Pic of Beef curry with spicy fried cabbage

Beef curry with spicy fried cabbage

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Meat mains

Beef curry with spicy fried cabbage

Main Serves 4 2h 15 min
This beef curry takes a while to marinade, but the cooking and preparation is very simple, and the punchy taste makes the wait worthwhile. If you prefer less heat in your curry, cut down on the dried chillies. This works with diced pork instead of beef – the finish is a little lighter. Serve with rice or naan. Try to remember to marinade the meat the night before.


for the beef curry

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted for 1 min on a low heat in a dry frying pan
  • 3 dried chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • seeds from 10 cardamom pods (discard pods)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 500g diced beef
  • oil for frying e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp curry powder
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 6 small to medium potatoes, scrubbed (if new) or peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

for the spicy cabbage

  • 2 tbsp oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and chopped (add some seeds for more spice)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 pointed cabbage, halved, core removed and finely shredded
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan on a low heat for 1 min
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 2h

For the beef curry

  • Step 1

    put the cumin seeds, dried chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic and vinegar in a non-metallic bowl with some salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss in the marinade to coat. Cover and leave for as long as possible (2 hours minimum, up to 24 hours in the fridge if you can).
  • Step 2

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Remove the onion to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  • Step 3

    Increase the heat, add a little more oil and cook the beef in batches (remove each batch with the slotted spoon and keep with the onion), until browned.
  • Step 4

    Return all of the beef and the onion to the pan, and add the curry powder and tinned tomatoes. Fill the empty tomato tin half full with water and add to the beef and onion. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour, covered.
  • Step 5

    Add the potatoes, and a little more water if needed, then cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked, removing the lid for the last few minutes if you need to to get a good, thick sauce.

For the spicy cabbage

  • Step 1

    heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat until softening (about 10 minutes).
  • Step 2

    Add the chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and shredded cabbage and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring well. Cover and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Add the coconut and season to taste.

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