Recipe found online with slight tweaks by me. It's a dish from the coastal region of western India and has both Malabari and Goan influences. It's very straightforward to make and is absolutely gorgeous :-)
(Feeds 2 easily but doubles up or more well)
- 1/2 kg of 2" beef chunks (I used skirt - flank in the US, I believe - but top rump might work well too)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 pieces (1" each ) of cinnamon
- 6 cloves
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 tsps coriander powder
- 2 tsps cumin powder
- 3-4 tbsps ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions chopped very fine
- 2 tbsps garlic paste
- 2 tbsps ginger paste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1 400 ml can of coconut cream (or a mixture of coconut cream and milk, which I did because I didn't have enough cream in the cupboard)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tsps white vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Fresh chopped coriander to garnish
- Grind the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fenugreek, fennel seeds and peppercorns together into a fine powder in a dry coffee grinder or food processor.
- Mix the turmeric, red chilli (if using), cumin and coriander powders with the above mixture and stir to blend. Keep aside for later use.
- Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame/ heat. When hot, add the onions to it and fry till golden. Now add the ginger and garlic pastes and brown.
- Add the meat chunks and salt to taste. Mix well and cook, stirring frequently, till the meat is brown on all sides.
- Add the powdered spice mix and stir well. Cook till the spices begin to give off a cooked aroma ("raw" spices have a sharp pungent aroma as compared to "cooked" spices).
- Now add the coconut cream and mix well.
- Reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes or as long as needed until most of the gravy has dried up and turned thick and a dark brown color. Check and stir as needed. If it's taking a while to reduce (which can happen with larger quantities) remove the meat after 10 mins. and set it aside while the sauce continues to reduce. Then return the meat to the pan for the next stage.
- Add the sugar, vinegar and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes more and then turn off fire. Check seasoning and add salt if required.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve with plain boiled rice or chapatis.