This spicy beef curry will have your taste buds standing to attention, as it did for some marines in the F Word
2kg good quality lean rump steak cut into cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
4–5 tbsp light olive oil
4 large sweet onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
5cm knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
4 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp caster sugar or to taste
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
800ml beef stock
Handful of coriander, leaves separated, stalks finely chopped
6–8 cardamom pods
15–20 curry leaves
6 long chillies finely chopped
For the spice mix
4 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
4 tsp mild curry powder
Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes, put into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the garam masala, add the yoghurt and a good dash of olive oil, season and toss to coat. Cover with cling film and marinate for as long as possible while you prepare the rest of the curry.
For the spice mix, toast the cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds in a dry pan, tossing over high heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Tip into a mortar, add a pinch of salt and grind to a fine powder. Stir in the curry powder and mix well.
Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large cast-iron casserole or a heavy-based pan. Add the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger and a little seasoning. Add the sugar to help caramelise the onions, followed by the coriander stalks cardamom pods and ground spice mix, stir, then cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions are soft, lifting the lid to give the mixture a stir a few times.
Sear the beef in a hot pan and add to the onions along with the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, stir over a medium-high heat for a few minutes and then add the beef stock and curry leaves. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 mins or until the beef is tender.
To serve, ladle the curry into warm bowls and scatter over the coriander leaves. Accompany with a steaming bowl of basmati rice.