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Beef in Red Sauce

Origin: Banjarmasin – South Kalimantan


  • 500 g rumpsteak or silverside, cut in pieces
  • 5 pc middle size tomato, quartered
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp soak in 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • salt to taste

Spice for the paste

  • 5 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 2 cm ginger
Beef in Red Sauce

Beef in Red Sauce

Masak Habang (Cooking in Red Sauce) is a typical dish from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan. Habang means red! So it's name already suggest it's character which's dominated by the red colour, provided by the chillies in it.
For your info, these dish have it's counterparts: Masak Hijau (Cooking in Green Sauce) and Masak Kuning (Cooking in Yellow Sauce). The paste ingredients for those three dishes are totally different, but the main item to be cooked are flexible. It means you can exchange with each other.
For example "Chicken in Red Sauce" or "Beef in Green Sauce" or vice versa (Chicken in Green Sauce and Beef in Red Sauce etc.)
This time I choose beef as the main item to be cooked as example. Anyway before I forget, for you who do not like spicy food, don't feel intimidated by the RED colour ๐Ÿ™‚ Although this dish looks like a fire, the spiceness level is quite low ๐Ÿ˜‰ because we used de-seeded large red chilli instead of the fire-spicy bird's eye chilli!


  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a Wok or big saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender).
  • Stir fry the paste all the time until well cooked & fragrant.
  • Add the meat and stir to mix. Cook until the the meat becomes harder and it's colour turns to white.
  • Pour in the water and continue simmering on a medium heat until well cooked. Stir occationally.
  • Add the tamarind water, palm sugar and salt. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes and continue cooking until tomatoes has deformed and the sauce becomes thick. Serve hot with rice.
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Keyword beef, Indonesia, red chillies, spicy

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