You are in for a treat with this Beef Masala packed with bold flavors and tender chunks of beef. This recipe will take your imagination to the streets of India with its aromatic blend of herbs and spices.
What is Masala?
Masala is an Indian cooking terminology that refers to blended spices and herbs used to flavor different dishes in Indian cuisine. These include the likes of turmeric, chili powder, cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, and pepper.
Why you will love this recipe for beef masala
- It's tender beef chunk: The beef chunks are cooked in low heat, which results in tender fall-off-the-bone meat.
- Flavorsome: It's a beef masala recipe; it's expected for this dish to be packed with bold Indian flavors with all these spices and herbs that go into preparing it.
- Easy to make: just like my jollof rice, the dish is not complicated once you get the spices and herbs right. Easy, straightforward instructions to follow, and you have your five-star homemade beef masala.
Looking to try another comforting stewed meat bursting with flavors? This Morrocan chickpea stew with goat doesn't disappoint.
Beef: I used beef chuck since this masala curry will be slow-cooked. Choose a tender cut of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin. Cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces will yield an even cooking.
Tomatoes: Fresh tomato or tomato paste is ideal for this dish as they add a tangy flavor and help to thicken the sauce.
Chili Powder: This is dried ground chili peppers to add that spicy kick and depth of flavor to the curry.
Turmeric: is known to add a yellow color, lovely aroma, and flavor to any dish. A little goes a long way, so be careful not to add too much, as this might yield a slightly bitter taste to your food. This spice is a staple in Indian cuisines.
Garam Masala: This blend of whole spices toasted to release aromatic flavors and ground into powder.
Cumin: This spice is known for its warm, nutty flavor and is mostly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It will add a depth of flavor to our curry and pairs well with other spices like coriander and chili powder.
Coriander: This spice comes from the seeds of the coriander plant and has a slightly sweet, citrusy flavor. It is often used in Indian cooking and pairs well with cumin and chili powder.
Recipe variations and substitute
Beef: Instead of beef tikka masala, you could swap the beef for chicken and make a delicious chicken masala curry.
Cream: Give this beef tikka more creaminess by substituting milk or yogurt with heavy cream or non-dairy full-fat milk.
Spices: Use a variety of spices you have on hand but don't substitute the Garam masala, as it holds the true identity of this masala curry.
Vegetable: Consider adding vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and corn to your curry masala to add more nutritional value.
This healthy, hearty, and profoundly satisfying beef tikka sauce is simple to prepare. Here is how you make it:
Step 1: Heat the oil and fry the onion with the cloves and coriander seeds. We want the seeds to release their flavor before adding the other ingredients.
Step 2: Stir in the ginger garlic paste and the tomato paste. At this point, you can add more oil (if needed) for the next step.
Step 3: Add the beef chuck. We are going to brown the meat for maximum flavor.
Step 4: Add the rest of the spices and carrots once the meat is browned. If adding fresh chilis, this is the best time to add it. Stir to incorporate the ingredients.
Step 5: Stir in the beef or chicken stock, then season with salt to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat. If you use a high-pressure cooker, cook for 25 minutes (natural release).
Step 6: Add the coconut milk (or yogurt) and fresh cilantro. Stir to combine. The meat should be soft and tender.
Adjust seasonings if needed. Cook some more, then remove from heat.
Serve with rice or naan.
- This beef masala tastes even better the next day because all the flavors have been perfectly infused.
- Whole coriander seeds and cloves will soften and release their essence once cooked. If you don’t like to nibble on the seeds, toast them for 3 minutes, then blend and add them back into the pot and fry with the onion.
- Make sure the beef and yogurt are at room temperature before using.
- Cut down on time and cook it in the pressure cooker on high for 25 minutes on natural release. Then a gentle simmer after adding the yogurt.
- To balance out the taste, I usually sprinkle about one-fourth teaspoon of granulated sugar; this brings out all the flavors, don’t worry; you won’t taste the sugar.
- If using coconut milk, use full fat. I swear by the Thai kitchen brand. The milk helps thicken the tikka masala giving it that luscious texture we all love.
- My Indian neighbor suggests it’s best to slow cook this dish, so if you intend to use the slow cooker, cook on Hi for up to 6 hours before adding the yogurt.
- Not a fan of spicy masala? Use a mild chili powder instead and skip the fresh chillis.
These two dishes have many similarities in blending different spices and herbs, with tiny differences in masala being more aromatic. While the curry is more earthy, and commonly vegetable chunks are added to a beef curry.
Among the spices used in beef masala is chili powder resulting in spicy masala. If you skip the chili powder, you will only have a mild flavor.
This is totally optional. If you have time, you can marinate the meat a day before cooking it or a few hours before. Marinating the meat will result in more tender beef and infused flavors.
Love Stews? Try these related stew recipes.
If you made this beef tikka, share a spoon with us on our social media using the hashtag worldlytreat (#worldlytreat), we'd love to join the soirée. Also, don't forget to pin it for later. Chat soon?
PEACE & LOVE
- heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker
- 1.5 lbs stewing beef cubed (beef chuck, cubed (about 2 inches)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 8 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- ½ tablespoon Garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 large carrot cut in rounds (optional)
- 2 fresh red chili peppers finely chopped (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 ⅔ cups beef or chicken stock
- ¾ cup coconut milk or plain Greek yogurt
- A handful of fresh cilantro roughly chopped (about half a cup)
- Fresh cilantro
- Red or green chilies
- Scallions green part, julienne
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan or instant pot. Stir in the onion, cloves, and coriander seeds. Fry for about 5 minutes.4 tablespoons olive oil, 6 whole cloves, 1 small yellow onion, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Add the ginger-garlic mix and tomato paste, and fry for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat.2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste, 8 tablespoons tomato paste
- Add the beef chunks and continue to fry for about 6 minutes or until the meat begins to brown.1.5 lbs stewing beef
- Add the chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, ground coriander, carrot, and fresh chili peppers (if using). Stir to combine.1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric, ½ tablespoon Garam masala, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 large carrot, 2 fresh red chili peppers
- Stir in the beef stock, then season with salt to taste.Salt to taste, 1 ⅔ cups beef or chicken stock
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 90 minutes or in a high-pressure cooker for 25 minutes (natural release).
- Add the coconut milk (or yogurt) and fresh cilantro. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings if needed. Cook for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.¾ cup coconut milk or plain Greek yogurt, A handful of fresh cilantro
- Serve with rice or naan. Garnish with more cilantro, red chili, or scallions.Fresh cilantro, Red or green chilies, Scallions
- The coriander and cloves will soften while they cook. If you don’t like chewing on the seeds, toast them for 3 minutes, then blend with a spice grinder, add them back into the pot, and fry them with the onion.
- I usually marinate the beef ahead of time with ½ a teaspoon of chicken powder, ground garlic, and smoked paprika. This adds more flavor to the meat. Make sure to reduce the amount of salt in the stew if you try this.
- Reduce cooking time and use a pressure cooker on high for 25 minutes (natural release). Then simmer for 2-3 after adding the yogurt.
- If using coconut milk, use full fat. I like the Thai kitchen brand linked above. The milk helps thicken the stew giving it a nice texture.
- If you don’t have Ginger garlic paste, blend together 2 thumb-sized fresh ginger, peeled, and 2 garlic cloves. Add about a tablespoon of water if needed to get things going.
In India no one uses sugar in their curry! If I tell my granny about your recipe you won't like what's she is going to say
Maureen Celestine says
Hi J, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a reply. As you may have noticed in my suggestions, I mentioned that I sometimes include 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (which is equivalent to a pinch) to harmonize the flavors. I want to clarify that this addition is entirely optional and was not included in the recipe card. The reason for the revision was due to valuable insights I received from my Indian family friend, who recommended this adjustment. In light of this, I am intrigued to hear your grandmother's perspective. Please feel free to contact me via email.