We all know I love a good curry.  For me they are the perfect mid week meal as they can be cooked low and slow or nice and quick.  This is a beautifully fragrant curry, simple but by no means lacking in flavour.  The rice pilaf was a gorgeous accompaniment too, healthy and subtly spiced it just added another dimension to the dish so that every mouthful was a serious explosion of flavour.  Orgasmic.


Prep time:  30 Minutes               Cooking time:  3 Hours               $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4


For the Curry:


Oil for frying

700gm of gravy beef, cut into 2-3cm chunks

300gm of butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm chunks

400gm tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 large brown onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

4cm piece of ginger, grated or minced

1 tbs of ground coriander

1 tbs of ground cumin

1 tsp of turmeric

1/2 tsp of chilli powder

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole star anise

2 cups of chicken stock

400gm tin of crushed tomatoes

1 tbs of honey

Sea salt and cracked pepper

1/2 cup of chopped coriander

Greek yoghurt and coriander sprigs for garnish


For the Pilaf:


20gm of butter

1 tbs of Olive oil

1 small brown onion, very finely diced

6 cardamom pods, bruised with the flat of your knife

4 cloves

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 cup of Brown Basmati rice

2 cups of water

A good pinch (1/2 tsp) of sea salt and a sprinkle of black pepper

50gm of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped (about half a bag)

1/2 cup of chopped coriander


Pre heat the oven to 160°


Heat a large, heavy based fry pan or oven proof casserole and add a little oil.  Brown the beef in batches until golden, place in a bowl and set aside.  In the same pan, add a little more oil if needed and fry the onion on a medium heat until soft.  Add the garlic and ginger and fry for one minute until aromatic and then add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli, star anise and cinnamon stick.  Stir to combine and then pour in the stock, tomatoes and honey.  Season with salt and pepper and return the beef, juices and all to the pan.  Stir and then cover with a piece of baking paper and top with a tight fitting lid.  Place the curry in the oven for 2 hours, stirring every half hour or so.


Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil.  season with salt and pepper and bake it on the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes until roasted and golden.  Remove from the oven and set aside until later.


After 2 hours remove the curry from the oven and place on the stove top.  Remove the lid and simmer on low to reduce a little and stir through the pumpkin and chickpeas.  If it looks a little dry add a bit of water and pop the lid back on.  Stir the coriander through the curry just before serving.


Begin making the Pilaf approximately 45 minutes before serving.  Heat a large sauce pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Once melted and bubbling fry the onion until soft.  Add the cumin seeds, cardamom pods and cloves and fry until aromatic.  Add the rice and stir over the heat to toast slightly, stirring continually until all the grains are covered in the oil and butter (approximately 1 minute).  Pour in the water and season generously with salt and pepper.  Allow the mixture to come to the boil, stirring with a fork periodically to break up the grains.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, pop on a tight fitting lid and cook for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, turn off the heat, quickly remove the lid and toss in the baby spinach leaves.  Place the lid back on and don’t worry about stirring the spinach through the rice at this point.  You just want the steam from the rice to wilt it.  Allow the rice to steam for approximately 7 minutes.  Once steamed, pop in the coriander and stir it and the spinach through the rice with a fork.


To serve, place some rice in 4 bowls and top with the curry.  Place a nice dollop of yoghurt on top and garnish with coriander sprigs.  Serve with pappadum or roti bread.