By Jove, I love a good curry. They really spice up the midweek repertoire and there are so many variations. I am always on the look out for new ones and if I am honest, I am yet to find one I don’t like. This slow cooked number was a stand out. Tender beef chunks in a homemade, toasted spice blend with a creamy coconut sauce topped with yoghurt and served with fragrant, fluffy rice and peas ticked every box in my curry list. It was diabolically good!
This could be transferred to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. It is still important to toast the spices though so don’t skip that step!
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 2.5 Hours $$ Medium Budget
1 kg of gravy beef, cut into 2cm chunks
2 brown onions, peeled, halved and sliced top to bottom
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2cm piece of ginger grated
3 tbs of tomato paste
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of white vinegar
1 sprig of curry leaves, removed from stem
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
Sea salt and cracked pepper
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
400ml of coconut milk
1/2 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, finely sliced for garnish (optional)
Greek yoghurt, roti bread and coriander leaves to serve
For the spice blend:
3 whole cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
For the rice:
11/2 cups of basmati rice, rinsed
21/2 cups of water
1/2 tsp of turmeric
Sea salt and pepper
1 cup of frozen peas
To make the spice blend, heat a small frypan and add the spices. Swirl the pan around to prevent them burning and when the spices are nice and fragrant, remove them from the heat. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder with a small pinch of salt and pound to a nice fine powder.
Heat a large casserole or frypan and add a little oil. Fry the beef chunks in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl once browned.
In the same frypan add a little more oil and lightly fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the spices and stir continuously for approximately 30 seconds and then add the tomato paste. Mix well to combine before adding the tomatoes, lemon juice and vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to lift any spices etc from the bottom of the pan before tossing in the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well to combine. Return the beef, juices and all to the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, place a lid on and allow to bubble away for approximately 2 hours or until the beef is nice and tender. Stir periodically and have a taste. Adjust any seasoning if necessary.
To make the rice, place it, the water and turmeric in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Season with a little salt and pepper and once at a gentle boil place a lid on and reduce the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer gently for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to steam for about 5 minutes. Don’t lift the lid!!
Place the peas in a saucepan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain and add to the rice mixture. Fluff with a fork, combining the peas at the same time.
Add the coriander to the curry just before serving and stir through. Divide the rice among serving bowls and ladle the curry over the top. Place a delicious dollop of greek yoghurt on top and garnish with coriander sprigs and green chilli slices. Serve with warm roti bread or pappadums.