I recently cooked this recipe and shared it in my Instagram stories and some of you emailed asking for the recipe. It’s an old recipe that I’ve tweaked quite a bit over the years and is loosely based on Julie Sahni’s Savoring India (Time Life Books). This version has a stronger coconut flavor, for those of you that have access to fresh coconuts and make your own, use that.
I like it best with dosa or rice but flatbread works great. A small salad on the side is all you need with this.
madras beef curry (adapted from Julie Sahni’s Savoring India - Time Life Books)
makes 4 servings
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp anise seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2.5 lb stew beef, fat trimmed and cut into 1/2 -inch chunks
2 whole Kashmiri chiles (you can use another red chile that is not too hot)
one 2-inch whole cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, crushed once *
6 whole cloves
8 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger root
two 13.5 oz coconut milk
1 tsp fine sea salt
juice of one lime
2 Tbsp whole cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
Heat a small dry skillet on medium heat. Add the poppy, coriander and anise seeds and toast for about 45 seconds until they just start to release their aroma and start to brown. Immediately remove it from the stove and grind the seeds to a fine powder in a blender or spice mill or coffee grinder. Transfer to a small bowl and add the turmeric.
Heat the oil in a medium heavy Dutch oven or a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the chiles, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the shallots and cook for 8 minutes until they start to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds with constant stirring. Add the ground spice mixture and cook with constant stirring for another 1 minute. Add the beef pieces with the salt and cook for 4 minutes. Lower the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for about 90 to 120 minutes until the beef is completely tender. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. Garnish with cilantro if using. Serve hot or warm with rice or dosa or idli or flat bread like roti or paratha.
* Cardamom - you will leave the whole cardamom pods in the curry. If you want to fish them out at the end before serving by all means do so.