Malaysian Beef Curry

timelong skillmed budgetmed

Malaysian style curry is traditionally done with chicken, but today, the beef chunks are the highlight in the butcher, so here we go. The main characteristic of a Malaysian curry is the soupy quality of it, unlike Indian curry where the liquid is more of a gravy. This is a one pot dish so it is quite simple, in terms of complexity, you can easily be creative as long as you stick with the basics. This version uses mostly dried spices because while fresh is best, in reality they perish so quickly.

Essential components:
• Onion cut into large chunks
• Protein of your choice, I’m using cheap beef chunks today
• Carrot and potato, cut into chunks
• Coconut cream/milk

The herbs and spices:
• Lemongrass, bruised
• Kaffir lime leaves, I’m using dried, if using fresh you don’t need as many
• Curry leaves, same as before
• Star anise
• Cinnamon, only a small amount
• Chili powder
• Turmeric powder
• Belacan or fish sauce

Pantry items and other stuff:
• Salt, white pepper, sugar
• Lemon
• Stock
• Oil

• Hot pan, add oil, and cook the meat to sear
• Add onion, potatoes, and carrots into the pot, cook for a few minutes
• Add your herbs, spices, coconut milk, and water/stock if necessary to cover everything in liquid
• Cook until boil, taste, adjust the seasoning with spices/salt
• Cover the pot and reduce the heat, cook until the meat is tender, with cheap beef cuts like these I ended up cooking this for about 45 minutes
• Do a final tasting and seasoning, and add a squeeze of lemon juice to finish

Tips and thoughts:
• You can easily include more spices, traditionally coriander seeds and cumin
• On that note, not using some of the herbs/spices will not kill the dish either
• Actual amount of the spices and seasoning? I honestly just eyeballed it (and taste at every step). I can tell you that in this recipe, restrain the belacan/fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, and the sugar
• Vegetarian? Simply omit the meat and add tofu (fried tofu is amazing in this) near the end of the cooking (I’m sure I don’t have to mention that fish sauce isn’t vegetarian…)
• If you prefer your vegetable to be more crunchy, you can wait and add them halfway though the cooking, I personally have the guilty pleasure of liking my root vegetables soft


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