Beef & Potato Curry with Yoghurt Gravy

  • 5 medium red or yellow waxy potatoes, cubed
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs stewing beef or lamb
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/4 t cumin seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  •  3 fresh hot green chillies, minced
  • 2 dried red chillies, crushed
  • 2 t grated ginger-root
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t paprika (not hot)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c plain yoghurt
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • chopped green chillies and chopped cilantro to garnish

Cook the sliced onions in a large, deep pot (preferably enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat until browned, about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the beef or lamb with the garam masala and 3/4 t salt. Wash and cut potatoes. Mix yoghurt with ginger, garlic, red and green chillies, paprika and salt. Very lightly crush cardamom pods, remove seeds and discard the husks.

Remove onions from pot draining out oil as you do so. Remove all but 4 T of oil from pot and set aside. Sauté meat on medium-high until well browned in 2-3 batches depending on size of your pot, adding in some of the reserved oil between batches if needed. During the last batch add in the curry leaves and during the last 2 minutes the cumin and cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks. Add all the meat back to the pot along with the onions and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in the yoghurt mixture and cook for a few minutes until the garlic and ginger are just cooked and the oil separates out from the yoghurt mixture.

Add the water and scrape up any fond that has developed on the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is barely tender but not overdone, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add in potatoes and simmer another 20 minutes with the lid off until potatoes are cook through and the sauce has reduced and thickened up. Adjust with salt and add more water if sauce is too thick.

Serve with hot basmati rice, naan, and fresh chopped green chillies and cilantro.

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