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Gulai Sapi Padang - Padang Style Beef Curry

We love Padang food so much in our family, and I love cooking them since it is usually a guarantee that I will be seeing some big smiles (and some praises, haha) when the dishes are served. Well, who doesn’t like to have their hard work in the kitchen be appreciated, right? :D The recipe for today is for gulai sapi (beef curry), I hope your family will have as much fun slurping up all the yummy sauce. If you are averse to eating beef, you can also check out my recipe for gulai ayam Padang, gulai daun singkong, or gulai kambing.

Gulai Sapi Padang - Padang Style Beef Curry
Gulai Sapi Padang - Padang Style Beef Curry

Gulai Sapi Padang - Padang Style Beef Curry

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 500 gram beef shank or chuck (Indonesian: daging sengkel atau sandung lamur)
  • 1 liter water
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 3 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 asam kandis (*)
  • 2 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 2 cardamom pods (Indonesian: kapulaga)
  • 1 star anise (Indonesian: bunga pekak/bunga lawang)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk (Indonesian: santan kental)
  • Grind the following into a spice paste
  • 10 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 10 red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting), about 100 gram
  • 6 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1 inch turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (Indonesian: merica)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: pala)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (Indonesian: ketumbar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (Indonesian: jinten)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Place beef and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the beef and cut into 1 inch cubes. Reserve the beef stock.
  2. Heat the oil and sauté spice paste, asam kandis, lemongrass, cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon stick until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the reserved beef stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Return the beef into the pot, reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened and, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.


  • (*) Asam kandis can be substituted with asam gelugor (same amount) or tamarind (about 10 gram).
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

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