Spices That Create the Perfect Aroma of Malaysian Beef Curry

Malaysian Beef

This slow-cooked, succulent beef with its fragrant sauce makes for a perfect weekend dinner.

Malaysian beef curry is a spicy, creamy, and rich beef stew made with beef, coconut milk, and indispensable spices. The curry with its explosive flavours is served with rice or coconut milk rice. A drier version of the curry is a popular street food in Malaysia, served in little leaf parcels by vendors.

When walking down the streets of Malaysia, you cannot miss the rich and inviting aroma wafting out of tiny restaurants that boast the best beef rendang. This aroma is the result of the spices used while cooking the curry.

Spices for an Aromatic Beef Rendang

  • Ginger– Ginger is a versatile root that adds zesty, hot, biting yet sweet flavour to the curry.
  • Garlic–It is pungent and strong when raw, but cooking gives it a delicate, well-balanced flavour that works well with other spices.
  • Cinnamon Stick–The aroma that cinnamon lends to the curry is what makes it an oasis of flavour.
  • Cloves–Cloves are very fragrant and add an astringent touch to the curry giving it a tiny bit of spice.
  • Cardamom–With undertones of eucalyptus and camphor, cardamom seeds are both peppery and citrusy. Adding whole cardamom pods whole to rendang gives it a unique inebriating aroma.
  • Star Anise–Known for their pungent flavour, star anise lends a tinge of spicy sweetness to the curry.
  • Curry Powder–A blend of a handful of whole spices, this is actually aBritish innovation used on all kinds of cooking. Curry powder adds a unique pep to the Malaysian beef curry and makes it invitingly fragrant.
  • Chilli Powder– Chilli powder is used to spice up the curry according to your taste. Add as much as chilli powder your palate can handle and then mop up the gravy with bread.
  • Turmeric Powder– Turmeric powder is used for colour and for tenderising the meat.
  • Kaffir Lime Powder–Kaffir lime is a member of the citrus family and its leaves are used to add a distinct lemony flavour signature to Malaysian cooking. The leaves are thick and can be used whole or finely chopped. In soups and stews, the leaves are used whole and removed after cooking, while in stir-fries, tom yum, curries, the leaves are finely chopped and added as a flavouring agent. Dried kaffir powder can be used in case the leaves are not available.

If you’re new to spice blending however, let us do the work for you with our Malaysian Curry Rendang Spice Mix.

The incredible depth of flavour that is synonymous with beef rendang. It is the poster child with variations like chicken rendang and lamb rendang. This Malaysian delicacy is boldly spiced but easy to cook and make for a great main course to go along with bread or rice.

About Liz Edgecombe

Liz is our founder, dreamer & passionate spice evangelist. She is passionate about enriching life & does what she can to add that extra bit of spice to life.