Photo: Romulo Yanes, Randy Mayor; Styling: Mary-Ellen Weinrib
6 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup beef mixture and 3/4 cup rice)

This rich Malay curry features aromatic lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon. Make sure the beef mixture cooks at a low simmer so the sauce doesn't scorch and the meat slowly becomes tender. If you can't find unsweetened coconut, use sweetened flaked coconut and omit the added sugar.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place first 9 ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk; process until smooth. Spoon mixture into a bowl; set aside.

Step 2

Place 3 tablespoons coconut milk and flaked coconut in food processor; process until a smooth paste forms.

Step 3

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot mixture; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining coconut milk, rind, and next 5 ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Discard lemongrass. Stir in flaked coconut mixture; simmer 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Serve over rice.

Ratings & Reviews


June 17, 2016
I love this dish.  Made if for the 2nd time tonight, and after the 1.5hrs covered I simmered very low uncovered for an additional 1.5-2 hrs.  This got the sauce to a thicker consistency, but I actually wish I had more sauce!  I may try cooking the initial 1.5hrs uncovered next time, though I think the long low and slow cooking makes the meat delicious and tender.  I make it spicier by adding extra chili garlic sauce and an extra serrano.  Delicious!!

Cynthia G's Review

November 25, 2014
My family loved this. I cooked it for a little over an hour covered and then removed the cover and cooked it for another hour before adding the coconut mixture and continuing to cook. The sauce was not thick, but there was just the right amount to serve in bowls over rice. I served stir fried, then steamed broccoli along side. 1 Serrano chili added the correct amount of heat. I may try making it in a crockpot in the future.

maurainelle's Review

October 10, 2014
Let me preface my review by saying that I have no idea what Malaysian food tastes like, so I didn't know what to expect from this dish. With that said, I absolutely loved it from the first go around. I've made it for years now from this same recipe, and it is one of my recipe keepers. I've even made large batches to take to dinner only to find it had run out with rave reviews. It's very flavorful, reminiscent of Southeast Asian curries. And, like other reviewers noted, it doesn't reduce or thicken as much, making it more like a soup poured over rice than a curry. If you live in a metropolitan area, the trickier ingredients like lemongrass stalks can be readily found at an Asian food store plus you'll probably find the shallots and other ingredients there cheaper. And you can tweak the spice easily by using a jalapeno or reducing the amount of serrano. All in all one of the best recipes I've gotten from Cooking Light. Thank you, Lia Huber!

Debbie17's Review

June 18, 2014
I really liked this, however, my husband did not like the citrus.

pretzels's Review

May 20, 2013

Vastar's Review

April 22, 2013

JudyRiggie's Review

February 03, 2013
I agree too much liquid, but it's so tasty that this is ok with me!

jstowe's Review

August 05, 2011
Outstanding!! Yes it took longer to bring down the level of broth, but the broth is sooo good - who cares. I used my rice to soak it up.

Mleigh's Review

April 07, 2011
The lemongrass and lime really added nice bright citrus flavors to this dish. After smelling it cooking for 2 hours I was too impatient and hungry to wait for the sauce to reduce down, so I just went ahead and dished it up. I will definitely make this again even though I'm the only one in the house who will eat it (boyfriend freaks out at the thought of coconut).

Hollypop's Review

March 19, 2011
This tasted great and I added two serrano chili's. I also had to simmer for longer and added some cornstarch to make the sauce thicker. Very good, though.