Rich Coconut Beef Curry


  1. In a small frying pan, toast the desiccated coconut over low heat, stirring frequently until golden brown for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same frying pan, stir-fry the star fruit with turmeric, remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. With a hand blender, combine the spice paste ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Heat a pot over medium-low heat until hot. Add 3 tablespoons cooking oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the spice paste and cook and stir in the chili sauce, until the oil separates out from the paste. Add the palm sugar, concentrated tamarind, toasted desiccated coconut, beef and coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add lemongrass and sugar; mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 1 hour until the sauce is quite dry.
  5. Transfer the coconut beef curry to a serving plate. Top with kaffir or lime leaves for garnish.

Chef’s Tip: Serve with glutinous rice!


Spice Paste:

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 6 small shallots
  • 5 slices ginger, about 3cm diameter each
  • 5 bird’s eye chilies
  • 2 tsp fresh galangal, chopped
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ star fruit, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 2 pcs of palm sugar
  • 1 tsp concentrated tamarind
  • 450g boneless beef sirloin or top round, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 can (398 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 15 cm only, halved and lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 kaffir or fresh lime leaves, thinly shredded
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil


  • Glutinous rice, for serving