Adaptation Petite Sirah + Lamb Yellow Curry

by Cameron Henderson


Lamb Yellow Curry:

  • 1 lb lamb shoulder (1-inch cubes)
  • 3-4 tbsp curry paste (you can use store-bought like Mae Ploy brand or the homemade Thai Yellow Curry Paste recipe found below)
  • 1 can (13oz) coconut milk (do not shake)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (chiffonade rolled and chopped into strips)
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced into strips)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced into strips)
  • bamboo shoots to preference
  • 5-10 Thai basil leaves with small stems
  • 1 -2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
Curry Paste:
  • 2 dried guajillo chilies (or other mild pepper)
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds (lightly toasted)
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds (lightly toasted)
  • ½ tsp white peppercorn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (bottom half only, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons galangal (replace with ginger if unavailable, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ½ cup shallots (chopped)
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste or bean paste
  • 1-5 Thai green chiles for desired heat (optional for spice)
  • Cookware: large mortar and pestle (stone)


Curry Paste:

  1. If you have a coffee grinder or spice grinder, use it to grind dried guajillo (or other mild chili peppers) into powder
  2. All fresh vegetables should be finely chopped. Note to only use the bottom half of the lemongrass.
  3. In stone mortar and pestle, add toasted cumin seeds, toasted coriander seeds, and white peppercorn. Grind into powder. Remove this powder from mortar and set aside in other bowl. Add curry powder with your ground powder.
  4. Now, in the emptied mortar and pestle: add finely chopped lemongrass, ginger, galangal, turmeric, and salt. Pound until all of this is a paste. When the mixture has released a lot of liquid and is too wet, add your spices back in to absorb. Continue to pound into a fine paste.
  5. Add ground guajillo peppers, garlic, shallots, and thai chilies (if heat is desired). Pound into a fine paste. Add shrimp/bean paste and pound to mix.
  6. Your curry paste is now ready and can be used in many dishes. Feel free to make in batches to store in fridge/freezer for longer periods of time!
Lamb Yellow Curry:
  1. Heat a wok or large pan over medium to medium-high heat. Heat a thin layer of neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil.
  2. Very lightly brown lamb shoulder cubes then set cubes aside. The can of coconut milk should be separated (if not shaken). On the top will sit the coconut cream, and below it will be coconut water. Do not shake and mix these.
  3. In the same pan, add about ¼ cup of the coconut cream that is sitting on top of the hot pan. It should start to simmer.
  4. Stir in your curry paste and let it fry/separate as you stir vigorously. It should start to be like the consistency of peanut butter.
  5. Add kaffir lime leaves and the remainder of the can of coconut milk.
  6. Add lamb back in and reduce heat to medium-low or until a low simmer. Cook on low for 1 ½ hours while keeping an eye on the liquid. Add beef/stock as needed. Keep in mind that we want a thick consistency in the end.
  7. Add red onion, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil after braising the lamb. Turn up the heat to about medium-high. Reduce as needed or until bell pepper is softened (close to 7 minutes).
  8. Stir in fish sauce, brown sugar, and tamarind concentrate. Check for consistency again. Reduce for longer if needed.
  9. Serve with aromatic jasmine rice.