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Chilli, Beef and Almond Curry

  • 2 dried, mild, red chillies, such as sun-dried Italian chillies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • ½ small stick cinnamon
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 1kg braising steak, trimmed and diced
  • 7 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai green chilli, finely sliced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 50g ground almonds

Dry-roast the chillies in a small frying pan over a low heat until lightly coloured. Put to one side. Roast the cumin, coriander, peppercorns, cinnamon and cardamom until they release a wonderful aroma. Tip into a pestle and mortar. Remove the stalks from the chillies, divide each into three and add to the spices. Grind to a fine powder. Mix into the meat with 1 tbsp of sunflower oil. Cover and chill for 3-6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a casserole dish. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry over a low heat for 15 minutes until they are melting, soft and golden. Increase the heat and add the green chilli and the spiced beef. Stir-fry briskly until the meat is thoroughly browned. Stir in 300ml water and season with salt. Bring almost to boiling point, then remove from the heat, cover and bake in the oven for 1.25 hours.

Remove, mix in the ground almonds and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with coriander if you wish to add a little colour. Serve with toasted pitta bread and rice.

Serves 4

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