This Indian Beef Curry is easy to make with realtively few ingredients. It is mildly spiced with a citrus tang deliverd by he tamrind. Make this curry for a dinner party, as part of buffet of indian dishes, or batch cook for easy weeknight meals.
Use Braising Beef for this Curry
When making this dish it is important to choose the right kind of beef. First, if possible use organic and grassfed beef since it has a healthier nutrient profile, and comes without pesticide residue and remnants of GMO feed.
Braising cuts works well for this dish. These are the kinds of roasts that need to cook in liquid for to become silky and tender. The good thing is that these cuts are economical and incudes round roast and chuck roast. So, here you have a tasty recipe for some of the roasts you get if you subscribe to a CSA share from a local beef farmer. 🙂
Curry leaves has nothing to do with the curry spice, instead it is a herb that is common in indian cooking. The leaves look a little like bay leaves but are not used in the same way, curry leaves can be eaten and are used in much larger quantity. Fresh curry leaves are glossy and bright green, resembling citrus leaves, and they are infact part of the same botanical family as citrus. Curry leaves have a unique aromatic flavour with a trace of citrus.
If possible it is best to use fresh curry leaves in your curry and they are often available in Indian or global grocery stores. If you can’t find fresh curry leaves, you should be able to find dried curry leaves online.
Garam Masal is a mild indian spice mix that add to the complexity of the flavours. It is easy to make your own spice mixes with the bonus that you know exactly what is in them, this is especially important if you have food sensitivities and want to make sure gluten has made its way into your spice mix. I have a recipe for Garam Masala here.
- 3” | 8 cm tamarind pulp
- 1” | 2.5 cm fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 – 2.5 lbs | 1 kg braising beef ex. round or chuck
- 3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
- 30–40 fresh curry leaves
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 small green chilli pepper (veins and seeds removed, sliced) OR 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 1.5 cups filtered water
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- black pepper, freshly ground
- fresh coriander for garnish
- Pour 3/4 cup hot water over tamarind pulp in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mince garlic cloves and set aside. Peel and grate ginger and set aside in same bowl as garlic.
- Chop onions medium fine and set aside.
- Cube beef into 3/4” | 2 cm pieces and pat dry with paper towel, season with 1 tsp salt and black pepper.
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, such as a dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp avocado oil (or ghee) over medium heat and brown beef in two batches. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Repeat for remaining beef, adding another tbsp avocado oil and/or ghee between batches.
- Add another tbsp of avocado oil (or ghee) and heat on medium high, add onions and curry leaves. Cook while stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves begin to wilt and onions begin to soften.
- Add garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add garam masala, turmeric and chilli, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Return beef to the pot, stir to combine. Add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for approx. 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Cook until the meat is fork tender.
- Add 1 tsp sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze the tamarind pulp and strain the dark tamarind water in to a small bowl and add to the curry. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Finish with a handful of fresh coriander coarsely chopped before serving.
Serve with Spiced Basmati Rice.