Cooking time 2 hours
3-5 dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked and drained
large pinch of salt
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/4 cup peanuts
7 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves, roasted and ground
5 cloves, roasted and ground
500g beef (shin or flank)
4 cups coconut cream (or coconut milk)
3 tbsp shredded ginger
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2cm piece cassia bark (you could substitute a piece of cinnamon)
3 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp tamarind water
First make the paste. Dry fry the coconut, peanuts, cardamom pods, bay leaves and cloves for a few minutes. Pick the black seeds out of the cardamom pods and discard the green husks. Then pound all paste ingredients together using pestle or mortar or a food processor.
Cut the beef into large cubes.
Bring coconut cream or milk to the boil in a pan, add beef and simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until tender (you may need to add a little water during cooking if the coconut cream reduces too much. Using a slotted spoon remove the beef from the coconut liquid. Pour the coconut liquid into a jug and set aside.
Return the beef to the pan and add the paste to beef in the pan along with ginger, peanuts and cassia bark/cinnamon. Fry over a low heat, stirring regularly for a few minutes until fragrant. Add reserved coconut liquid to the pan, season with sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water and bring to the boil. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes and then check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
The curry should taste equally sweet, sour and salty.