• 2-3 lbs/1kg stewing beef ( I like chuck for flavor) cut in 1” cubes (you could also make this dish with lamb, just use a little less water and cook for 1 hour or so instead of 2)

  • 2” piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 8 cloves of garlic (not a mistake!), peeled

  • 4 T water

  • 10 T vegetable oil

  • 10 whole cardamom pods

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 10 black peppercorns

  • 1” piece of cinnamon stick

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 t ground coriander

  • 2 t ground cumin

  • 4 t red paprika mixed with some cayenne pepper to your taste

  • 1 t salt

  • 6 T plain yoghurt

  • 1 c water

  • ¼ - ½ tsp garam masal


  1. In an electric blender, combine ginger, garlic and 4 tbsp water and blend until a very smooth paste is created.
  2. In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil and brown the meat on all sides. Do this in small batches so the meat sears. If you add too much meat at one time, it will be more like steaming it, which turns the meat grey and leaches out the juices. Don’t rush this stage! As the meat browns, remove it to a bowl and continue until all the meat is browned.
  3. In the same oil, add cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Stir once or twice and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to color – just a few seconds. You’ll really know by the smell!
  4. Add the onions, stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until they turn brown. Add the ginger –garlic paste and stir until the aroma makes you swoon – 20 – 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne & salt. Stir for another 30 seconds. Add the seared meat and juices, stir and then begin to add the yoghurt one tbsp at a time, blending well before you add the next spoonful. Stir for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup water and mix well. Bring to a boil, scraping all the browned spices off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Cover. Lower heat to low and simmer for at least two hours or until the meat is tender. Stir every 15 minutes or so during the process. You could bake this at 350°F/180°C instead. I like to do this the day before I want to serve it because I love how much more tender the meat gets.
  7. Once the meat, is tender, take the lid off and turn up the heat to boil away some of the liquid and thicken the sauce. It intensifies the flavor. This was quite mild (good for me, since I’m a delicate flower) so you might want to add some garam masala before serving.



Prep Time


Cook Time

2-3 hours



From Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery 200861917514