Mixed Spicy Beef

Origin: East Java Province


  • 600 gr beef (silver side), cut into large pieces, about 1 cm or 1/2 inch thick
  • 500 ml thick coconut milk
  • 250 ml thin coconut milk
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  • 1 cm galangale, bruished
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp, soak with 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Spices for the paste

  • 7 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 6 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 2 tsp roasted coriander or 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cm fresh ginger
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin fresh or 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp brown / palm sugar

Mixed Spicy Beef

Besengek Daging or Mixed Spicy Beef is originally comes from East Java province but also popular in Midle of Java and Jogjakarta regions.
In my hometown, this dish is usually made for selamatan or communal feast. The selamatan goes back to pre-Islamic, Hindu-Javanese or Budhist-Javanese traditions. Selamatan is performed to celebrate almost any occasion, including birth, marriage, death, moving house, etc.
Besengek Daging is another alternative to replace Daging or Ayam or Telur Bumbu Bali. Together with Mie Goreng, Kering Tempe and last but not least Sambal Goreng Kentang Hati, will be arranged in a banana container called "Takir/Berkat" and sent to the neighbourhood as an announcement, invitation or just an expression of sharing happiness/tragedy, it depends on what's occasions.
Note: You can replace the main ingredient as you preferred for example you can cook with chicken, called Ayam Bumbu Besengek, or with tofu even tempeh. Especially for tofu, it is advised to deep-frying it first before you add it onto the paste. The cooking time for tofu & tempeh will be shorter compare to meat or chicken. Try your own version & good luck.
If you don't like it spicy, just discard the chillies's seed. Don't worry….It still taste best!!


  • Prepare all ingredients for the paste, pre-cut and slice if necessary.
  • 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).
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a Wok or big saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender). Add the paste, lemon grass, galangale and kaffir-lime leaf.
  • Stir fry the paste, stirr all the time until well cooked & fragrant. (approx. 3-5 minutes)
  • Add the beef and stir to mix.
  • Add thin coconut milk. Stir to mix.
  • Add tamarind water and bring to boil on a maximum heat. Stir occationally.
  • Adjust the heat into medium and simmer until the beef well cooked & tender. (approx. 30 minutes)
  • Add thick coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes until the coconut milk becomes thicker and oily. Stiring frequently.
  • Adjust the taste, add salt or sugar if necesarry. Remove from heat. Serve hot with rice.
Keyword beef, coconut milk, Indonesia, spice

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