Beef Madras

Serves 2 People

Beef Madras is a reasonably spicy curry recipe with a dark and rich sauce.

It is based on “The Curry Guy: Beef Madras Curry From Scratch", although I wouldn't really call it "from scratch", since it uses a ready-made Madras curry paste (or Madras curry powder in the original recipe).

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


For The Meat
For The Sauce
For The Curry


Cook The Meat
  1. To cook the meat, brown it in a large frying pan or karahi in the oil over medium high heat. This should only take a few minutes. Stir in the spices, beef stock cube (crumbled) and quartered onion and then add just enough water to cover.
  2. Cover and simmer gently until the meat is good and tender. This should take from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the quality of the beef, but don’t rush this. The meat is ready when it’s tender.
  3. When cooked to your liking, pour this through a sieve into a bowl, separately retaining the meat and stock, but discarding the rest.
Make The Sauce
  1. To make the sauce, heat the same pan back up over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir in the chopped onions and fry for about 8 minutes or until soft and translucent and just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
  2. Stir in the chopped chilies and fry for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds. Then add the ground spices and stir them into the onion mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes, Madras curry paste and 100ml of the beef stock from the precooked meat and bring to a simmer.
  4. Take off the heat and stir in the mango chutney. Allow to cool a bit.
  5. Blend the cooled sauce until smooth.
Make The Curry
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the chili powder and cardamom pods and let these flavours infuse into the oil for about 2 minutes.
  2. At this stage you can add mushrooms (quartered) to be able to feed more people without having more meat – fry them in the spice mixture for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the blended sauce into the pan. At this stage, the sauce may be too thick. Add more stock (or water) if needed to thin it some.
  4. Bring to a rolling simmer only stirring if the sauce is obviously sticking to the pan. It will caramelise around the edges. Scrape this back into the sauce for more flavour.
  5. Add the meat.
  6. Once your precooked meat is heated through, it’s time to finish this off. If your curry is too dry, add more stock (or water). If it is too runny, cook it down until you are happy with the consistency.
  7. Sprinkle the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) into the sauce by rubbing it between your fingers. Then season with salt to taste, squeeze in the lime juice and garnish with coriander to serve.

Since this is a fairly spicy curry, I usually serve it with rice, but it is your choice.

If you find it too spicy for your taste, you can add some cream and/or sugar and/or mango chutney to reduce the heat.