Tamarind Beef Curry (Samlaa Ko Phet)


  • 25g Compressed Tamarind Pulp
  • 150ml Boiling Water
  • 450g Beef Fillet
  • 2 Large Chilies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Coriander
  • 5cm Fresh Root Galangal, peeled and chopped or 1 teasp Ground Galangal
  • 1 stalk of Lemon Grass, chopped or 2 Teasp Ground Lemon Grass
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 teasp Sugar
  • 1 x 40g tin Coconut Milk
  • 150g Aubergines (eggplants) cut into 2.5cm/1-inch cubes
  • The Juice and grated rind of 1 Lime


  1. Place the tamarind pulp in a small mixing bowl, pour over the boiling water and set aside to soften for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the meat into very thin strips 12mm/1/2inch wide and 5cm/2inches long. Set aside.
  3. Place the chilli, coriander, galangal and lemon grass in a food processor and process to a paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the curry paste and fry stirring for 3 minutes then add the beef and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the fish sauce, sugar and coconut milk and the water in which the tamarind has been soaking to the beef (discard the tamarind pulp), mix well and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the aubergine, lime juice and grated lime zest and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the aubergines have softened.