Beef madras

Beef madras

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

A firm British favourite, this is rich in flavour, spicy and comforting. A madras is normally a hot curry; for a medium heat I add four dried Kashmiri chillies and two green chillies, so bear this in mind and add as many as you think you will like. Kashmiri chillies are mild with an amazing deep red colour and can be found in well-stocked supermarkets. If you can’t find them, add chilli powder to taste instead. Serve with pilaf, Naan or Indian flatbreads.


Quantity Ingredient
2.5cm cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods
8 cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
3-6 dried kashmiri red chillies, seeds shaken out
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala, or to taste
salt, to taste
500g diced beef
20g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
7 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
2-5 green chillies, whole but pierced, (optional)
4 tablespoons single cream
handful chopped fresh coriander


  1. Using a spice grinder, grind all the whole spices and chillies to a fine powder.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and cook until well browned. Stir in all the spices, salt and a splash of water and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the beef and brown in the spice paste for a good six to eight minutes over a moderate heat. I often add a splash of water when it starts to stick.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the ginger, garlic and tomatoes until smooth, using a little water to help. Add to the pan with the green chillies, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently until the liquid has reduced. Check after 10 minutes, give the pot a stir and come back in another five minutes.
  5. Now increase the heat and brown the beef and sauce together until it has been absorbed by the beef. Pour in enough water to cover, bring back to a boil, cover and cook until the meat is tender; it will take around 1¼ hours.
  6. Uncover the lid and reduce the sauce in the pan until it is creamy. Add the cream and chopped coriander, taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
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