Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry with Saffron & Pea Rice

Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry with Saffron and Pea Rice

This beast of a curry is easy to put together and is a fantastic winter warmer. It’s indulgent and packed-full of a variety of spices that gently compliment each other really well. It’s slow cooked, so chose a casserole steak. If you have a little extra budget (or if you’re feeling fancy) you can use a better quality cut like Sirloin which is what I used.  I asked a local butcher and this is what he recommended. It gave it an amazing ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation… so if you can, go for it.

You can vary the heat by upping the amount of chilli used (fresh or powder) – but I would strongly recommend you don’t, as you will lose the delicate aromas of the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and coconut. The curry is also paired with a super-easy pilaff rice which compliments this perfectly, and will also go well with many other different curries, so you could also try the rice with a different dish if desired.

I serve this with mini garlic and coriander naan breads, which I make the ‘cheats’ way by buying plain mini naan breads from the supermarket and topping with butter, some ‘Very Lazy’ jarred garlic and chopped coriander (stems and leaf) before popping them in the oven and cooking as per the instructions. Easy!

This dish can be knocked together in about 2.5 hours and this recipe serves 5 people. It’s perfect for a weekend dinner party, so if that’s what you’re planning, double the quantities to serve 10 – and you might even have some left over for lunches in the week. All round win-win situation. I really hope you enjoy!

Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry with Saffron and Pea Rice

Beef Curry – What you need:

  • 2-3 tablespoon of Sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1.5 cinnamon sticks, halved
  • 3 cloves
  • 1.5 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 fresh chilli, left whole (optional)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1.5 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 kg diced casserole steak (or Sirloin as mentioned above)
  • 1 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 200ml water (if doubling the recipe to serve 10, skip the water and use 3 tins of coconut milk)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • a large bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beef Curry – What to do:

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, ginger and cinnamon. Gently fry for about 10-12 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.

2. Mix in the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes, then increase the heat slightly and once the onions are sizzling, add the beef with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry until lightly browned.

3. Next, add the coconut milk and water (or just coconut milk if you are doubling quantities). Also add the fresh red chilli if you want to infuse a little extra heat, and the kaffir lime leaves.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, to let the beef gently braise and absorb the flavours.

Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry simmering on a low heat
Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry simmering on a medium-low heat

4. Stir in the ground almonds and continue to simmer with the lid off (so any excess liquid evaporates) for 30-40 minutes – until it reaches the desired consistency.

5. Before serving, allow the curry to rest for 10 minutes off the heat. Remove the cinnamon sticks, whole chilli and kaffir lime leaves and garnish the curry with plenty of fresh coriander leaves.

6. Serve with the saffron and pea rice (recipe below) and garlic & coriander mini-naan breads for the ultimate taste sensation! 🙂

Garlic & Coriander Mini Naans
Garlic & Coriander Mini Naans

Saffron & Pea rice: What you need:

  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • a pinch of salt
  • dash of boiling water
  • 450ml water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • 2 whole peppercorns
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 150g frozen petits pois

Saffron & Pea Rice: What to do:

  1. Grind together the saffron and salt using a pestle and mortar or in a small bowl with the back of a teaspoon, add a dash of boiling water and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium sized, heavy based saucepan and once hot, stir in the shallots. Gently fry for about 8 minutes, or until soft and golden.
  3. Add the bay leaf, clove and peppercorns and gently fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Mix in the rice, stirring until it is well coated in the oil. Fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the frozen petits pois and saffron water mix, followed by a further 450ml water. Cover and bring to the boil over a medium heat. As soon as the rice boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. You can stir once half-way through, seasoning with salt to taste.
  6. After cooking for 10 minutes, the water will be absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tea towel. Leave to steam for 10 minutes until serving.

 Hope you enjoy, Scranners! -x-

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