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Beef Madras by Simon Holst

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Beef Madras  

Being simmered slowly in a creamy, coconutty curry sauce makes for delicious, tender beef. Traditionally, madras curries are quite spicy - add the optional chillies if you're game! 


For 6-8 servings:

1kg gravy beef, cubed

3 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil

2 medium onions, quartered and sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp fennel seed, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

400g can diced tomatoes in juice

400g coconut cream

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 dried chillies, optional

1-1 1/2 tsp salt



Spread the diced beef on a board and sprinkle it with the flour, then turn it so it is evenly coated.


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy pot (or flameproof casserole dish). Add half the cubed beef and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, then lift out and set aside. Repeat with the remaining beef.


Add the remaining oil to the pot or casserole. then add the sliced onion and chopped garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium- high heat until the onion begins to brown. Add the curry powder, spices and chillies if you want, and cook for a minute or two longer.


Stir in the browned beef, tomatoes and juice, the coconut cream and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover tightly and simmer, for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so, or until the beef is tender. Season to taste with salt.


Garnish with chopped coriander and Serve over steamed rice. Poppadums and carrot and cucumber riata ( page xx) make great accompaniments.