INDIAN BALTI BEEF

Here is a recipe that is a new family favourite of mine. Well here is the story behind it... I recently purchased a new cookbook (yet another one for my growing collection hehe) called Best Ever Indian. If you ask me it's a pretty bold title. I say anytime you use the word "best" you better mean it, anyways I digress, back to my story. I was flipping through the pages and saw this balti beef recipe, and to be honest at first I just thought it looked like a slow cooked beefy tomato sauce, but then I kept reading. It sounded so easy and I had everything readily available in my pantry so off I started on a new cooking adventure (cheesy I know). I served this baby up for dinner and both my hubby and I looked at each other wide-eyed. One word...Delicious! As a lover of any curry dish, this was a beautiful symphony of spicy flavours. My hubby liked it because it was authentically Indian but without being too spicy. Serve it up with warm naan bread and you have a simple but elegant Indian dinner. I definitely say make this one tonight!

Adapted from the "Balti Beef" recipe from the Best Ever Indian: A collection of over 100 essential recipes cookbook (2008)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for balti sauce:
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 canned chopped tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for remaining:
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb boneless beef (i.e. sirloin), thinly sliced
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish
  • Indian bread (to serve)
  • Cucumber and mint raita (to serve)

1. Balti Sauce: Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, and melt the ghee or pour 2 tbsp of veggie oil. Add the onions, garlic and ginger paste and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is golden brown. Stir in the tomatoes, and add in the paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cardamom, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.

2. Bring the temp up to boil, keep stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom. Turn the heat off. Let the sauce cool slightly, then disgard the bay leaf. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and mix until you reach a smooth consistency.

3. Wipe the skillet and return the heat to medium-high. Add in the ghee or veggie oil. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute for 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Add in the bell peppers and continue to fry for another 2 minutes.

4. Add in the sliced beef, and fry for 2 minutes, until it starts to turn brown. Add the balti sauce and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce slightly reduces again and the bell peppers are tender. Add a bit of salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve warm with the Indian bread, and garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Add a good dollop of raita on top and enjoy!




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