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Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

If you use yogurt rather than cream do not boil the sauce as it will separate. Sauté the beef ahead of time and then add at the last minute. Substitute garam masala for spice mix if you don't have any.

Servings: 4

Ready time: 45 minutes

Wine pairings:

A fragrant curry loves a fragrant wine. The more floral and fruity, the better, even when it involves a hint of sweetness. Though the beef is red meat, I like gewurztraminer, a white wine, with this. Grape-y, floral and spicy with ginger overtones, it will punch through the aromatics in the dish. So will a dry Austrian gruner veltliner, another white, which I recently enjoyed with a lamb curry at Pukka restaurant in Toronto. If you prefer red, consider something jammy, such as shiraz or zinfandel, or chilled and crisp, like Beaujolais. - Beppi Crosariol

Spice mix

2 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsp cumin seeds

2 tsp black peppercorns

4 whole star anise

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Curry sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped ginger

2 cups chopped canned tomatoes with their juices

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup whipping cream or yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp chopped cilantro


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp butter

2 lbs New York sirloin or rib-eye steak cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes

Salt to taste

1 tbsp spice mix or garam masala


Place coriander, cumin, black peppercorns and star anise in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until it smells fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Grind in a spice grinder and add cardamom and cinnamon.

Heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft and tinged with brown. Add garlic, ginger and 3 tbsp spice mixture, reserving remainder. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until aromatic. Raise heat to medium. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they begin to break down. Add stock and bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until flavours have developed and sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper and bring to boil again. Reserve until needed. Stir in cilantro.

Heat vegetable oil and butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Season beef with salt and sprinkle with 1 tbsp spice mixture. Sear beef for 1 minute a side. Add to hot curry sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until medium rare. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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