Khmer Beef Curry

(6 servings)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

This dish has to be one of my new favorites. The succulent beef slow cooked till absolutely tender with the deep khmer curry flavor was an absolute hit in the household. My sister had come over for the weekend and my wife and her were left licking the plates. This dish is popular among the muslims in Cambodia and is sometimes just called simply – Muslim beef curry. Do give this one a try!


  • 2 pounds beef (cut in 1 inch cubes)
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 2 no. bay leaves
  • 3 no. cardamom
  • 7 no. cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 4 lemon grass stalks
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the marinate:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • Juice from ½ lime

For the curry paste:

  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion chopped


Marinate the beef with the margination ingredients and set aside for at least an hour.

For the curry paste:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Traditionally this is done with a mortar pestle, but a food processor also gets the job done.

In a casserole heat about 2 tablespoon oil on high heat fry the beef till slightly golden brown. Set aside. In the same casserole add in the sliced onions, cardamom, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon and sautee till onions are golden brown. Chop just the white section the lemongrass in 3 inch pieces so it will be easy to take out later and sautee. Now add in the curry paste and fry till color changes to a dark reddish brown (about 5 minutes).

Add back the beef, curry powder, coconut milk, beef broth and lime leaves and mix well. Adjust for salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low flame for about an hour or until the beef is tender. You can at this point remove the lemongrass if you like as all the flavor would be absorbed into the curry. Top with sliced lime leaves, a little coconut milk and serve with rice!


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