Prep Time: 30 mins / Cook Time: 60 mins

Serves 4


1kg shin beef (cut into cubes)
4 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (about 50mm long or two pieces to make that length)
3 cardamom pods
1 lemongrass (cut into 125mm length and pounded)
1-cup thick coconut milk
1-cup water
2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds)
6 kaffir lime leaves (very finely sliced)
6 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or to taste
Salt to taste

Rempah (Spice Paste)

5 shallots
1-inch galangal
3 lemongrass stalks (white part only)
5 cloves garlic
1-inch ginger
10-12 dried chilies (seeded)


1) Cut up the spice paste ingredients and then blend them in a food processor until a paste.

2) Heat oil in a casserole dish or stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and gently stir-fry them until aromatic.

3) Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for about a minute.

4) Add the coconut milk, water, tamarind juice, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.

5) Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), and palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.

6) Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 – 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and the sauce has reduced by half.

7) If you prefer a creamier rending add ½ a cup of coconut cream.

8) Add salt to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice.