SSI News Blog

SSI food: Sajeeda's Rohingya curry

Welcome to the SSI Food Blog. Whether they are SSI employees, volunteers, refugees or people seeking asylum, the people featured here all share a love of food.

One of the many benefits of multiculturalism is delicious food, so let's enjoy! 

Sajeeda Bahadurmia

Sajeeda regularly shares her culinary talents by cooking for up to 150 people at SSI's fortnightly Community Kitchens for people seeking asylum in Sydney. She came to Australia in 2013, with her husband and three children to seek asylum from Myanmar.

"I came to Australia from Myanmar with my family in 2013 when I was 26 years old. I cook food from my Rohingya heritage, which has similar flavours to that of neighbouring Bangladesh and India.

"Rohingya people have a simple diet that consists primarily of staples rice, fish, vegetables, milk and hot chillies. We cook meat when we entertain guests, as it is considered disrespectful to serve a guest a meal that does not contain meat.

Sajeda in a cooking apron and hijab in a kitchen.Sajeeda Bahadurmia, as featured in SBS Feast Magazine, is a regular cook at SSI Community Kitchen.

"I learned to cook from my mother when I was a teenager. We would use goat but now that I am in Australia, I like to use beef as this country is famous for its high-quality beef.

"In Rohingya culture we tend to use more chilli, along with traditional Indian spices so you must be cautious when eating a Rohinya curry!"

Rohingya Curry

Serves  4 


1 chopped onion

5 garlic cloves

1.5 teaspoons of chopped ginger

5 long green chillies

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 chopped tomatoes

2 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods

4 peeled and chopped potatoes

Vegetable oil

250ml (1 cup) of beef stock

1kg beef short ribs cut in to 6cm pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Prep time: 20mins.  Cooking time: 4hours. 


Place onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-to-high heat.

Season beef with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook beef, turning for 6 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan and set aside.

Add another  teaspoon of vegetable oil, then add the paste. Stir 4 minutes, or until starting to colour. Add  tomatoes,  bay leaves and cardamom pods. Cook for 2 minutes, then return the beef to the pan along with beef stock.

Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours, or until beef is very tender. Add potatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes or until tender.

Remove the lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced slightly. Serve with rice.

This recipe and article was originally published in SBS Feast Magazine (which is now out of business).

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