Sometimes I really want to have a properly hot curry. This will nearly always contain beef for some reason and have a fairly basic but rich sauce with lots of onions. This feeling came over me recently and so I devised the following recipe. As a quick disclaimer I have stated that this is a hot curry as for me it is. Others will probably scoff at the lack of heat but my tolerance of really hot curries has dropped as I get older.
There are very few ingredients that went into this curry. I used lean diced beef that you will find in any supermarket intended for use in casseroles. Two large onions that were sliced into eights or maybe tenths and then some fresh scotch bonnet chillies, ginger, garlic and coriander stalks. The chilli, ginger and garlic were placed in a blender to create a bit of a paste and the coriander stalks were chopped. All of these ingredients bar the onions were then mixed in a bowl with some oil as a sort of marinade with a little salt.
To start fry off the onions in a large saute pan with some oil and a little salt to stop them catching. Once they have softened add the beef and brown this off ensuring that the pan does not get too dry and things start to burn. Now it is time to add the dry spices. I toned these down a little compared to what I usually might add wanting the flavour of the fresh spices to lead. Therefore I added about a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, coriander and cumin. I continued to fry this off for another minute or so in order to coat the meat with the spices before adding my stock and tomatoes. As I wanted to create something that was hot but with the sweetness of onions I actually used an onion gravy pot in place of stock cubes. I thought that this would also assist in creating a much richer and luscious gravy. That combined with the chopped tomatoes was the basis of my sauce and so once added I brought to the boil and then turned down to a simmer. I left it covered for about the first 30 minutes or so then removed the lid as I wanted to sauce to reduce down as much as possible. My thinking was that this would intensify the flavours and I would get the dark thick gravy I wanted. I probably cooked this for about another hour I think.
Once ready to serve obviously check your seasoning and stir in a massive pile of chopped coriander. I also threw in some chopped almonds just to add a little texture as an afterthought. I served mine with some basmati rice which also had some chopped coriander stirred through it. This is not going to win any awards for presentation but who cares. This dish is all about how it tastes and I was pleased to note that there was just the right balance between initial heat and the slow burn of the chilli. I am not a fan of chilli that takes your head off the moment you put it in your mouth and much prefer that lingering heat. The onion sweetness was ever-present and sauce had the consistency that I was looking for. It was not quite as dark as I had wanted it to be but the colour was a deep brown which was good enough. If I had some tamarind in my cupboards I probably would have added this to the sauce as well but I didn’t.
Hope you have enjoyed reading and happy cooking.