This can be made with lamb or goat instead. The shallots are normally deep fried, but I’ve shallow dried them here. The trick is to cook them quite briskly – on a medium high heat, stirring regularly so they crisp up and go a deep golden brown, not too black.
The flavours are supposed to be quite mellow here, nothing hard hitting, but it can be garnished with extra chillies for more heat.
750g beef stewing steak, cut into large chunks
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chilli powder
3 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
3cm piece galangal, grated (or 1 tbsp ready grated)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
750ml chicken stock or water
100g tomatoes, chopped (fresh or tinned)
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 shallots, finely sliced
2 tbsp coriander leaves, torn
1 tbsp peanuts, lightly roasted and crushed
Sliced red or green chillies (optional)
Season the beef with salt and black pepper. Mix together the turmeric and chilli and toss the beef in them. Leave to stand for around an hour.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole and add the galangal and garlic. Fry gently for a couple of minutes, until smelling very aromatic, then turn up the heat and add the meat. Sear on all sides.
Add the stock or water, tomatoes and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and partially cover. Leave to simmer gently for an hour and a half, stirring every so often.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots. Fry quite briskly on a medium high heat, stirring regularly, until the shallots are quite crisp and a golden brown. Strain onto kitchen towel.
Add half the shallots to the beef curry and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with the remaining shallots, coriander leaves and peanuts.