sauce and marinade the duck pieces for at least 30 mins. This changes the flavour of the meat and help to tenderize it.
- Roughly chop the onion and put into a pestle and mortar. Pound to form a paste then add the crushed garlic and dried chillies. Continue to pound until they are well incorporated. It definitely makes a difference to the taste of the gravy if you use a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have one, just chop everything finely.
- In a large saucepan or wok, heat the groundnut oil. First fry the potatoes over high heat, turning regularly, for 2-4 mins until they are just taking on colour. Remove the potatoes and leave to one side.
- Next add the duck pieces to the oil and again fry on high heat for 2-4 mins to brown the meat. Remove the duck from the oil and set aside.
- In the remaining oil, add the onion mixture and cook over moderate heat for 20-30 mins until the onions have caramelised and turned reddish brown. You need to keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Then add the paprika and cook for a few minutes.
- It may seem like a lot of oil but it’s important not to skimp here. If there is not enough oil, it will burn the onions and make the gravy bitter.
- When the onion mixture is ready, add the potatoes and duck pieces back into the saucepan, give it a quick stir then add the water. Simmer with lid on for 45-60 mins until the meat is tender, occasionally stir the mixture. It is ready when the gravy has reduced and the oil has returned. Finally test for seasoning and serve.