Monday, December 31, 2012

South Indian Beef Curry

This spicy curry beef dish is best made with the rich flavors of beef short ribs.  Beef is a rare ingredient in most Indian Restaurant menus, but is common in South Indian cuisine.  This recipe uses a slow cooking process to allow the boneless beef rib meat to absorb all the spices and soften to a texture that can easily be cut with a fork.

Tip: If you'd like to reduce the amount of time cooking this dish, I recommend using a pressure cooker as an alternative.   Do not cut to beef ribs into small pieces.  Instead keep the boneless short ribs whole and simply follow the recipe through steps one and two using either a wok or a large skillet (keeping the short ribs whole will prevent the meat from over cooking in the pressure cooker). Then transfer the ingredients into a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water.  Seal the pressure cooker and bring to full pressure and cook for 30-40 minutes.  This will result in a slightly saucier version of the dish, but will also secure the flavors.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours  (Active Cooking about 20 minutes)


2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion Sliced
2 Bay Leaves
6 Garlic Cloves Minced
2 Teaspoons Grated Ginger
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Dried Red Chili Flakes
3 Star Anise Pods
Two 3-inch Cinnamon Sticks
1.5 lbs. Boneless Beef Short Ribs cut into 1 inch pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Step 1: Using a large deep skillet with lid or a medium cast iron pot, bring the oil to medium heat and add the onions and bay leaves.  Cook until the onions are translucent and lightly browned (5-7 minutes).  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (1 minute).

Step 2: Dissolve the tomato paste in 1/2 cup water and add it to the pan along with the coriander, garam masala, cayenne powder, turmeric, red chili flakes, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Stir the ingredients quickly together then add the beef.  Stir the beef into the ingredients until well coated with the spices.

Step 3: Reduce the heat to low. Partially cover the pan with lid and let cook until the meat is supple and tender (about 1 hour and 30 minutes).  When done to your liking, remove the star anise bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks from the pan and serve with rice and side vegetable dish.

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