Beef Bhuna

Here’s one of my favourites and one of the first curries I made. It’s truly delicious, with a very aromatic sauce. I’ve made this in countless guises with beef, pork, lamb and chicken and it works perfectly. It’s actually not too unhealthy too which is always a bonus. The taste is insanely delicious and intense. A real fragrant richness which has a slow and lingering chilli hit. One of the best.


2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
2-4 dried red chillies
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
700g beef (cut into chunks)
2 medium red onions (finely diced)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 heaped tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)
2 tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
10-12 fresh curry leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt & pepper

In a dry frying pan over a hot flame, add the cumin seeds, chillies, coriander seeds, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Let them cook dry for 1-2 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop and everything becomes aromatic. Remove to a bowl. When cooled, add to a spice grinder or pestle & mortar and grind the spices into a fine powder.

In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium temperature. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves and stir until it forms a pulp, about 3 minutes. Add the spice mix and stir briefly before adding the beef. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes, then stir in 400ml water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low. Pop on a lid and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours, until the beef is tender. Take off the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce for 5-7 minutes until it’s nice and thick.

I served it with roti bread and sprinkled with plenty of fresh coriander and more chopped tomatoes.

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