Malaysian beef and potato curry

Homemade chapattis and a cooling cucumber raita complete this warming South-East Asian dish.


For the curry
For the basmati rice
For the cucumber raita
For the chapatti

Preparation method

  1. For the curry, heat the groundnut oil in a large pan and gently fry the shallots, garlic and ginger for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.

  2. Add the curry powder, chilli powder, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander, curry leaves, star anise and cloves and fry for a further minute, or until the spices start to darken and release their aromas.

  3. Add the beef and stir to coat in the spice mixture. Add the potatoes, finely chopped chillies, salt and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and brown sugar and cook with the lid off for a final 2-3 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, for the basmati rice, soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes then drain and rinse thoroughly. Add the rice to a pan with the 300ml/10½fl oz water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is tender. Remove from the heat and rest for five minutes. Fluff the rice up with a fork just before serving.

  5. For the cucumber raita, mix the chopped cucumber, yoghurt, sugar and chopped coriander together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until needed.

  6. For the chapatti, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and gradually add the boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Add the oil and stir to combine.

  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rest for 45 minutes.

  8. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and roll each into a small ball. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out each ball of dough into a thin disc, around 12cm/6in in diameter.

  9. Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and cook each chapatti for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper and repeat for the remaining chapatti.

  10. To serve, spoon the rice onto serving plates and ladle over the beef and potato curry. Place a spoonful of cucumber raita alongside and place a chapatti on the edge of the plate. Garnish with the sliced red chillies.

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