Kulma is a rich Tausug beef curry dish. It's commonly prepared during special occasions in Mindanaoan households, but we've been happy to see it become a more known dish all around. Kulma is stewed in coconut milk, peanut butter, and tomato paste, giving it a complex mix of flavors. Think of it as a crossover between traditional curry and kare-kare.
The stew usually takes two to three hours to make. Our "cheat" version cuts that time in half and takes a few shortcuts in flavoring the broth, but the end result is just as flavorful.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 500g beef sirloin, cut into small pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 green chilies, sliced, divided
- 2 red chilies, sliced, divided
- 1 stalk lemongrass, minced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 packet instant Kare-Kare mix
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock or water
- 1 cup coconut milk
Cook beef: Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Once hot, sear beef until browned on one side, about 1 ½ minutes. Set aside.
Make sauce: Add oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add half the green chilies, half the red chilies, and lemongrass. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Add curry powder, instant Kare-Kare mix, peanut butter, and tomato paste. Cook until toasted. Add beef stock, stir, and cook until the Kare-Kare mix is dissolved and the peanut butter and tomato paste are well incorporated. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the mixture down to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Finish: Add cooked beef and coconut milk, saving some milk for garnish if desired, to the sauce. Stir to combine. Garnish with remaining chilies and serve.