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Season 3 Episode 13 - Remuera

This week, Renee Liang shows us around the place she grew up – Remuera. Despite its reputation as the home of ‘old money’ – this Auckland suburb is home to a culturally diverse mix of people. 

In this episode, a local woman reveals the precious relic she has brought here from South America, and, we’ll meet a Chinese man who has dedicated his life to furthering the cause of his community.

A Sri Lankan man shares his passion for cricket and the recipe for a tantalizing Beef Ceylon, and Japanese local Miho Wada demonstrates her musical virtuosity.


Curator Bio:

Renee Liang is a classic over achiever – a paediatrican, playwright and blogger. She feels a real connection to Remuera: “It's a place full of my personal landmarks, the tree where I played with my friends, the door where I had my first kiss.  It’s the kind of neighbourhood where people tend to stay put – my mum still goes shopping and bumps into the parents of my primary school mates and they catch up on the goss with their kids, even though we’re all long grown up.”



This week Remuera local Kit Perera cooks up a traditional Sri Lankan Beef Ceylon using his grandmothers spice blend.

Sri Lankan Curry Powder: 


  • 50 g- coriander seeds
  • 30 g- cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 2 heaped tablespoons dried curry leaves (if using fresh curry leaves, you can dry these in a fry pan over low heat for approximately 2-3 minutes). 


In a fry pan over low heat, dry roast separately the coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel, stirring constantly until each becomes fragrant and light golden. Do not let them burn.

Using a blender, blend the roasted spices on high speed in batches together with cinnamon stick broken in pieces, black mustard, cloves, cardamom and curry leaves to a fine powder. Put in to a bowl, mix well before transferring in to an airtight container. 


Beef Ceylon 

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • Sprig of fresh curry leaves or 2 tablespoons dried curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 70ml water
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • Stem of lemongrass, bruised
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • Salt to taste 



  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over moderate heat and fry chillies, cardamom and curry leaves for 2 minutes. (Make sure to stand back as the curry leaves may cause the oil to spit). Add onion and sauté until golden. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and spices. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the beef, mix well and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly (Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan from time to time). Turn down the heat to low, add the water and mix well. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the coconut milk and lemon grass. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and add the tamarind. Mix well, cover and simmer for further 30 minutes. Season with salt 
  3. To garnish; fry couple of dried red chillies and a few curry leaves and arrange over the top. Serve with steamed rice. 
  4. You can purchase the spices, lemon grass, tamarind and fresh or dried curry leaves from Asian grocer or at New World