Bro brought some amazingly flavourful smoked beef from Shillong recently. He was away for more than a fortnight and when we were almost missing him, he was back with a bang carrying loads of foodstuff from the North East. Pickles of Naga viper chilly and bird’s eye chilly, dried bhoot jolokia chillies, a special yellow chilly powder from Khasiland, dried beef chilly chutney, and a lot of smoked meat. Now the smoked meat is so flavourful, it doesn’t take too much to turn it into a tasty curry. It is one of those rare occasions where the core ingredient is also the main flavoring agent. I let bro handle it his way and this is his recipe:


  • Smoked beef: Diced into small pieces, about 1.5 cups
  • Onions: 2 medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 5 large cloves, crushed
  • Ginger: 1 inch, grated
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium, chopped
  • Potatoes: 2 medium, in large cubes
  • Yellow chilly powder: 1 pinch (or use the normal red chilly powder)
  • Green chillies: 2 nos, slit longitudinally


  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadai
  • Add the onions, fry till translucent
  • Add ginger, garlic and stir for a while
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, spices and seasonings, chopped beef, potatoes and sufficient water for the curry (about 3/4th of a litre)
  • Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for about an hour till the gravy thickens and meat is tender
  • Serve with plain rice
Smoked Beef Curry
Smoked Beef Curry

To balance the health factor, we served an instant cabbage soup using a Burmese family recipe passed down by my friend Promilaa Bhatia. It is a clear soup with finely sliced cabbage, in a soy flavoured broth, garnished with some greens and goes very well with meat curries like this one. I added a slice of fragrant lemon (gondhoraj lebu) as flavouring.

Burmese Instant Cabbage Soup
Burmese Instant Cabbage Soup