This recipe goes against everything that you’ve ever heard about cooking chuck roast beef, or even a curry, but it works and it’s a wonderful time saver. There is always the option to do the traditional, slow simmered beef curry, if you have the time. You will be amazed that the quick cook method comes out just as tender, delicious and flavourful as the low and slow way.

Here’s the key. The smaller pieces of beef are quickly stir fried in very hot oil to sear the meat and then it is allowed to rest while you prepare the curry sauce. The reduced sauce is then brought down to below a simmer, before adding the beef. Sitting in the thickened sauce at a low temperature for about 10 minutes, finishes the cooking of the meat, leaving it tender and juicy, without being tough and stringy. At the same time, it lets the beef suck up all the delicious curry flavours

Beef Madras

A faster method to make this delicious curry for those nights when you can't eat soon enough.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • food processor, dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot, large frying pan, preferably cast iron


  • 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1/2 inch thick strips
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or 2 green chilies, seed removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 8 curry leaves
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbsp neutral oil for cooking


  • Slice beef into 1/2 thick slabs, across the grain. Cut each slab into strips, about 1 to 2 inches long. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Add roughly cut onions, chili peppers, garlic and ginger to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Measure your spices into a small dish. Turn dutch oven to medium heat. Add spices to the dry pot while it heats and have your diced aromatics ready.
  • Stir your spices constantly for about 30 seconds to toast. Add the aromatics with about a tablespoon of oil. Stir to coat everything in the spices and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions are just becoming tender.
  • Add tomato paste, beef stock and curry leaves. Turn heat to high and bring to a fast boil.
  • When the sauce begins to thicken, turn down to medium high and allow it to continue to reduce while preparing the beef.
  • Heat a little of the oil in the frying pan on high. When the oil is smoking hot, quickly stir fry the beef in small batches for no longer than it takes to sear the outside of the meat, setting each batch aside to rest. There may be some red patches on the meat. Don't worry. It will finish cooking in the sauce. Add more oil between batches, as necessary.
  • While the beef is resting, check your sauce. Test to see if it is nice and thick. If it needs to be reduced more, turn the heat up. The sauce should be the consistency of a rich gravy and should coat the spoon.
  • When the sauce is ready, turn the heat to the lowest setting and let it cool down for at least 5 minutes. Add the beef and allow the beef to sit in the warm sauce for about another 10 minutes. Remove curry leaves. Adjust seasoning.
  • Serve over basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro, if you like.


If you choose, you can add the beef to the sauce before it has reduced and cook it on a slow simmer for about an hour and a half, until tender.
Keyword beef, curry, quick, indian

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Written by

Lori Franko

I've been a knitter for my entire life and I have taught and designed patterns for a pretty good part of that life. I love creating and sharing my passion for knitting. You won't hear about anything else from me. I really hope that what you read here helps improve your enjoyment of this amazing craft!