1. In medium saucepan, stir together 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and the water and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat. Sprinkle in the sliced beef, stirring to keep the pieces from sticking together, and simmer 5 min, until meat is tender.
2. With a slotted spoon, scoop the meat out into a bowl and set aside, leaving coconut milk in pan to return to a gentle boil. Stir in the curry paste and cook, pressing and stirring to dissolve the paste, 3 to 4 min, until the sauce is fragrant and smooth.
3. Return the beef and any juices to the pan, add the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk, and bring back to a gentle boil. Add the fish sauce, sugar, peanuts, and lime leaves. Stir well and remove from heat. Transfer to a small platter, garnish with a flourish of basil sprigs and serve hot or warm.
From QUICK AND EASY THAI by Nancie McDermott