Friday, February 26, 2016

Goan Beef Curry

Since the cow is considered a sacred animal by hindus, there aren't many indian recipes with beef.  This one is from the region of Goa, where there is an important christian community.  Cooked in coconut milk, it is a pure delight.

Serves 4-6

- About 3.5 pounds (1.5 kilo) stewing or braising beef, cut into large cubes
- 10-12 green cardamom pods (crack pods open and scrape out the seeds, discard shells)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 heaped tsp whole peppercorns
- 10 cloves
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2-3 tsp chili powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A 2.5 inch (6-7cm) piece of ginger, grated
- 1 can regular coconut milk (14oz or about 400ml)
- salt

Mix together the cardamom, fennel, fenugreek, coriander and cumin seeds with the peppercorns and cloves.

You can either:

- Grind them in a spice grinder until they form a fine powder.

- Put them in a mortar et crush them a few minutes with a pestle until you get a coarse spice mix (which I did).

Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan over medium heat and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and cinnamon stick until the onion is lightly browned.  

Add the meat and fry until brown all over.  Add the spice mix, the turmeric and the chili powder and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the salt and bring slowly to the boil.  Cover, reduce the heat to a minimum and simmer for about 2 hours (or until the meat is very tender).

If the liquid evaporates during cooking, add half a cup (125ml) of water and stir.  If the sauce is too liquid at the end of the cooking time, simmer with the lid off until the sauce is thick.

Serve on basmati rice.

Adapted from a recipe found in: THE FOOD OF INDIA, a journey for food lovers, Whitecap edition, 2005.

Have you tried this recipe?  Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences!

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