Beef Madras

Beef Madras is varied so much as the original Madras Sauce is believed to have come from Madras (Now known as Chennai) in Southern India in the state of Tamil Nadu 1000’s of years ago. However the actually Madras curries as most people are used to today come from the Bangladeshi Restaurants in Birmingham UK of all places which are also known for the idea of Balti Curries and this was only in the 1970’s. This is such a simple dish to make but has an outstanding taste.


Beef – 800-1000 grams of best cubed stewing/casserole beef with as much fat removed if you can. Cut this up into chunks that you feel are right for yourself or friends/family. Just remember that we will be cooking this for a few hours to allow it to become really tender so you don’t want it too small or it will break up easily. Season this with some salt and pepper.

  • 2 Medium Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon or 1 and a half Desert Spoons of Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon or  5 Garlic Cloves Crushed
  • 2 Large Red Chillies Complet and chopped (careful not to touch your eyes after touching these as the burning feeling is horrible !)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garam masala (you can make your own check out my powder guides )
  • 1 Slightly Heaped Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 1 Level Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Level Teaspoon of Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 Level Teaspoon of Mustard seeds (black or yellow)
  • 1 Level Teaspoon of Medium Chilli Powder (you can use cayenne )
  • 1 Tablespoon or 1 and half Desert Spoons of Madras Curry powder can be medium or hot .(Again if you want to make your own check out my Powder guide.)
  • 1 Standard tin  400 grams of chopped tomatoes .
  •  1 small dollop of Tomato Puree or 2 teaspoons if you prefer.
  • 1 400ML can of Coconut Milk try  to avoid low fat .
  • 2 handfuls of Fresh Coriander.
  • Olive or Vegetable oil for frying the Onions approx 2 Tablespoons.


  1. Firstly heat the oil in a frying pan not too hot as we are going to use this to fry the onions and you don’t want to burn them. Add the onions and cook them slowly around about 15 minutes until golden in colour.
  2. Add the garlic ,ginger and chilli, and fry for 30 seconds .
  3. Add the all of the spices and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes ,Coconut milk ,Tomato Puree a good handful of the Coriander and give this all a good stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.
  5. Now add the Beef and keep stirring to make sure its coated well. You should have a fairly liquid consistency anyway.
  6. Now you have a few choices.
  7. You can simply lower the heat on the hob and let the dish just simmer on a very low heat for a few hours. If you do this you must keep stirring every half an hour to make sure the curry doesn’t stick to the pan. Secondly you can transfer everything into a Slow Cooker and leave all day . Or last but by no means least pop the contents of the wok into a ovenproof dish ceramic or metal and cook for between 4 and 6 hours. The longer this cooks the tender the Beef. Do check as this will still need to be stirred in the oven . Oh and the Oven should be on 100 -150 c Max.
  8. When cooked to your tenderness(sounds like a song ) remove from the cooking apparatus and add the rest of the coriander to garnish.
  9. Just a footnote:-  If you or your family or friends prefer different levels of chilli heat you can simply add some fresh cream or even yoghurt to make the taste a bit milder.