For the panang paste:

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, halved and deseeded
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom pods, crushed to release inner black seeds only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 4 dry kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lime, juice only

For the curry:

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted (shelled) peanuts
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 400ml (13fl oz) tin coconut milk
  • 4 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
  • 500g (1lb) sirloin steak, trimmed of obvious fat and finely sliced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • handful basil leaves (preferably Thai basil, but standard is fine)
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • steamed rice, to serve


  • To make the panang paste, pound all the ingredients together in a large pestle and mortar for at least 5 minutes to form a paste. Alternatively, use the small bowl of a food processor and pulse-chop until a relatively smooth paste forms, stopping regularly to scrape down the bowl.
  • To make the curry, put the peanuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a low heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan often, until golden and fragrant. Let them cool then roughly chop, or crush in a pestle and mortar.
  • Put the oil in a wok or large, deep-sided frying pan and set on a low-medium heat. Add the panang paste and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until fragrant and sizzling. Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and increase the heat. Bubble down for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the sugar and 2 tbsp fish sauce and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.
  • Add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes more until it no longer looks pink and raw. Add the lime juice, then taste the curry and add a further tbsp of fish sauce if it needs more salt. Remove from the heat and scatter with the peanuts, basil leaves and sliced chilli. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Recipe by Tesco realfood