Curry is definitely in my top 5 favorite things to eat and if I could choose only one curry, it would be beef curry with potatoes. I could eat this everyday. Add dhal and mango achar and I would be in curry heaven!
Often the beef used for curry is a tough cut of meat which means that it can take a decent amount of time to cook, unless you have the magic of the instant pot! If you guys are not on to the instant pot yet, let me change your life! It is an electric, pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, do it all in one appliance type of magic. When I first got my instant pot I made every meal in it for a month. Easy peasy. If you are interested in checking it out, see link at the end of this post.
Here’s how I made this dish that cooks in less than 30 minutes.
I started by making my curry paste or masala (typical first step for any curry dish). I added a small yellow onion, 5 cloves of garlic (because I love garlic), about 5 springs of fresh thyme (leaves removed from the stems), 3 heads of green onions and 1 1/2 cups of water to my blender. I then pureed it all together for a minute or two. Then I poured the pureed seasoning into a bowl and added curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika and bay leaf. I mixed it all together to form a thick paste. Side note: My 5 year old and 10 month old, eat whatever we are having for dinner so I don’t make my food spicy, but if you prefer spicy curry feel free to add pepper.
Typically when I make curry I use Lalah’s curry powder which has all of thes ingredients I added to the curry paste and a few more, but I wanted to show you that you don’t necessarily have to buy lalah’s. The curry I am using in this recipe is a generic curry powder I bought from Walmart and it came out just as good. But if you want to try it with Lalah’s and you don’t have an Indian, Asian or Caribbean market where you live, you can get it from Amazon (link below). These days you can but pretty much anything from Amazon.com, I’ve even seen cassareep on there, although I haven’t bought any from there (yet).
Next, I turned on my instant pot and set it to sauté. When it was ready (pot display says “hot”), I added 3 tablespoons of oil. When the oil was hot I added the curry paste and cooked it for about 5 minutes, until most of the liquid cooked off and it was thick and somewhat dry. Feel free to add more oil at this point, to prevent burning.
This is what it looked like before I added the beef. Notice how thick the paste has become, versus when I initially added it to the pot, (see previous pic).
While the curry paste cooked I prepared my beef. I am using grass fed chuck roast, that I cut into 2 inch cubes, but you can also just get stew beef from the supermarket that is already cut into chunks. I added 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to the beef and gave it a good toss. Then added the seasoned beef to the cooked curry paste. I let that sauté for 5 to 10 minutes so that the beef browns a bit.
Next I added 3 small red potatoes cut into halves (you can do quarters but be careful not to make it too small or it will melt away when you pressure cook the beef). Finally I added 1 1/2 cups of water and stirred the curry up a little trying to get most of the contents of the pot submerged in the liquid.
This next step is very important. I Turned off my instant pot by hitting cancel. Then covered the pot with the lid and turned the vent to sealing. Then I pressed the manual button, turning the pot back on, and set it for 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes were up, I pressed cancel to stop the instant pot from going into the warming mode, then I vented the instant pot, removed the lid carefully and switched it back to sauté. I did this so that any excess liquids in the pot can cook down forming a thick curry. I let it cook on sauté for 5 minutes, then I turned the pot off and my curry was ready to serve.
- 1.5 lbs Stew Beef (cut into 2 inch chunks)
- 3 small red potatoes (about 1 lb)
- 1 small yellow onion (peeled and cut into half)
- 3 heads of green onions
- 5 sprigs of thyme (leaves removed from the stems)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp oil for cooking
- 3 cups water
- Equipment: Instant Pot
- Add onion, garlic, green onion, thyme and 1.5 cups water to a blender and puree for about a minute until all the seasoning have blended together.
- Add blended seasoning to a bowl. Then add curry powder, onion powder, coriander, tumeric, paprika, cumin and bay leaves. Mix together to form a thick paste.
- Plug in and turn your instant pot on to the sauté setting. When instant pot is hot, add oil. Let oil heat up to almost smoking, then add the curry paste.
- Cook the curry paste until the liquids cook off and a somewhat dry masala is left.
- Add salt and pepper to beef and toss so that all the pieces are seasoned.
- Add seasoned beef to the cooked down curry paste.
- Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes until all the pieces of beef are somewhat browned.
- Peel and cut potatoes in halves, then add to the sauté beef. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of water
- Turn off the instant pot, by hitting the cancel button.
- Then cover the pot with the lid and set the vent to sealing.
- Turn the pot back on by hitting the manual button and setting the cooking time to 15 minutes.
- When the cooking time is up. Turn off the pot, by pressing the cancelled button and vent the pot by turning the vent knob to venting.
- When all the pressure has been released, remove the lid and turn the instant pot back on to sauté. Cook the curry for an additional 5 minutes or until the sauce cooks down to form a thick curry.
2. You can substitute cumin for geera (roasted cumin) if you prefer the flavor of geera to cumin.
3. If you don't have an instant pot, but similar electric pressure cooker, follow the instructions of that pressure cooker to pressure cook to beef for 10 to 15 minutes.