Terrible light in my night time kitchen does my food no favours! Grrr…
The recipe for this dish is based on a Madhur Jaffrey recipe with only a few tweaks. So, your probably best going off to discover the joys of Madhur’s brilliant recipes. She’s my number one ‘go to’ food writer whenever I want something on any kind of Indian food. My recipe has only a few slight differences and it was definitely more than edible. In fact, I’d say it was pretty good. It wasn’t, however, as good as my stepdad’s slow cooker madras, which is flat out one of my all time favourite foods in the entire world. He makes me one to come home to every Christmas and it’s the first thing I smell walking in the door. After making this one, I called him up and demanded the recipe, which he has promised to get to me. So, in the meantime, if anyone fancies a curry, this one is pretty good, though I admit not as good as my step dad’s.
I did this in the oven because I like just shutting the oven door and leaving the food to sort itself out. But there’s no reason you couldn’t do this stove top. If you do it in a pan, add a little more water and stir occasionally to stop from sticking. If it looks too dry just add water as you go along.
For the yoghurt I used traditional Greek yoghurt of sheep and goat’s milk but any good thick yoghurt will do. I served this with basmati rice. A dollop of yoghurt is nice on top and I like some nice spicy hot chilli chutney on the side and maybe some Patak’s hot lime pickle brought back to Greece from Britain for just such food (though I also like hot lime pickle and mayo sandwiches too so … there you go!).
And the final word. Curries are easy. They aren’t that complicated to do at all. And any little extra effort required is richly rewarded with bloody lovely food.
750 g of chuck steak cut into small bite sized chunks
2 onions chopped finely
4 or 5 green chillies chopped
a thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and grated finely
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 2” cinnamon sticks
6 green cardomons
2 whole cloves
1 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of ground coriander
400g of thick yoghurt
a splash or two of water.
6 tablespoons of oil
1 tsp of sea salt
Preheat the oven on a low heat. Put a cast iron casserole that has a lid (a dutch oven) on a medium heat with the oil, cinnamon, cloves and cardamons. Once the oil is starting to get hot brown off the meat in batches. Reserve the browned meat to the side. Turn down the heat and add the onions to the pot and saute gently until they start to soften. Add the chillies, garlic and ginger and saute until the aromas start to make their presence felt. Do not burn the garlic! Add the coriander and cumin and cook the spices until they start to become aromatic. Then add the browned beef and any juices and stir well into the spice mixture. Add the salt, yoghurt and a splash of water. Stir well. Put on the lid and put in the oven for around 90 minutes or so. No need to check during cooking time if you use a good cast iron cooking pot as you can just let it do its own thing.