Sipyan, the Burmese word for curry, means ‘oil returns’, and refers to how the curry is cooked until the oil comes back to the surface.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (128 votes)


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 cm-piece ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 100 ml peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 kg boneless pork belly, skin removed, diced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
  • 100 g (⅓ cup) tamarind pulp concentrate
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • steamed white rice, to serve

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.


Place onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Stir through chilli powder, turmeric, and paprika.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion mixture and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until browned and oil separates. Add pork and season with salt and pepper. Add lemongrass and 160 ml water. Cook, uncovered, for 1½ hours or until pork is tender; you may need to add extra water.

Add tamarind, fish sauce and sugar and check seasoning. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and oil has returned to the surface. Serve with rice.


Photography Alan Benson


As seen in Feast magazine, February 2014, Issue 28.