As this recipe shows making your own curry paste doesn’t have to be hard. But best of all you can control the heat of the paste and it just tastes so much better than packet mixes. If you have the time, roast the whole spices – coriander and cumin – then grind them for the curry paste, you will surprised at what a difference it makes.
Madras Beef Curry
Control the degree of chilli heat in this dish by the amount of chilli
powder you use in the paste – the amount I have suggested gives a
fragrant, bold but not overly hot curry.
The curry paste can be used with other foods such as chicken, vegetables or lentils, the cooking will vary depending on the base ingredient you are using.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 kg stewing or casserole beef, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
natural yogurt, to serve
fresh coriander, to serve
MADRAS CURRY PASTE
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½-1 tsp chilli powder, or to taste, (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
1 To make the Curry Paste, place ground coriander, cumin,
turmeric, chilli powder, garlic, ginger and a good grind of black
pepperin a small bowl. Mix in lemon juice to make a paste. Set aside.
2 Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-heat high, add oil and heat until shimmering. Season beef with sea salt and brown in batches, if necessary.
3 Return all meat to pan, add curry paste and mix well to coat meat.
4 Stir in tomato paste and stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1½-2 hours or until meat is tender. The exact cooking time will depend on the cut of meat used, as I used shin beef, on this occasion, the cooking time was nearly 3 hours, but cuts such as cross-cut blade and chuck will easily cook in the time I have given above. Remove lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces slightly.
5 Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, scattered with fresh coriander and accompanied by steamed rice and a steamed seasonal vegetable of your choice.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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Other Indian-style curries you might like to try: