Skill level

Average: 3.4 (233 votes)


  • 10 dried long red chillies (see Note)
  • 60 g (½ cup) freshly grated coconut or
  • 15 g (¼ cup) shredded coconut, toasted
  • 75 g (½ cup) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 L coconut cream
  • 2 cassia quills (see Note) or cinammon quills
  • 800 g beef chuck steak, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar, grated
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp (liquid form) (see Note)
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 10 minutes

Place chillies in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain, then remove and discard stems and seeds.

Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind chillies, coconut, peanuts, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf until ground. Set aside. 

Place coconut cream and cassia in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add beef, return to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef from cooking liquid and transfer to a plate. Pour cooking liquid into a bowl and reserve. Wipe pan clean.

Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add ginger and reserved spice mixture, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Return beef to the pan, stirring to coat. Add reserved cooking liquid, sugar, fish sauce and tamarind, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Serve with rice.



• Dried long red chillies are available from select supermarkets and Asian food shops.

• Cassia is stronger in flavour than cinnamon, and is from Asian food shops and spice shops.

• Tamarind pulp (liquid form), available from select supermarkets and Asian food shops, is concentrated tamarind juice.


Photography Brett Stevens