Busting with flavour, this beef madras curry is easy to make with a homemade curry paste. This dish is simple to put together, then all you need to do is let it simmer on the stove. The end result is tender meaty chunks of beef in a flavour rich sauce.
What Is Beef Madras Curry Made Of?
This beef madras curry is made with onions, cloves, cardamom pods, red and green chillies, garlic coriander powder, cumin powder, and homemade curry paste.
The curry paste is made with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies, and curry leaves. These are all ground to a fine powder. Then mixed with white vinegar, water and oil and cooked until fragrant.
Where Does Madras Curry Come From?
The Madras curry is an English adaptation of curries that originated from Chennai (formally known as Madras) in South India. The term Madras curry is mainly used in the Western world.
Is Madras A Hot Curry?
It really depends on your definition of hot. Generally speaking, this curry is considered hot by many, simply because they don’t eat chilli regularly.
When you make this beef Madras curry, you are making your own curry paste and sauce from scratch. So, you can easily control the heat. This can be done in three ways.
#1. Remove the seeds from the chilli. Slice the chillies in half lengthwise, then use the blade of the knife to scrape away and discard the seeds. Avoid getting chilli on your fingers, because if you do and you touch your eyes they will burn. To be on the safe side you could always wear gloves.
#2. Use less chilli, especially the red ones they are generally hotter than green chillies.
#3. Consider the size of the chilli. The very small chillies can be incredibly hot compared to very large chillies, which have very little heat and only give flavour to the dish.
Making the Curry Paste
- Ensure that you grind the whole seeds into a fine a powder. I like to use a coffee grinder that we keep just for this purpose.
- With the chilli add more or less according to your personal preference.
- The curry leaves add a distinct flavour to the paste. If you can’t get fresh curry leaves, use dried or frozen. If you can’t get curry leaves you can leave them out.
- When cooking the curry paste, cook over a medium/high heat. Stirring almost constantly. Occasionally scrap the base of the pot to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Use the amount of oil stated in the recipe. It helps with the cooking process by creating a very wet paste that can be mixed easily. It also helps to preserve the paste, by creating a protective barrier on surface of the paste when bottled.
- Allow the paste to cool a little before transferring to a clean glass jar that can be sealed. When completely cooled store in the fridge.
Making the Beef Madras Curry
- You can use chuck steak or gravy beef for this beef madras curry, trim away excess fat and cut into bite sized cubes.
- The cooking time is a guide only. You will need to test the meat from time to time during cooking process. Once the meat is soft and tender it is done. Sometimes the meat is cooked in just over one-hour, other times it can take two to three hours or longer. It all depends on the quality of the meat you get at the time.
- Cheaper cuts of meat are higher in fat so, you can make this beef madras curry healthier by chilling it overnight. Then remove the solidified fat from the surface before re-heating.
Beef Madras Curry
Curry Paste (If you don't want to make the curry paste use store bought instead- you will need 1 tablespoon of curry paste for the recipe)
- 50 grams (1.76 ounces) coriander seeds
- 4 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 4 dried red chillies
- 5 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 150 ml (1.7 ounces) white wine vinegar
- 5 tablespoons water
- 250 ml (1 cup) oil
- 1 kg (2.2 pounds) chuck steak
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 170 grams (1 large) onion finely dices
- 4 cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 green chillies finely chopped
- 2.5 cm piece of ginger grated or finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 dried red chillies
- 1 tablespoon curry paste make your own using the recipe on this page, or use store bought curry paste
- 2 level teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 level teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 200 ml (a little less than 1 cup) water
- fresh coriander to garnish
Curry Paste (Make this if you are not using store bought curry paste)
- Grind the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek seeds, dried chilies and curry leaves to a fine powder.
- Spoon into a bowl and mix in chilli powder, turmeric.
- Add the vinegar and water and mix to a paste.
- Heat the oil in a large deep pan and stir fry on medium/high heat for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
- When the oil starts to rise to the surface the paste is cooked (it will start to smell quite fragrant).
- Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a clean jar.
Beef Madras Curry
- Trim away excess fat from the meat and cut into 2.5 cm cubes, lightly season with salt.
- Heat the oil in a deep, wide saucepan, add the onion, cloves, cardamom and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the green chillies, ginger, garlic and dried red chillies, fry for 2 more minutes.
- Mix in the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the beef, mix well and fry for about 5 minutes or until the meat is lightly browned.
- Add the coriander and cumin powders, salt and water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 1 – ½ hours or until the meat is tender.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Serve with plain Basmati rice or tomato rice and or naan bread.