Muslim beef curry

This curry is a Muslim-style curry characterised by the sweet-sour taste and warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon. I’ve borrowed this recipe from my new meat recipe book: Lobel’s Meat Bible.

I bought the majority of the ingredients from Yan’s Supermarket in Hopper Street, Wellington. The only thing I couldn’t get there was green cardamom pods. I ended up buying these from Moore Wilsons in College Street, and was forced into buying a very big bad indeed. If anyone needs a few please let me know.I’m fully stocked!

This recipe serves 4.


  • 700 g of sirloin sliced into 1 cm  thick slices about 4 cm long
  • 8 tbspn Thai Massaman curry paste
  • 3 tbspn peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion peeled, halved lengthwise, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbspn of peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbspn palm sugar (crushed if solid)
  • 1 1/2 tbspns tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tbspns fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • 2 eggplants cut into 3-4 cm pieces 1 cm thick
  • 1/4 cup sliced canned bamboo shoots, drained
  • 2 tbspn fresh lime juice
  • maldon salt
  • white rice for serving
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped coriander


Combine the beef with half of the curry paste in a mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat the meat. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat the oil in a stockpot or deep wok over a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until slightly softened for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the remaining curry paste, the cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and bay leaves and cook stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Add the palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and stock. Increase the heat to high and bring this mixture to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 15 minutes to combine and concentrate the flavours.

Stir in the eggplant and cook until just tender – arround 10 to 15 minutes, stirring and turning the pieces occasionally. Add the bamboo shoots and the reserved beef stirring well a few times to expose the beef to the liquid on all sides. Cook until the meat is medium rare in the centre.

Stir in the lime juice and salt to taste.

Spoon the curry onto rice, then sprinkle with some of the peanuts and coriander.


A beautiful concoction of herbs and spices; cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom…
The eggplant is added to the pot and cooked for 10 to 15 minutes
And finally the beef is added and cooked for 2-3 minutes
A wonderful taste of sweet and sour and spicy-ness. Delicious!

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