Fragrant and spicy beef curry


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: Four hours

SERVES: 6-8 people

Indian food is extolled for its curries, mouth-burning spices and complex flavour pairings. With its use of a cacophony of spices and other pungent ingredients, the resulting taste combinations are unlike anything found elsewhere around the world.

There is a long-standing debate around how and when curry first appeared, however the general consensus is that the term derives from Kari, the word for sauce in Tamil, a south Indian language.

Due to the huge variety of dishes coming from the region, British traders clumped them altogether and called them curry. It has now become one of the world’s most widely-loved and widely-eaten cuisines.

The recipe below is particularly fragrant, the meat melts in your mouth, and better still it has lashings of delicious sauce to mop up with some crispy roti or rice. Enjoy!


4 onions

6 cloves garlic

Thumb size of grated fresh ginger

cans of chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons canola or some vegetable oil

tablespoons coriander seeds

tablespoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fenugreek

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 heaped teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder (add a little more if you like it hot!)

1 tablespoon paprika

chuck beef (any cheap cut is ok slow cooking for so long)

6 cardamom pods

1 tablespoon garam masala


Pre-heat the oven to 100degC.

2.Blitz the four onions, canned tomatoes, garlic and ginger in a food processor until well blended (alternatively dice the above as small as possible and crush tomatoes).

3.Pour the oil into a large oven-proof dish that has a lid and put on to element, heat to medium heat.

4.Tip in your onion, mix in and cook for 5-6 minutes until onion has softened, stirring occasionally.

5.Meanwhile, in a dry fry pan, tip in your coriander, cumin, fenugreek, caraway and fennel and toast on a medium-high heat until just starting to smoke a little and become fragrant.

6.Tip into a pestle and mortar with one heaped teaspoon sea salt and grind until fine. Tip in with the onion mix along with the turmeric, chilli powder, paprika and mustard seeds.

7.Stir until combined and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mustards seeds start to pop. Add a little more oil if need be.

8.Add in your beef chunks and coat in the mix. Pop in the cardamom and garam masala and combine then pop the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

9.Put the pot into the oven with the lid on and cook for about 3to 4 hours until beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

10.Taste and add a little more salt if need be then serve with rice, roti and raita.