Warm Spiced Beef Curry and Rice

Warm Spiced Beef Curry with Rice

Delicious beef curry recipe, with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and bay.

I am such a fan of Thai curry, that I don’t often (enough) think to make any other kind. I really do enjoy an Indian-inspired curry though, especially beef and especially on a cold, Winter day.

This warm-spiced beef curry cooks up beef that is fork-tender, with a lovely sauce, full of warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and bay. The sauce also has tomatoes and coconut milk. Although it has coconut milk in it (optional, you can use regular milk), it isn’t predominant, like in a Thai curry. It is also mildly curry spiced, which is how I prefer my curries. It is a great dish to adjust to your taste though, by adding more or less of any of the spices or chutney (or up the crushed red pepper, if you’d like a bit more heat). Any way you make it, this is a warm and comforting dish.

I love this on the weekend, when I can start it in the early afternoon and then let it cook away on the stove-top until dinner. Then there’s just the rice and a veg to make later on. I love brown Basmati rice with this curry. I think you could very easily make in a slow-cooker as well. I’d just brown the meat separately, then throw it into the cooker with the sauce ingredients and let cook away. Take the lid off and simmer for a bit at the end, if needed to thicken the sauce a bit.

The Recipe

Warm Spiced Beef Curry
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Warm Spiced Beef Curry and Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a lovely beef curry. The beef cooks up fork-tender and the warm spices like ginger, cinnamon and bay are mild, but blend together well. This is a great dish for tweaking to your tastes, by adding a bit more or less of the spices. I tend to drain the tomatoes and use beef broth for liquid, if I have some handy.
Recipe type: Main Courses
Serves: 6
  • 2 lbs. well-trimmed, boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 6 whole cloves (can use ground - about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or whole milk)
  • 1 28-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes, with juice (or drained and use 1 cup-ish beef broth instead of the tomato juices)
  • 3 Tbsp. Major Grey chutney
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (could use ground - about 1/4 tsp.)
  • 2-3 tsp. mild curry powder (start with 2 and work your way up, if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Hot cooked rice
  1. Pat beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Add about 1/3 of the meat to the pan (*to get a good browning on your meat, don't crowd your pan. There should be space around each piece). Brown the meat on all sides and remove to a plate, repeating with 2 more batches, about 5 minutes per batch.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender and brown, about 7 minutes.
  3. Return beef to pot. Add the cloves, garlic, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and dried red pepper to pot. Stir for 1 minute to combine and release the flavours from the spices. Stir in the coconut milk, tomatoes, chutney, lemon juice, ginger, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat, until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
  4. Once meat is tender, uncover, increase heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, uncovered until the juices are thickened thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste (you might want to add a bit more salt, some freshly ground pepper and/or a bit more curry powder or other spice, to taste).
  5. Serve over rice.


Adapted from a Bon Apetit November 2000 recipe



  • Liz says:

    I love curry too Jennifer. This dish looks so delicious!

  • Sophie says:

    This sounds delightful! The weather has been quite grey and cold here also… I love it though, because it means comfort food :)

    • Jennifer M says:

      Hi Sophie. I enjoyed the last of this for lunch today and just as good as left-overs! We have been in the depths of winter here, cold and snowy, but good days for staying in and cooking.

  • I am feeling a bit cold now. Something warm and hearty sounds just perfect now. What brand of chutney do you use?

    • Jennifer M says:

      It will definitely hit the spot. I use Patak’s Major Grey Chutney. My local (small town) store doesn’t have a great variety to chose from, but that said, I do like it.

  • Bob says:

    I love curry, this sounds perfect.

  • JG says:

    I made this last night! Not only did it smell fabulous, it tasted delicious! I served it with some naan as well…very good!

  • Katherine says:

    I made this last night. Mine didn’t look quite a beautiful as yours but tasted delicious — even the kids liked it! Thanks very much for the recipe!

    • Jennifer M says:

      Hi Katherine. I can assure you, it didn’t look like that when I ate it either. I just beautify it up for photos so it looks a bit more appetizing :) I’m glad you enjoyed it and your kids, too (always a bonus, I know!)

  • Katherine says:

    Thanks Jennifer, good to know! I had the leftovers for lunch today and as another of your comments said, it’s even better the next day! I will stay tuned to your site.

  • Nicki says:

    This dish was amazing! My husband and I loved it, however how do you think it would taste using lamb instead of beef?

    • Jennifer M says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Nicki. I’m probably the wrong person to ask about lamb. I don’t like lamb. That said, I’m thinking it would be nice – richer, but nice. Worth a try, I’d say.

  • Rand says:

    I made this last week and it was soooo delicious! My mother in law is coming into town tomorrow and I want to cook this for dinner, however she doesn’t eat red meat. Can I use chicken breasts as a substitute?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Rand. So glad you enjoyed the beef version :) I think you could definately make this with chicken. I have an Indian spiced chicken stew on my site with similar spicing and it’s delicious! You might want to have a look at it for cooking time guidance as it may be less for chicken. Let me know how it turns out.

  • Rand says:

    Mmmmmm I took your advice and found your Indian spiced chicken stew recipe. It’s on the stove right now and my home smells HEAVENLY!!! I love all the different amazing spices. Five stars. Thank you for another hit!

    • Jennifer says:

      I am glad to hear. I thought you might enjoy it and maybe a safer bet than trying to sub chicken in this recipe (especially when cooking for company :)

  • Jim Bear Hampton III says:

    Thanks Jen! – This dish sounds pretty darn cool and probably smells and tastes even better still. I plan to try it just as soon I can get to the store – drawing up the list now!

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