For Conventional cooking: Heat a large pan over a moderate heat with the oil until hot.For Instant Pot: Turn on the 'Saute' function of your Instant Pot and heat the oil.
Add the curry leaves and star anise and let them splutter for 30 seconds before adding the onions. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes to soften slightly.
Add the beef, tomato, curry powder, coconut milk, salt, pepper and sugar and cover with around 4 cups water.
For conventional cooking: Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered for 2 hours until the meat is tender. For Instant pot: Switch to the 'Pressure Cooking' setting and put the lid on. Cook under pressure for 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat / Stop cooking and stir in the fish sauce.That's it! Serve with plenty of fluffy Jasmine rice or Malaysian Paratha or Roti breads and a Malaysian style Dal or salad.
I sometimes like to add some potatoes to the sauce near the end of cooking. Just cut up a peeled potato into quarters and cook conventionally for 15-20 minutes or in the instant Pot for 5 minutes.I also sometimes add some green beans at the end for 5 minutes simmering in the sauce.