Malaysian Red Curry of Beef

 Red Curry of Beef (or Daging masak merah)

 Very delicious.  Read the directions carefully.  you may wish to have everything measured/chopped and skinned before starting as the recipe is quite involved for newbies.

2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp. ground tumeric
1/2 tsp. course sea salt
1 1/2 lb sirloin steak cut into pieces (2 pieces per person)
3 Tbsp peanut oil
3 Tbsp thick tamarind water (1 oz tamarind paste placed in hot water and strained)
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (blanch them to peel)
1 1/4 cups coconut cream (the thick creamy stuff in the tops of the cans)
handful of mint leaves and cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Red Paste Ingredients:
3 shallots, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
4 large red chilies, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp peanut oil

Garnish Ingredients:
4 Tbsp deep fried shallots (slice very thin and fry quickly until brown in peanut oil) (drain on paper towel)
2 oz unsalted cashews, fried in a some peanut oil until brown (drain on paper towel)
2 oz raisins, fried very briefly in oil until plump (drain on paper towel)


1. Grind the ginger, tumeric and sea salt in a mortar to make a paste. Rub the pieces of beef all over with this paste and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

2. Make the Red Paste- blend all of the red paste ingredients together with 3 Tbsp water until smooth.  Transfer the paste to a large saucepan and simmer over med. heat for 6 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the pieces of beef, a few at a time for 2 minutes per side. Set aside.

4. Reheat the paste in the saucepan, stirring well for a couple of minutes, then add 1/2 cup HOT water and the tamarind water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the beef, stir and cover.  Continue cooking over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes and stir to mix with beef.  Cook for a few more minutes, now add the coconut cream and continue cooking, turning meat several times, until the sauce has reduced.  Just a few minutes.  In the final minute add the cilantro and mint leaves. 

6. Serve hot with garnish of fried shallots, cashews, and plump raisins.

serve with coconut rice

  1. Hi, I’m from malaysia, really surprise to see Malaysian food being mentioned in the western web/blog. Thank you, i feel honored. looking through the ingredients, i can tell it’s beef curry or Kari Daging in bahasa malaysia/Malay language. If Daging masak merah means chilli beef, using lots of blended dried chilli, yummeah…my favourite, but i prefer ayam masak merah or chilli chicken. I do hope u enjoy our food, there’s a lot more recipes that u should try, such as chicken/beef satay with peanut sauce ( my fav as well)..

    lots of love from malaysia.

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