Beef in Black Sauce (Daging Masak Hitam)

With tender chunks of beef and a savoury, almost curry-like gravy, this comforting beef dish is a staple you can make anytime for everyone to enjoy.
Beef in Black Sause (Daging Masak Hitam)
Cooking Time
45 mins


  • 90 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 kg beef, finely sliced (striploin, sirloin, or topside recommended)
  • Tamarind juice – mix 3 pieces of tamarind pulp with hot water, strain
  • 45 g / ¼ cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1 litre / 4 cups water
  • 125 ml / ½ cup dark sweet soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • Chili paste (Cili Boh)
  • Salt

Ingredients for Paste (to be finely grounded)

  • 8 shallots, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cm / 1 inch ginger, peeled & chopped
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Water to blend


  1. Heat the oil and sauté the paste until fragrant and oil begins to appear on the surface.
  2. Add in beef, tamarind juice, dark sweet soy sauce, brown sugar and water.
  3. Stir well. Add salt, pepper and palm sugar to taste.
  4. Simmer until the beef is tender and the sauce is almost dry.
  5. Serve and enjoy.