• 1-2 pounds lamb shoulder (chicken can also be used), cut into cubes or pieces
  • 2+1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 3 bay leaves

For the curry sauce

  • 1-2 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 thumb-piece ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , minced - see link for instructions, OR 2-3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 1 red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. chili flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews (+ a few more for garnish)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamon
  • 1 tsp. tamarind, or substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 14 ounce (400 ml) can coconut milk (not lite)


  • Place stock in a large pot over high heat.
  • Add the meat, onion and bay leaves.
  • If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper leftover stalk pieces.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to low, until you get a nice simmer. Cover or partially-cover with a lid and simmer 40 to 80 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender or near-tender (You can also choose to skip this step - see note below recipe).
  • Add all 'curry sauce' ingredients, stirring with each addition.
  • Also add the potatoes.
  • Return to a boil, then continue simmering 30 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Taste-test the curry, adding more fish sauce for increased flavor/saltiness, or more chili if you want it spicier. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a touch more tamarind or lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. Top with a few more cashews and fresh basil.
  • Serve with Thai jasmine rice, and ENJOY!

Time-Saving Tip: In this recipe I have chosen to pre-boil the meat for more tenderness - it takes longer, but I find the resulting taste worth it. However, if you're in a hurry, you can easily cut back on this step (if simmering meat 30 minutes or less, leave off lid or reduce stock to 2 cups).

    Other Vegetables: Other vegetables that can be used in this curry include eggplant, green beans, and tomato.