Grandma’s Beef Curry

Beef Curry

I ate this curry since early childhood.I remember often my mom make this curry not only for Eid celebration but also made it when guest from abroad come to visit, even thought this curry a bit too spicy for their palate but they enjoyed it. We call it grandma’s curry because the recipe handed down from grandma to my mother and aunts. Even though come from the same recipe, but my mom’s curry a bit different with aunt M’s curry. My mom’s curry a bit more spicy and thick while aunt M’s curry taste more like Indian curry.

Unlike Indian curries, this curry use wet paste and coconut milk while India curry use a dried spices and often use yoghurt and milk. A blend of wet paste and dried spices bring out a complex flavor, balanced by the sweetness of palm sugar and a slightly sour taste from tamarind water. To maximize the flavor try to avoid use a store-bought curry powder. Roast your dried spices individually because each ingredient has its own cooking time.

Beef Curry

Beef Curry 

  • 1 kilogram beef
  • 15 small shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 pieces cardamom
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 500 ml water
  • 1/4 cup tamarind water
  • 200 gram large red chillies
  • 2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce, optional
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 150-200 gr curry powder
  • 100 ml oil
  • salt

Curry Paste

  • 1 head clove garlic
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and chopped

Curry Powder

  • 200 grams coriander
  • 50 grams caraway seed
  • 2 pieces nutmeg
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper


  • Dry roast each curry powder separately in a pan until aromatic. Grind roasted spices to a very fine powder in a mortar and pestle, sieved to get a refined spiced powder. Repeat it two or three times.
  • Combine together all the ingredients for curry paste, and pound to a fine paste in a mortar and pestle.
  • Cut the beef into your desire size, rub it all over with half curry paste, marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan on a medium-high heat until sizzling. Stir fry shallots until fragrant and start to caramelized, fry it carefully and keep stirring because you want nice brown and caramelized shallots not a burnt shallots.
  • Add cinnamon, cardamom, and curry paste, fry until fragrant. Add chili paste then add marinated beef and coat evenly.
  • Pour coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then cover and turn to a low heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add potato and curry powder. Season with sweet soy sauce, tamarind water and salt. Add coconut cream and cook until meat and potato become soft and tender.

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