I will just jump straight to the recipe as requested and will write my notes on how to create this dish a little further down the recipe.


500g tenderloin (batang pinang)


Turmeric powder

Dry coconut husk (sabut kelapa)


  1. Marinate the beef with salt and turmeric powder.
  2. Start up a barbecue with a handful of dry coconut husk and charcoal.
  3. Once the charcoal is hot, start smoking smoking your meat. For further tips: Please continue reading after this recipe.
  4. This process will takes few hours so be prepared for it. It took me 3 hours till my meat is ready.

It was my lucky day, I found dry coconut husk .

500g, thinly sliced smoked beef

a handful of cili api, thinly sliced

a jug of water

2 sticks of lemongrass

2 cups of fresh coconut milk

1 small box of KARA coconut cream (200ml)

1 turmeric leaf , thinly sliced

2 tbsp of tamarind juice

1 tbsp of turmeric powder or more.

Bilimbis (belimbing buloh)

Salt & Sugar

  1. Add in the smoked beef, the chillis and 1/2 cup water (from the jug) into your cooking pot. Turn up the heat and stir it until the water has evaporated. NO OIL PLEASE.
  2. Add in the lemongrass and stir it for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add in 2 cups of fresh coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and 200ml of KARA coconut cream. Mix it until it is fully incorporated and add the turmeric powder.
  4. Add in the turmeric leaf.
  5. Add in the tamarind juice.
  6. Add in the bilimbis.
  7. Season it with salt and sugar. At this point, you will need to taste as you go.
  8. Stir, stir, and stir. Let it boil for a 1 minute and voila.

Notes :

  1. You can opt to sear the meat on a griller. No problem. You just dont get the smokiness that you get out of ‘daging salai’.
  2. NO OIL PLEASE : This is apparently the biggest sin for anyone that claims to make Masak Lemak Cili Api Nismilan but use oil -_- because the Nismilan people dont saute the beef and chilli with oil at all. They just throw everything in a pot and let it cook. Just don’t ok. If you want to make masak lemak cili api, go ahead – just do not call it Nismilan / Negeri Sembilan way.
  3. Choice of beef : This is something that I am very particular about. Tenderloin is my choice of meat for this dish because its great for bbq and its also tender. Hence, the name.
  4. Bilimbis is actually optional but it is such a great souring agent for this dish. Tamarind juice is great but with bilimbis, you will get that ooompphh.
  5. Turmeric leaf : This is new for me as I recently acquired from a friend of mine (yes, Nana – its you) who makes one of the best daging salai Ive ever tasted. I just realised that the taste that was missing from the recipe that my mom gave previously was the leaf. My mom is not a fan of turmeric leaf, so, she doesn’t use it in her recipe. But I will and in this recipe; please do add the turmeric leaf.

I love everything about making this from the tedious smoking the beef to the simplicity of just dumping everything in a pot and stir-stir-stir. If you don’t like the smoking bit, sear the meat. Theres no right or wrong way to do things except that OIL bit. NO OIL ok.



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