1kg beef, fat and sinew removed, cut into 3cm cubes
300g small new potatoes (optional) 250 ml coconut milk
1 turmeric leaf, torn and knotted
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
1–2 pieces asam gelugor fruit (or juice from 2 limes)
120g red chillies, finely sliced
45g galangal, chopped
12g fresh turmeric, chopped 12g ginger, chopped
200g red chillies, chopped
4 shallots, diced
This rich and tender coconut beef dish is incredibly flavourful — a true Malay classic. Often served on ceremonial occasions, it cooks for a long time, so all the spices and coconut milk are fully absorbed into the meat.
Mix and pound all the spices together with a pinch of salt until they are thoroughly combined.
Simmer the coconut milk with the turmeric leaf, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, asam gelugur or lime juice, sliced chillies and the ground spices until the milk thickens and becomes oily: this will take approximately 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat, add the beef, and cook for about 10 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally until the spices dry out and turn brown.
If using, soak the potatoes in water for 15 minutes then scrub with a soft brush to clean the skins. Boil until fully cooked and add to the sauce at the same time as the beef.
Serve with steamed rice.