Friday, 24 June 2011

Easy Beef Curry - Beef Bhuna

Curries are in most instances fairly easy to make at home and require only the use of one pot, pan or karahi. One reason why many people are put off making authentic Indian curries is that the ingredients list can be fairly lengthy and when all the spices have to be bought at one time, this can represent quite a substantial financial outlay. There are two quick ways in which you can address this problem. You could consider buying your spices in bulk at what may represent a discounted price, or you could consider improvisation.

Bhuna is a curry which is usually made from a number of different spices. This was therefore an experiment, in order to determine how authentic I could make a beef bhuna taste without using an excessive number of ingredients. I was delighted with this first time result and hope you will give it a try. It can be served with boiled or fried rice, chapatis or - as in this instance - naan bread, which I bought premade from my local supermarket.

The cooking time for this dish is probably longer than you would wish to spend after a long, hard day. The good news is, however, that this beef bhuna can be made the night before you wish to eat it, cooled and refrigerated in a glass or stone covered dish. You may even find that when it is simply reheated (thoroughly) the next night for dinner, the extra infusion time it has been granted makes it all the more delicious!

Ingredients for Two People

1/2lb shin of beef
1 large white onion
1 14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 pint of fresh beef stock
1 green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
1" fresh ginger root
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaf/cilantro
1 tsp tandoori curry powder
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp garam masalla
1oz butter
Salt to taste

4 small slices of cucumber to garnish

2 small supermarket naan breads


Peel your onion, half it and finely slice it. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the onion. Cook it over a low heat for about five minutes until transluscent, stirring frequently.

Peel and finely chop the garlic and peel and grate the ginger root. Add them next to the onions and fry for a further minute. Add the curry powder and chilli powder and stir well.

The green bell pepper should be de-seeded and roughly chopped. The shin of beef should be diced to around 1", or simply bite sized. Add the beef and brown. This should take a couple of minutes. Add the green bell pepper, tomatoes and beef stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer as gently as possible for two hours, stirring occasionally. If the curry is becoming too thick, add a little boiling water as required.

After two hours, add the garam masalla and the chopped coriander/cilantro. Stir well and simmer for a further ten minutes. Divide between two serving plates.

The naan breads which I bought required simply to be sprinkled on both sides with cold water and heated under a hot, overhead grill for one minute each side. You should of course follow the instructions on the packet of the ones which you purchase.

Lay each cucumber slice flat on a chopping board and cut it almost in half, stopping just before you reach the final edge. Simply twist the cucumber halves in opposite direction and use two slices to garnish the two bowls of plated beef bhuna.

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