Spicy Cumin Beef Stir Fry | easy spicy numbing ‘mala’ beef recipe | Halal recipe

Today, we’re making an easy Cumin Beef Stir Fry a deliciously fragrant cumin-spiced stir fry with a kick of numbingness from Sichuan peppercorns and oh so addictive.

‘Ma La’ means numbing (Ma) and spicy (la), and it refers to a fun numbing sensation in the mouth. Typically comes in a super oily sauce, this stir fry is not as oil-intense, and easier to accomplish.

In restaurants the beef is usually deep fried till crispy, but I find this one-pan stir fried version more practical (and easier). Deep fry the beef and add before the sauce if that’s what you like.

I used a cheap cut of beef (flank), and to prepare it for the stir fry, slice it thinly, against the grain at an angle. This is going to get you a more tender chew.


This recipe is inspired by Cumin Lamb Noodles. The beef here is interchangeable with lamb, with no change in directions and cooking times.


  • 300g Beef, sliced
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies (adjust according to spice tolerance)
  • 4-5 Stalks of Cilantro
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch + 2-3 tbsps Water
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  • Cumin Spice Blend, to dry toast and grind to powder:
    • 2 tsps Cumin
    • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
    • 2 tsps Sichuan Peppercorns
  • Beef Marinade:
    • 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
    • 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp Sugar
    • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
    • 1 tsp Cornstarch
    • 1 tsp of Cumin Spice Blend
  • Sauce Bowl of Efficiency:
    • 200ml Cup Beef Stock or Chicken Stock
    • 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
    • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
    • 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
    • 2 tsps Brown Sugar
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