The kitchen is where Rohingyan women made a name for themselves and when it comes to beef curry, my mum's is second to none!






Skill level

Average: 4 (107 votes)

A warm, rustic and tantalising meal wasn't just an everyday occurrence in the household I grew up in. We were forced to leave our home country of Myanmar when I was very young.  We spent a long time trying to reach safety, and we were homeless at times.  We didn’t have the opportunity to sit down as a family and eat hearty or traditional meals.  Instead, we often ate scraps or leftovers. 

When we finally arrived in Sydney in 2003, I had lived a very traumatic life, even though I was only eight years old. This curry was the first meal that my mother cooked when we moved to Australia. We were finally free to celebrate our Rohingyan culture, which my family had not been able to do for over 30 years. Eating Rohingyan food allowed my family to bond over and start our new life in Australia. It meant laughter, warmth and the strengthening of family ties. 

Every time my family and I get together now, we share this curry, which makes every event a whole lot tastier.


  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 kg diced beef, with bones
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder 
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder 
  • ½ tbsp cumin powder 
  • 3 tsp garam masala powder 
  • 4 tbsp of any cooking oil
  • optional garnish: coriander, green chilli

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat oil on high heat in a large pot.

2. Add onions, garlic paste and ginger paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes until brown.

3. Add diced beef and bones and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

5. Add in the garam masala and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

6. Add 1 cup of water and diced tomatoes and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.

7. Slow cook on a low heat for around 1-2 hours. The longer it is slow cooked, the better it tastes.

8. Add the potatoes in the last half an hour.

9. Garnish with coriander and green chilli as preferred and serve with hot steamed rice. 


To find out more and purchase a copy of Share a Meal, Share a Story: Celebrating Refugee Stories head to the Refugee Council of Australia website here.

World Refugee Week is June 14-20, 2020. Share a Meal, Share a Story is a community fundraising initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia. We are encouraging people to get together, share a delicious meal and share stories that help build empathy and understanding of refugee experiences. In light of COVID-19, you can host your event either in-person or online. You could host a Zoom where you share a story from our website and each eat a meal in your own homes!