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Beef bhuna

As I said recently, I like to try and do curries from first principles rather than buying pre-constituted sauces. I got this Bangladeshi recipe from here.


2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
900g lean beef, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
180ml water
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1-3 tablespoons lemon juice (3 tablespoons if you like a sour curry)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander


Add the onions, fresh ginger, garlic, salt, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and beef to a large bowl, mix well, cover and leave for 60 minutes.

Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan or saucepan (you need one with a lid) over a medium to high heat. Add the cardamom pods and black peppercorns and fry for 3 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add the beef and its marinade, mix well and sauté for 4-6 minutes until the beef browns, turning often. Add the chillies and water, mix well, bring the ingredients to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring often (add a little more water if the curry becomes too dry).

Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well, increase the heat to high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring all the time (add a little more water if the curry becomes too dry).

Add the tamarind paste and lemon juice. Mix well followed by fresh coriander. Once done serve hot with rice.

Important note: if you do this at all, you are committing to do it more than once. Tamarind paste in particular comes in quanities much larger than are used for this recipe.

I was not familiar with the concept of a dry marinade - for me a marinade means some degree of liquid, so I was a bt alarmed that there wasn't anything resembling that in the first stage of cooking. This also meant some pretty vigorous stirring for several minutes after adding the meat to the oil with cardamom and pepper.

However, it worked pretty well, and the quantities given make for a very savoury mix of flavours without being too hot - the chili and garlic seem to meld into the general tastescape, and reviews were favourable. Even little U, taking it very cautiously and frequently asking for WATER, ate her share. So I think I probably will do it more than once.


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  • nwhyte
    25 Jan 2023, 13:24
    O tempora! O mores!
  • nwhyte
    24 Jan 2023, 10:34
    Hello! Your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!
    Learn more about LiveJournal Ratings in FAQ.
  • nwhyte
    8 Dec 2022, 12:44
    UK mailboxes aren't waterproof?! That seems like an odd design.
  • nwhyte
    29 Oct 2022, 16:28
    Now I know that "psephologist" is a word.
  • nwhyte
    9 Sep 2022, 11:19
    That would make things less awkward.
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