This beef curry is SO delicious, with a creamy coconut milk gravy, Asian spices, beef and potatoes. Make this recipe for a comforting winter stew.
I have a curry recipe that’s perfect for busy people! It uses fewer ingredients than most beef curry recipes, and it has a shorter cooking time, too!
It’s hearty and comforting like any good beef stew should be, and it’s simple enough to make for a mid-week dinner.
Let me start by saying, a shorter cooking time does not mean that this meal lacks in flavor. In fact, this coconut beef curry is rich, aromatic, flavorful and satisfying. Bonus points for tasting even better the next day, too!
Types of curry
If you don’t eat curry often, you may not know that there is a difference between Thai curry and Indian curry. There are also regional differences as well. For example, the ingredients in a Chinese curry like this one are different than a authentic Thai curry.
Generally speaking, curry powder and curry paste include a mixture of spices. The ingredients in the curry seasoning can affect the overall color of the dish itself.
- Red curry – Usually made with red chiles. The variety of chili pepper varies by region. For example, I use birdseye chiles to make Thai red curry paste.
- Yellow curry– Turmeric is the spice that gives a glorious golden hue to the majority of yellow curries. It’s what I use in my recipe for Thai yellow curry paste.
- Green curry – Green chiles are what make green curry green. Again, the variety of chiles will vary based on if it’s an Indian or Asian recipe. Two types of green chiles are in this Thai green curry paste.
While most Indian curry recipes are tomato based, many Asian curries are coconut based. So, here we are with this fantastic Beef Curry Stew!
Video: making coconut beef curry
To see the making of this beef curry step by step, watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Ingredient and recipe notes
Tender beef chuck gets seared first. I know some people complain about that extra step, BUT that extra step brings out so much flavor! Brown food is good!
Searing the meet keeps the juices in while caramelizing the outside. Plus, searing leaves little bits and pieces that are critical in giving a sauce that extra punch of flavor.
The beef curry is loaded with Yukon Gold potatoes and a wonderful coconut milk gravy, enriched with garlic, ginger, onions and coconut milk.
As for the curry powder I prefer an Asian curry powder for this recipe. The brand I use is S&B, based out of Japan. You can spice the beef curry if you’d like, by adding toppings like sliced red Fresno chiles, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime if you like. Enjoy!
This post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking Oct 2017, was last updated with new content on Nov. 11, 2021.
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Coconut Beef Curry + Video
- 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt more if desired
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter salted or unsalted
- 1 medium white onion thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger paste or fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp curry powder (See Note 1)
- 2 bay leaves
- 26 oz unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 Fresno chiles sliced thin, or other chile of choice
- fresh cilantro chopped
- Lime wedges
- Season beef all over with kosher salt. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches (you want the beef browned, not steamed), cook beef until browned on all sides, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Pour off all but a tablespoon of oil from pot. Reduce heat to medium and add the butter, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring often and scraping up browned bits, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add curry powder and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Stir in bay leaves, coconut milk, and 1 cup water.
- Return beef to pot. Season with salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until beef is just fork tender, 30–35 minutes.
- Add potatoes, bring to a simmer again, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beef and potatoes are tender, 25–35 minutes. Thin with water if needed; season with salt to taste. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro, sliced chile, and lime wedges.
- I use a Japanese curry powder: S&B Curry powder that can be found in most markets, sold in a red and yellow tin.
- Recipe adapted from Shuai Wang, Bon Appetit
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I tried it . The flavor was great, but the beef is hard. not tender as I was hoping for. When you see simmer, what does it mean?? Did i cook the meat on too high temperature?? Love to try it again and hope it will come out better next time. thanks
You used the beef chuck? After browning the meat and then it cooking in the curry for easily an hour the meat is always fork tender. Not sure what could have happened Sally. Give it another go, with the instructions as written and the video, you should be good to go.
I just have a question, if you are not fond of coconut milk what substitutes would work?
A heavy cream or Half and Half come to mind Chelsea. Others could be Soy milk, Almond milk, Cashew milk, Oat milk or Rice milk.
I made this last night and it hit the spot. Whilst I ran out of curry powder (poor planning) and was only able to put 1 tbsp of curry powder in, it was enough for me. Sooooo tasty. Definitely going to make this again
Excellent, so happy you enjoyed this one Jennie!
Made this and it was super yummy! It tasted like something ordered from an Indian. This will be definitely going into my recipe book.
So happy you enjoyed this one, thanks!
This Coconut Beef Curry is incredibly delicious. S&B Curry Powder is absolutely high quality. It gives your curry an extra aroma, bright color, and creamier. It’s our fam’s new fave dish. Best paired with Vitasoy Vita Reduced Sugar Chrysanthemum Tea.
So happy you enjoyed this one, thanks for coming back to let me know!
Great recipe! However, I modded this recipe for larger servings and was finished in a crock pot. (I’m bringing this as my dish for Thanksgiving for a huge family gathering.) I only had Jamaican yellow curry on hand so, I included Garam Masala, (a small amount of jerk seasoning) for my rue. After the Coconut milk and water, I added two teaspoons of sugar. Plus, a bit pepper flakes and cayenne pepper added for a tiny kick. I made Coconut rice with Basmati rice, (non-sticky method). Once rice was cooled, spread out on a large plate, I carefully mixed in… Read more »
That’s fantastic Michael, love the update! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Amazing dish…I replaced the potato with Pumpkin/Kabocha squash and it worked well. Pretty easy and the beef was much more tender than I thought it would be, I’m glad I found this!
Now that sounds really delicious, thanks Robert!
hey Kevin, any thoughts on a good salmon curry recipe? would you do something similar to this recipe or would you have to do something different for seafood? lemongrass?
By the way, this beef/pumpkin curry I made with the garnishes you suggested was so good! Many great reviews to those with whom I shared….
My Yellow Curry paste is a good on as well as this recipe, just change the fish: Thai green curry, coconut milk and lime. Hope this helps!
Very good! 👍🏼Thanks Kevin😁 I added some carrots into mines and shared with my neighbor they absolutely loved it, said it’s like a Thai dish . Spice was just right.
Thank you so much for the comment and rating. I’m happy you were able to share it with your neighbor, too. How nice of you!
Thank you Kevin, I am cooking this right at this moment and it smells so good. I have substituted potato with sweet potato as I had no choice today.
How did you like it? That sounds like a great substitute!
Very good recipe. I made a few changes however. I seared the beef in duck fat for a little extra flavor and used small potatoes that I quartered. Absolutely delicious. Will be making this again for sure.
Love to read this, thanks Bret.
I haven’t made this recipe yet but would really like to try it. However, I don’t have coconut milk. Is there any substitute for it that I could use?
Arabella, try using heavy cream. Of course, it won’t have a coconut taste. If you’re not allergic, you could use coconut extract for flavor.
Hi came across this recipe, I’d like to use individual herbs and spice. Could you give me the amount of each spice for the curry powder? Thanks again.
Claire, the curry powder I use in this is made by S&B Oriental Curry Powder. I wish I had their exact recipe myself, sorry!