Food & Nutrition

Tom Kerridge’s High-Protein Malaysian-Style Beef Curry Recipe

Curry night comes around at least once a week for many of us in the UK, but despite eating it so frequently we rarely spread our wings beyond the traditional “anglicised Indian” approach, aside from the occasional diversion to Thailand for a green or red curry.

This Malaysian-style curry recipe from Tom Kerridge will help you expand your curry repertoire. It has subtler flavours than the traditional fiery Indian curry, and it’s also full of protein, making it ideal for regular gym-goers looking to build muscle.

The recipe is taken from Kerridge’s new book Lose Weight & Get Fit (Bloomsbury Absolute, £22) and the main ingredient is lean stewing steak, which is not only high in protein but also very low in saturated fat compared with other cuts of beef.

Ingredients (Serves Four)

  • 650g lean stewing beef
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 litre fresh beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 150ml canned coconut milk
  • 1tbsp tamarind paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spice paste

  • 8 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 dried chillies, stalks removed
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, diced
  • 2.5cm piece fresh galangal, diced
  • 2 lemongrass stems, coarse layers removed, chopped
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp salt

To finish and serve

  • 500g cooked brown rice (freshly cooked and drained, or 2 pouches)
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced


  1. Prepare the spice paste. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed.
  2. Cut the beef into 2.5cm cubes.
  3. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for one minute or until fragrant.
  4. Add the beef and cook, stirring, for five minutes until starting to brown.
  5. Add the stock, cinnamon, star anise and lime leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the beef is tender. Meanwhile, if using a packet of rice, cook according to the packet instructions.
  7. Increase the heat, stir in the coconut milk and tamarind paste and cook for a further five minutes. Meanwhile, if using pouches of rice, heat up according to the packet instructions.
  8. Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Divide the rice and curry between warmed bowls and top with coriander leaves and chilli slices.

If you want to save a serving or two for later, let the curry cool then freeze in portions. Defrost fully overnight in the fridge, then reheat in a pan over a medium heat until hot all the way through.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 613 calories, 66g protein, 19g fat, 42g carbohydrates, 3g fibre

Lose Weight & Get Fit (Bloomsbury Absolute, £22) is out now. Photography by Cristian Barnett.

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