Melt-in-the-mouth beef, slow-cooked in a rich, spicy sauce. The heat cooks out a little in this recipe, so it’s more of a warming heat, rather than a hard-hitting raw heat.

Tall overhead image of slow cooked beef madras in a black bowl with rice and pieces of naan bread. There is coriander (cilantro) sprinkled on top. The bowl is on a dark surface, next to a blue napkin, gold fork, more coriander and naan, and a further bowl of madras.

I love the texture of the sauce in this recipe. It’s thick and sumptuous, and of course it’s rich and flavourful too. Spicy-but-not-too-spicy. That beautiful texture comes from the blending of the onions, garlic and ginger. It’s such a great way to start a curry sauce as it means no ‘bits’ in the sauce, which some people don’t like.

Quite often I find my youngest picking the cooked onions out of dishes. This method ensures the onion is eaten, and actually enjoyed too! Those minced-up onions provide sweetness and extra richness to the sauce.

📋 Ingredients

Overhead photo of individual labeled ingredients for making a slow cooked beef madras.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

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👩‍🍳PRO TIP If you want to reduce the heat level, you can swap the Madras powder for a medium or mild curry powder.

If you do swap out the curry powder, you might find the sauce isn’t quite as red, but you can recifiy that with the addition of a teaspoon of paprika, if you like.

Close up image of slow cooked beef madras in a black bowl with rice and pieces of naan bread. There is coriander (cilantro) sprinkled on top. The bowl is on a dark surface.

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🍽️ What to serve it with

• Rice – such as boiled rice, pilau rice or onion fried rice

• Bread – such as garlic naan, peshwari naan or chapati

• Other tasty sides – such as tomato and onion salad, mango chutney, saag aloo or dal makhani


Can I use a different meat?

Yes, you can swap out the chunks of beef for lamb (same cooking time) or pork (reduce the cooking time 60-75 minutes). I also have a recipe for Chicken Madras – which is a lot quicker to cook (about 30 minutes).

Close up image of slow cooked beef madras in a black bowl with rice and pieces of naan bread. There is coriander (cilantro) sprinkled on top. The bowl is on a dark surface and there is a further bowl of madras in the background.
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5 from 5 votes

Slow Cooked Beef Madras Recipe

Melt-in-the-mouth beef, slow-cooked in a rich, spicy sauce. The heat cooks out a little in this recipe, so it’s more of a warming heat, rather than a hard-hitting raw heat.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

Onion paste:

  • 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped

Beef:

  • 2 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) braising beef cut into bitesize chunks

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (paste for USA)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Madras hot curry powder
  • ¼ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 480 ml (2 cups) beef stock
  • 420 ml (1 ¾ cups) passata

Serve with:

  • boiled basmati rice
  • naan bread
  • fresh coriander cilantro, roughly chopped
  • finely diced red onion

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 160C/320F (fan).
  • Place the onion, garlic, and ginger into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
    1 large onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • Heat the ghee (or oil) in a large casserole pan over a medium-high heat.
    2 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • Add the beef and cook, stirring a couple of times, until browned. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
    500 g (1.1 lbs) braising beef
  • Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Put to one side.
  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee (or oil) to the pan, then add in the onion paste mixture and bay leaves.
    1 tbsp ghee or sunflower oil, 2 bay leaves
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown slightly at the edges of the pan.
  • Add in the tomato puree, cinnamon, Madras powder, fenugreek, tamarind paste, salt, and pepper.
    2 tbsp tomato puree, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 3 tbsp Madras hot curry powder, ¼ tsp ground fenugreek, ½ tsp tamarind paste, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spices start to release their fragrance.
  • Add in the beef stock and passata, stir and bring to the boil, then add the beef (plus any resting juices) back to the pan.
    480 ml (2 cups) beef stock, 420 ml (1 ¾ cups) passata
  • Place a lid on the pan and place it in the oven for 3 hours, until the beef is tender. Check the beef a couple of times during the last hour of cooking and top up with a splash of boiling water if it’s starting to look dry.
  • Once cooked, serve the madras with basmati rice and/or naan bread, and top with fresh coriander and red onion slices.
    boiled basmati rice, naan bread, fresh coriander, finely diced red onion

Video

Notes

Want to add in vegetables?
 If you want to add some vegetables to this curry, I recommend the addition of mushrooms and/or chopped peppers. Add them in right before the curry goes into the oven.
Make Ahead:
This dish can be made ahead, then cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to two days. Reheat in a pan with a lid over a medium heat, for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until piping hot throughout.
Freeze:
Yes, make the recipe, then cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, as per the make-ahead instructions above.
Cook in the slow cooker:
Make the recipe as per the instructions, up until the point you would put it in the oven. Then transfer to the bowl of the slow cooker, place your slow cooker lid on and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
Nutritional information is approximate, per serving (this recipe serves 4), NOT including the rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 1119mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for another fabulous recipe 👏👏👏 hoping you can help please….
    Which brand of hot madras curry powder and the ground fenugreek powder do you use in your recipe… I have looked at a few brands and the spices vary enormously in the madras curry powder. I have sourced the tamarind paste in Waitrose but they did not have ground fenugreek. Many thanks.
    ps I own your cookbook and am looking forward to your next cookbook release…

  2. You’ve only done it again – a lot w cooker bowl almost licked clean. No change to recipe and it was spot on.

    Only one thing missing, unless I didn’t spot it, is the oven temperature for those using an oven

  3. 5 stars
    I made this last night using diced lamb shoulder – was absolutely delicious. Only cooked it for 2.5 hours in the oven. Meat was fall apart tender. Everyone licked their plates clean!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious!
    I made this but instead of cooking it in the oven I used the slow cooker. I cooked it for 3 hours in the slow cooker on the day I made it, and a further 2 hours in the slow cooker the following day. It was very tasty and I will probably make it again this coming week.
    Thank you for the recipe Nicky

  5. 5 stars
    This was beautiful – will definitely be cooking again (and again!). I used really good braising beef (from a ‘proper’ butcher), I didn’t blitz veg cause I like my onions visible (so cut into petals), used good quality (Mutti) tin of tomatoes and only used 1 tablespoon of Madras as didn’t want it too hot (may up to 1.5 tablespoons next time)!
    The beef was so tender and the sauce so flavoursome. Thank you so much 😊

  6. I just have a couple of questions: Can regular curry powder be substituted for the Madras? Or would the flavour be compromised too much? Do you ever substitute an alternate such as vinegar or lime juice for tamarind paste (something I don’t keep in my fridge)? or shouldn’t be done? Thank you for your answers.

  7. 5 stars
    2nd recipe I have made from this site and again it was absolutely delicious and very easy to follow. Really loving this site so far. Excited to try more recipes.