Beef curry with turmeric rice and coconut sambal

This beef curry is an authentic dish flavour-packed with red chilli, lemongrass, ginger and tamarind.


  • 3 shallots (75g), chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 fresh small red chillies
  • 30 grams (1-ounce) piece fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind puree
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 kilogram 1kg (2 pounds) lean beef bolar blade roast or beef skirt steak, cut into 3cm (1¼-inch) pieces
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) water, approximately
  • 1/2 cup (140g) Greek-style yoghurt
  • fresh red chilli, sliced and fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve
Turmeric rice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
Coconut sambal
  • 1/4 cup (10g) flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (130g), seeded, chopped finely
  • 1 small red onion (100g), chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • 1
    Process shallots, garlic, chilli, ginger, lemon grass and tamarind until smooth.
  • 2
    Heat coconut oil a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add paste; cook, stirring for 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • 3
    Add beef to pan with enough of the water to completely cover beef; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2½ hours. Liquid will slowly evaporate and beef will become very tender. Add more water during cooking if necessary. Shred beef with two forks.
  • 4
    Make turmeric rice: Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan over high heat, add rice, seeds and turmeric; cook, stirring, for 1 minute to coat rice well. Add stock; bring to the boil. Cover with a firm fitting lid; reduce heat to low, simmer for 12 minutes or until tunnels appear on surface of rice. Remove from heat; stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff grains with a fork.
  • 5
    Make coconut sambal: Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  • 6
    Serve curry topped with yoghurt, chilli and coriander, along with turmeric rice and coconut sambal.


To save time buy ready made rendang paste, available from the Asian section of most supermarkets.

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