Here’s a easy and healthy dish for your taste-buds! Taken from my “Classic 1000 Indian Recipes” cookbook, it’s simple and other than needing to marinate overnight, it is a hands-free dinner.  I thought it was a little odd having a beef recipe in an Indian cookbook but I took the time to find out more about the Indian belief system and how they value the cow.  Most Indian’s in India practice Hinduism and traditionally, Hindu do not eat meat at all.  It is the smaller group of Indians who do not practice Hinduism that eat beef and there is an equally small group of recipes in this book using beef.  Cows are not “worshipped” in the sense of praying to or expecting miracles from but rather it seems to be a kind of honoring what keeps their way of life.  Aside from very large, Westernized cities, the rest of India is rural and cows are impossible to live without.  The short version is this: no other animal is as integral to sustaining the life of a family in India, thus they respect and honor cows by not killing them, not eating them and taking care of them in old age as we would take care of a family pet.   In some ways, the cow is like a family member to Indians.  The cow provides milk which supports the growth and health of their children, the cow plows their fields (for many reasons, farm equipment is not a valid option) and helps them produce the crops the family will need to survive, the cow only needs grass to eat which is abundant and free, and lastly (no pun intended) the cow provides dung which is used to fertilize crops, insulate homes, and to cook with.  Click here for the best article I read on the topic.  

On to the recipe!

Messy Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 inch ginger root, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb beef, cubed – “stew beef”, or less expensive beef is fine for this, it will be tender no matter what!
  • 3 TBS oil – I reduced this by half
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves – I didn’t have these, left them out
  • 1 cup water

Put the first 7 ingredients in a bowl, mix well making sure everything is evenly distributed, and make sure the meat is well covered with the yogurt sauce.   Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Heat up the oil and fry the cloves until they’re a dark brown.  Add the onion, cook until browning before adding the chilies, cinnamon and fenugreek leaves.  Let cook another minute or two then add in the meat and yogurt.   Add the water, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours.   Add a little guar if you’d like the sauce to be thicker but we ate it more like a beef soup.  The meat was so tender and flavorful and after getting it all in the pan, I left the kitchen!  See, hands free!  This is also Dukan Diet Worthy, Cruise Phase (Phase 2 P+V days) and higher!   We enjoyed this so much that I never got a good picture of it in the bowl!  Oops!

One thought on “Marinated Beef

  1. I found this recipe to be very good and pretty easy to make. I made it with stew beef because it was appropriate for my grad school budget :). The beef turned out very tender. I served it over rice. The rice soaked up the sauce nicely and all-in-all it made for a very aromatic and not very expensive dish. (I didn’t have the fenugreek either – couldn’t find it – must be a specialty item to be sought specifically in ethnic markets.)

    You’ve really had me exploring the spice cabinet!! I’ve never used this many spices cooking before! Please keep the recipes coming :). You’re helping to change the way I eat! I’ve been able to cut a lot of salt from my diet too because of all the flavorful new spices.

    I think I may have to order that Indian cookbook!

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