Braised Beef or Lamb with Tomato and Cumin

Braised Beef or Lamb with Tomato and Cumin



  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 4 large dried whole red chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • Several cups of boiling water
  • Salt
  • Sugar (Optional)
  • 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat or boneless lamb shoulder, cut in large chunks
  • 2 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, quartered



1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, and after 2 minutes sauté the onions, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.


2. Stir in the bay leaves, cardamon, and cloves. Add the beef and stir-fry for 5 more minutes, searing the meat on all sides. Add the tomatoes and the garam masala. Once the tomatoes start to loosen from their skins (in 4 to 5 minutes), turn down the flame, and add enough boiling water to cover the whole mixture. Once it comes to a gentle boil, add a pinch of salt and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 7 minutes or so, making sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. You mad add additional water if needed. The end result should be a thick stew gravy and meat so tender it mashes apart with a fork. If the sauce is too sour, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of sugar to round out the flavor. Mix will. Serve hot over bed of plain basmati rice, or with oven-toasted flatbread like naan or pita bread. Serves 4.




Padma Lakshmi


Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television host, producer and The New York Times best-selling author. She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, which received a 2021 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Culinary Series and a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. The series has been greenlit for a second season. Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which has been nominated for 32 Emmys, including her two-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality-Competition Program. Its new season will be premiering in spring 2021.


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