Warming Beef Curry with Tomato

In this beef curry—a real pleasure on a cold day—tomato helps tenderize the meat while also adding an acid note to the sauce. The meat is marinated, seared briefly, and then simmered in plenty of water for two hours, until extremely tender.

Serve with rice, a salad, and a simple vegetable dish.


  • 1 pound stewing beef, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small-medium ripe tomato, finely chopped, or substitute ¼ cup canned Chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chile Powder, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 cups water


Place the meat in a large bowl, add the salt and turmeric, and mix well. Add the tomato, ginger, shallots, chile powder, and 1 tablespoon of the oil and stir and mix so the meat is coated with the flavorings. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 2 hours (refrigerate if the wait will be more than 1 hour).

Place a large wok or a wide heavy pot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Toss in the beef with the marinade, and cook, stirring frequently, until all the meat has changed color. Add the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and let cook, half-covered, for 2 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender and the oil is floating on the surface of the sauce. (Add more water if the liquid is running low.)

Taste for salt, and adjust if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature.