Curries, Recipes

Northern Thai Pork Curry – Gaeng Hang Lay – แกงฮังเล

I keep getting asked why I haven’t put any curries up when I write a Thai food blog. The answer is I’m not really sure! I guess I felt there were enough recipes for red curry and green curry on the internet already. When I’m deciding what Thai food I want, I don’t really think of Thai curry too often. In fact, I only really have a Thai curry when I’m down south on a beach on a Thai island. Don’t ask me why because it’s not like I have anything against Thai curries, (well not good ones!) I love a good curry I just don’t eat them that much!

One Thai curry I always order if it’s on the menu, though, is one you might not be familiar with if you haven’t been to Chiang Mai; It’s called Gaeng hang lay, and it’s a slow cooked curry of pork, usually belly and shoulder soured with tamarind and flavoured with Indian spices.

There are so many different recipes for this that I’m not sure I’ve had two that taste exactly the same even from the same shop!

It has it’s roots in Myanmar (Burma) and tastes like no other curry in Thailand. The closest I would say would be a massaman curry without the coconut milk.

Anyway here is my recipe for Gaeng hang lay the way I have been taught it in Chiang Mai. Don’t blame me though if it doesn’t taste like one you’ve had, like I said they’re all different! It takes longer than my other recipes but once the spice mix and curry paste are done you just put it all together and leave it on low so there really is a minimal effort here. Perfect for a lazy Sunday. Just grab a drink and chill out till it’s ready!

 

 

Northern Thai Pork Curry - Gaeng Hang Lay - แกงฮังเล
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This wonderfully fragrant curry is unique to Northern Thailand and makes a great change from the usual coconut based curries associated with Thai cuisine.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2-3 hours
Northern Thai Pork Curry - Gaeng Hang Lay - แกงฮังเล
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This wonderfully fragrant curry is unique to Northern Thailand and makes a great change from the usual coconut based curries associated with Thai cuisine.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2-3 hours
Ingredients
Spice mix
For the paste
  • 10 dried red chilli seedseeds removed and soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 3 lemongrass outer layers revoved and chopped finely
  • 1 thumb size piece galangal peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 bulb garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 2 thai shallots or 1 normal shallot peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp course salt
For the curry
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Toast all the spices in a dry pan except the turmeric and cinnamon. In a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Add the turmeric.
  2. Put the paste ingredients into a pestle and mortar with the salt and smash to a paste. You can also do this in a food processor adding a little water or oil if needs be to make a paste. add the spice mix to the paste. Mix with the pork in a bowl and leave to marinade for an hour to overnight depending how much time you have.
  3. Heat a few tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the pork moving it so it doesn't burn until the mixture dries up a bit and the oil starts to separate.
  4. Add the pineapple and tomatoes and fry for a minute or so
  5. Add enough water to cover the pork by half.
  6. Chuck in the ginger, soy sauce, cinnamon stick, the sugar and the tamarind.
  7. Let it simmer gently with the lid on for 2.5 to 3 hours or until you can break the meat easily with a fork.
  8. Check for seasoning adding more sugar or tamarind if need be. Serve in the pot at the table with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
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