~ Beef Curry ~

fuguee asked for this recipe. I had pointed out to her that i thought it was more of a chinese curry than an indian one, but on actually checking the packet, i’m wrong in this. its a Madras curry. my mistake. Having said that though, this version is really just cooked mince (ground) beef with veg and curry powder, so isn’t authentic. The curry powder is a generic one that’s widely available in the UK; if this isn’t available where you are then I’ve listed the spices that need to go into a home-made version in the notes.


2 onions, chopped /handful minced beef /1 pepper (or handful of frozen mixed chopped peppers), chopped /1 courgette, chopped /4 oz green lentils, boiled for 10 minutes in water then drained and washed (1) /handful frozen peas /1 tin chopped tomatoes /handful sultanas /1 tsp sugar (yes you read that right) /1 tbsp curry powder (2) /1 tsp worcestershire sauce /seasoning / 1 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable), just enough to cover the base of your pan / any other veg you care to add (carrots, mushrooms?)


  1. put oil in hot pan, then saute the onions till translucent.
  2. add peppers and any other “hard” veg (like carrots) and cook (with the lid on) till they’re a bit softer – about 5 minutes. putting the lid on helps to create steam and they’ll cook quicker.
  3. add the minced beef, and push around, breaking it up, till its all browned off.
  4. add the green lentils.
  5. add any other veg you wanted to add at this point – in this case, the peas, sultanas, and all the flavouring, so sugar, curry powder, worcestershire sauce, seasoning and chopped tomatoes. bring to the boil, then turn down till its just simmering.
  6. leave to cook for half an hour, then start in on the rice. Rice generally cooks in 10 minutes, so that’s how long i leave the curry for, but really, as long as its not burning, (and you can add more liquid if you feel its at risk of burning) it can bubble away quite happily for as long as you like. Do be aware though that the flavouring from curry powder gets stronger the more it cooks. heh.


(1) I add green lentils to any dish involving mince beef. this is for several reasons: a) it bulks it out so you need less beef, b) it costs less and c) you eat less beef so its healthier for that reason d) lentils are very healthy and it helps to lower cholesterol and e) you really can’t see them (unless you’re really looking closely) in the dish and you certainly can’t taste them. if you don’t want to add green lentils then you may have to add extra meat to make up the difference.

(2) curry powder. Since i have never actually made this, always bought it commercially, i don’t know which recipe will exactly reproduce the blend i have, but a number of recipes can be found here, here or here. Alternatively you could order the exact one i use, here (for the mild, which i use) or here (for the spicy), in fact, i use a lot of Rajah spices and you can order a lot of them from this site, the ground coriander/cumin/ginger/cinnamon are particularly good. I get them from the local supermarket/chinese supermarket.

please be aware that different curry powders (and pastes) are going to have different heat strengths; so please add a little bit and then taste, then if you need more, add more, the first time you use a new one. otherwise you’re liable to do what i did one time when i bought Rajah extra hot chilli powder, i forgot this and chucked in the usual amount of chilli powder (when before i’d been using mild). the resulting concoction was inedible – so inedible, in fact, that a brazilian friend of mine who i’d invited over for the meal couldn’t eat it either. you’ve been warned!

final note: feel free to exchange the minced beef for another kind of meat. My mom used to do a mean chicken curry with leftover chicken from the roast, in this way. in fact the whole way she got me involved in cooking and food (yes, Mom, its all your fault!) was in the nights when Dad was away on business and we used to try to use up the contents of the fridge in imaginative ways and try food that Dad wouldn’t eat (he’s fairly conservative foodwise, won’t eat fish if its not battered and fried, although he’s getting better. slowly) while he wasn’t there. We’d end up with some wierd and wonderful dishes but i don’t remember anything that was totally inedible. Most of the time it was a dish we called “surprise!”. minced beef with leftovers thrown in. got interesting sometimes.. LOL.