Easy Curry in a Hurry (Malay Beef Curry)

English: Molcajete y tejolote, (mortar and pes...

English: Molcajete y tejolote, (mortar and pestle) Traditional way of grinding in Mexico – Xcaret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every evening at about 8 pm, the aroma of curry wafts in through our windows. It’s a signal that our next-door neighbor’s husband has come home, and also a signal to my tummy that it’s time to growl and demand something tasty and spicy.

So I was immensely pleased with myself when, just last week, I managed to make curry from scratch, for the first time. Monday I made chicken curry, Friday I experimented with beef curry, and they both turned out yummy, and not as difficult to put together as I’d anticipated.

Ingredients for Malay Beef Curry 

300g topside beef (daging goreng), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 knob of ginger, finely sliced
2 red chillies, finely sliced
2 red chilli padi, halved (optional – leave this out if you don’t like your curry too spicy)
1 cup Curry powder (I like Baba’s Curry Powder but any brand will do) and a handful of curry leaves
1 Tbsp coriander powder and a pinch of salt and white pepper
1 Tbsp oil (I used a blend of olive and canola oil)
2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 cup coconut milk/coconut cream (For a slightly healthier version, substitute with half a cup of coconut cream and half a cup of evaporated milk)
900 ml water

  1. Combine the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle, to form a paste. If you don’t have a food processor or mortar and pestle, just cut them up very finely.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot and add the paste (onion, garlic, ginger and chilli), taking care not to let it brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves. Stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the meat and water to the pot, and some salt. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Next, add the curry powder, coriander powder, potatoes and coconut milk. Add more salt and some white pepper, to taste.
  6. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cooked.
  7. Serve hot with white rice, prata or roti kirai.
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