Malaysian Beef Curry

P1140266This delicious recipe from my old school friend Cathy – from her pre-vegetarian days! – is just the thing for this colder snap that’s come upon us…
When you look at it first it seems like a huge list of ingredients, but you’ll have to trust me when I say it comes together really quickly. The other thing is not to get too hung up on having all 10 spices – just use what you’ve got. The cumin is probably essential, but if you think about it, something like a Garam Masala mix consists of several items which appear on the list of spices, so as I say, don’t panic, it’s all about making theses things your own.

Almost the full contents of the spice cupboard!

INGREDIENTS:  Feeds about 4-6
The Spices: Into a strong plastic bag, or a medium/large glass bowl put the following:
(this is the most difficult bit of the recipe :) )
2 teaspoons each of:
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon each of:
  • cinnamon
  • mild chilli powder
  • turmeric
  • ground cloves
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of crushed dried chilli flakes
Then prep the rest of the INGREDIENTS:
  • 750g of steak pieces
  • 2 onions cut into thin wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a dessert-spoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large raw potatoes, peeled, cut into smallish pieces, and well rinsed
  • a can of reduced fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • Put all the spices into a plastic bag/bowl, add the beef and give it all a good shake/stir to cover all the meat.


  • Put a tablespoon of oil into a deep frying pan on a med-high heat and when it’s hot, add the meat and allow to brown.
  • Reduce the heat slightly and add the onions.


  • Stir them around for a few minutes then add the garlic and ginger.

Grated ginger – smells divine!

  • Add the coconut milk, the sugar and the soy sauce.
  • Add the potatoes


  • Stir it all well together, then either cover the pan and reduce the heat to very low and leave it for 2-3 hours, or pop it into a casserole and put it in a medium oven – 140º or so – again for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the potatoes are cooked (I use the oven method, so I don’t have to ‘mind’ it).

Everything mixed together and ready for the oven..

I usually just serve this with plain boiled Basmati rice.
  • The potatoes are part of the dish rather than an accompaniment; hence the need for the rice.
  • I don’t add any salt because of the soy sauce, but taste it and see.
  • The original recipe called for full fat coconut milk, but the reduced fat kind works fine.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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