Curry Beef: Trinidad: The Recipe

The picture is not super appealing; it's hard to illustrate chunks of meat in a sauce in any way that's at all unique.

Having prepared the spice mixtures for this dish I'm ready for the easy part. I just (more or less) followed the instructions in Madhur Jaffrey's book. She attributes the recipe to the Tiffin Restaurant; in Port of Spain; Trinidad; so my version is a 3rd generation variant.

Serve with white rice to better soak up the sauce with.


  • 600g [1¼ lb] beef, 2cm cubes [1"] (stewing beef probably) {I could have used even more meat, no problem; up to a kilo [2 pounds]}

  • 1/3 C onions
  • 2 garlic cloves (big ones)
  • 1 shallot (the original recipe calls for 2 spring onions)
  • ½ t thyme (dried; or 1T fresh)
  • ¼ C cilantro (stems and all)
  • 1 habanero pepper (or scotch bonnet or something along those lines - hot)
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper corns (mixed) (or ¼ t ground black pepper)
  • 2 T water [H2O]

  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic; crushed and minced
  • 1 T hot curry powder

  • 900 ml [1½ pints] water (or beef stock) {I used water but would have preferred fresh beef stock if I'd had it)
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t ground roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 t amchar masala
  1. Put all the top stuff except the beef (the onions thru to water) into a blender and smoosh until it's a paste
  2. Mix the paste and the meat in a bowl
    • Marinade, covered and cool, for 4 hours (minimum 30 minutes)
  3. Put the garlic and oil in a cold, large, wide, pan
  4. Turn on the heat - medium high
  5. When the garlic starts to sizzle add the hot curry powder
    • Stir for 10 seconds
    • Reduce heat to medium
  6. Add the beef and marinade paste to the pan
    • Stir around for a minute to get things back up to temperature
  7. Reduce heat to medium low
    • Cover the pan
    • Cook for 10 minutes; stirring a couple of times
  8. Add the water, salt, cumin and masala
    • Stir and get it simmering
  9. Reduce heat to low
    1. Cover and cook for 1½ hours; until tender
  10. Uncover, remove meat, crank up the heat and reduce the sauce until sauce-like
  11. Return the meat to the sauce
-- Done --

  1. These blended pastes of onions, garlic and stuff are fairly typical of Indian curries
  2. Instead of a blender it can be fun to use a mortar (and a lot more work)
  3. The idea behind using a large, wide, pan is so that the pieces of meat are not piled on top of each other but more in a single layer; this is so the meat will start to fry instead of stewing in its own juices
  4. Don't used powdered beef stock or cubes because they're very salty and contain MSG (flavor enhancers) - blah
  5. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon, like a gravy
Short version of the instructions:
  1. Buy (hot) curry powder, ground roasted cumin seeds and amchar masala at your local specialty spice shop or some such place
  2. Make a paste-marinade out of the 1st set of ingredients
  3. Marinade the meat for half an hour
  4. Fry the garlic and add the curry powder, frying this for a few seconds
  5. Add the meat, water, salt, roasted cumin seeds, masalsa and salt
  6. Cook for 1½ hours or until tender
  7. Reduce the sauce
  8. Serve
If really really not crazy about spicy foods eliminate the habanero pepper and use regular rather than hot curry powder :-(

1 comment:

Shalee said...

Oh my lands! That looks delicious, but half of my household couldn't eat it with all the spicy-ness. It looks extremely satisfying though...