This Muslim Indian-influenced Thai dish is a rich, slightly sweet curry with lots of aromatic flavor and a fair amount of heat. Tamarind paste--found in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian markets--has a sweet-sour taste that's key to many curries; substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice plus 1/2 teaspoon molasses if you can't find it.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large dried New Mexico chiles, halved lengthwise, seeded, and torn into large pieces
2 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, halved
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth, divided
2 teaspoons peanut oil
3 cups thinly vertically sliced onion
1 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound small white potatoes, halved
1/3 cup light coconut milk
How to Make It
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 6 ingredients; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Place spice mixture in a food processor; add lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 cup broth. Process 1 minute, scraping sides occasionally; set aside.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spice mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef, and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining broth and water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tamarind paste, salt, and potatoes; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beef is very tender. Remove from heat; stir in coconut milk.