Asian recipes/ Beef/ Curry/ Dinner

Thai Penang Beef & Aubergine Curry

11 September 2020

This curry originates from Penang, and island just off the west coast of Malaysia. The population is a melting pot of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian and a few Thais and Vietnamese along the way as well. So the food is an amazing melting pot as well! I remember when we traveled to Georgetown, the capital of Penang, about a year ago I couldn’t wait to make some of the dishes myself when we got back. Hence this Thai / Malay curry: if we can’t travel anymore because of the pandemic, at least we can eat the food of the world. 

The recipe is from @rasamalaysia, she has some amazing Asian dishes on her site. I adjusted the recipe slightly by using less beef and replacing it with fried aubergine, great combination if I say so myself ;-).

I always love making my own curry pastes, tastes so much more authentic in the end and great to know exactly what you’re eating. Also by making your own curry pastes more often you start understanding flavours and recipes better. All you need is a few staple ingredients in your pantry, fridge or freezer.

Thai Penang Beef & Aubergine Curry

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An authentic Malaysian curry fried in luscious coconut cream sauce.


  • 400 g beef, sliced into about 1 cm thick cubes
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 can coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Salt or fish sauce to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cm galangal, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass, tough outer leaved removed, cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon koriander stems or roots
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste/ Belacan



In a mixer blend all the spice ingredients into a smooth paste.


Heat up oil in a wok, stir-fry kaffir lime leaves for 30 seconds.


Mix in the Spice paste and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.


Turn the heat to medium and continue stir-frying until the oil slightly separates.


Add the beef in and cook for 2 minutes.


Mix in the coconut cream and give it a quick fry for 1-2 minutes.


Add in the palm sugar, fish sauce, stir well and cover the wok.


Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked, tender enough to your liking.


Salt or fish sauce, and sugar to taste.


Add some water if you prefer it saucier than a gravy-soup-like texture, or when it appears bit dry.


Dish up and serve with hot steamed Jasmine rice.

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  • Reply
    Jerry Mayle
    9 January 2021 at 08:06

    Good recipe Saffron. Though I simmered the meat for 2.5 hours on a very low heat and added the aubergine for the last hour and used ginger rather than galangal. . I will be trying more of your recipes (nice webpage, btw).

    100% with you on making your own curry pastes (and massalas).

    • Reply
      9 January 2021 at 09:48

      Hi Jerry, thanks for your message! Do you use a slowcooker then? Or just n a very low heat on the stove? I guess it also depends on the cut of meat, but I agree with you, slow cooking is always best! I’ll try that next time around for this dish as well!

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