My mum's Malaysian curry soup

    2 hours 10 min

    Traditionally eaten with boiled rice for dinner, although it can be eaten on its own. My mum makes this specially for someone in the family who is feeling ill or down in the dumps! The meat should just fall off the bone. I know the list of spices may appear daunting if you don't have them, but once you buy them they can be stored in the cupboard and used to make other things like curries from scratch.


    Cambridgeshire, England, UK
    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • a good glug olive oil or vegetable oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 3 whole cloves
    • 1 star anise
    • 1 (5cm) cinnamon stick
    • 2 cardamom pods, slightly bashed to leak the inner flavours
    • 3 whole peppercorns
    • 600g stewing beef, oxtail (traditional option) or chicken on the bone: chopped into chunks
    • 1 beef or chicken stock cube (optional)
    • 600ml (1pt) water, or as needed
    • 2 sticks celery, peeled and sliced faily chunky
    • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced fairly chunky
    • 1 large potato, cut into large bite size chunks
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped to serve

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

    1. Heat oil on medium heat and stir fry the garlic and ginger until golden brown. It's very important to not let it go too brown!
    2. Add all the whole spices and fry off for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Throw in all the meat and stock cube, give it a good stir until meat slightly browned.
    3. Add about a pint of water, or enough so the water is covering the meat and a bit more. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on low heat for around 2 hours or until meat is extra soft and tender.
    4. 20 minutes before the meat is done, add the chopped celery, carrots and potatoes, put lid back on and simmer until potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with boiled rice and chopped coriander.


    If you prefer a thicker sauce, you could melt a knob of butter or use around a tablespoon sesame oil; add a tablespoon plain flour to make into a paste and chuck in the soup 5 minutes before finished cooking time. This dish can be kept in the fridge and tastes even better the next day!

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