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Madras Beef Curry

Classically, people think of Madras curry as being much hotter than other curries, as it originates in the south of India, where many foods are heavy on the chilies. Saying that, Madras curry actually doesn’t have to be very hot and could be variable in terms of heat to enjoy the wonderful fragrant and piquant flavours. As it’s origin is in the Hindu culture it is commonly a vegetarian dish, but can be made with beef, lamb or chicken. It is good first to roast Madras Curry Blend if you preparing it with lamb or beef for a more robust flavour. And remember, that this is a great dish to make beforehand, because it tastes better after a day or two.


  • 500g Stewing Beef, cut into 2½ cm cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Panch Phoron
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 400 g can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1 Teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2½ Tablespoons Madras Curry Blend
  • 1½ Teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a hot heavy-based frying pan dry-roast Madras Curry powder, stirring constantly until fumes start to rise and the curry powder darkens slightly. Transfer roasted powder into a small dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven or heavy-based saucepan over high heat and add the Panch Phoron.
  3. When seeds stop popping, add the onion and cook until transparent, then add the garlic and roasted curry powder, Stir into a paste and cook for 1 minute. If the paste starts to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to deglaze the base.
  4. Add the beef and stir well to coat the meat with the spices. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste, stir in well, cook for 1 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer gently for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.
  6. Once the meat is tender, stir in the Garam Masala, sugar, and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. When ready, serve with steamed rice.

Preparation: 20 minutes. Cooking: 2 hours.

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