* * *
Chop the spice paste ingredients and then blend it in a food processor until fine.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry them until aromatic.
Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
Add the kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, sugar/palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 - 1 ½hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.
Add salt to taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste.
Serve with rice.
* * *