Complimentary Recipe: Dad's Secret Goat Curry Recipe

"At my parents' restaurants, Pho Cay Du and later Cafe Cay Du, customers often ordered ca ri de for breakfast, with crusty Vietnamese bread and a small dish of chilli, salt, and fresh lemon to dip the goat pieces into. It is a continually popular dish. Today, there is a regular customer at Red Lantern who requests that we freeze several portions for her to fly home to her family in Melbourne. At Red Lantern, we changed this recipe after a time to suit a more Western palate. We now use the whole goat, which has more meat, less skin, and comparatively fewer bones. My mother still has a difficult time coming to terms with this concept. I love to eat ca ri de  with a simple serve of jasmine rice or vermicelli, with bean sprouts and fresh herbs for added coolness and crunch. The distinct perfume of rice paddy herb is surprisingly complementary and a little audacious indeed." - Pauline Nguyen



2kg (4 lb 8 oz) goat meat, with skin and bone, cut into 4 x 2 cm (1 ½ – ¾ in) pieces
1 tablespoon galangal powder
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
10 fresh curry leaves
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
540 ml (19 fl oz) tin coconut cream
1 bunch rice paddy herb

6 cm (2 ½ in) piece of galangal
3 cm (1 ¼ in) piece of turmeric
5 cm (2 in) piece of lemon grass, white part only
1 onion, chopped
4 coriander (cilantro) roots, skinned
4 garlic cloves
5 dried small red chillies, soaked in water
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 teaspoons salt


Cut the galangal, turmeric and lemon grass into 1 cm (½ in) pieces. In a wok, fry the onion, galangal, turmeric, lemon grass, coriander and garlic until softened, well browned and aromatic. You may need to add some water to stop the ingredients browning too much. Remove from the wok and allow to cool. Add the soaked chilli and pound into a paste in a mortar.

Wet the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon and peppercorns slightly with water. Add to a dry wok and fry until well browned and fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder, add 1 teaspoon salt and grind to a fine powder. Add the powder to the wet paste and mix well. Set aside until ready to use.

Add the goat pieced to a large saucepan with the galangal powder, 1 teaspoon each of the salt and sugar, and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, skimming the surface as the temperature rises. Once boiled, reduce the heat and cover with a lid and cook at a low skimmer for 45 minutes. Stain and set the meat aside.

Add the oil and butter to a saucepan and gently fry the curry paste and curry leaves until fragrant, then stir in the yoghurt. Add the meat to the pan and add the stock, milk, coconut cream and the remaining salt and sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the goat is very tender. Serve with rice paddy herb and jasmine rice or baguette.

Recipe from Pauline's Book - Secrets of the Red Lantern. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen