This curry is a specialty of our baker Lutfunnessa, who you can find at the Jackson Heights Greenmarket on Sundays, selling the bread she bakes. Called alu-maunsho torkerry in Bangladeshi, the curry is perfect on a cold night with, of course, plenty of warm Naan, Whole Wheat Chapatis or a pot of basmati rice. Lutfunnessa also recommends making this recipe with a bone-in cut like a short rib, or cubes of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or lamb shoulder. As curries go, this is a relatively simple one to make with spices that you likely have at home. Let the beef brown well and use the caramelized bits to add depth of flavor to the dish. This cooks for almost 2 hours, so make sure to keep an eye on the liquid in the pot, adding more water if necessary.
Beef and Potato Curry
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds chuck steak, well trimmed and cut into 1-inch/2.5 cm cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon ground dried red chili or cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups water
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the beef dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and add to the pot. Cook the beef, turning the pieces a few times, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile to the pot. Stir in any brown bits of meat off the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and cook, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened and are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Return the beef to the pot with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring every now and then, until the beef is quite tender, about 1 hour.
4. Add the potatoes and continue to simmer, stirring now and then, until the potatoes are tender, another 30 minutes. Add water as needed to ensure the liquid nearly covers the meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, scatter the cilantro leaves on top, and serve hot.
Excerpt from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, available now on HotBreadKitchen.org.
Images credit Jennifer May and Evan Sung