Summer beef curry



Serves 4-6


For the paste:

  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 medium hot chilli (red or green), desseded
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

For the curry:

  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 600g shin, braising or stewing beef, cut in to chunks
  • 1 x 400g coconut milk
  • 200ml water with 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 x tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • Pinch Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime – half for juice and half into wedges to serve

You will need an oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Summer beef curry

When I started making this curry I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out. I knew I was looking for something summery but in my mind I kept flicking between a Masaman influence (nutty, creamy and spiced) and something more fragrant (kaffir lime leaves, fresh coriander and lime juice). As I cooked, the recipe evolved from within as I focused on the crystal clear waters and impressive stalactites from our climbing trip to Krabi Thailand, many years ago. We’d get back starving everyday after 4 hours on the rocks and dive in to a warm bowl of sweet fresh creamy curry. I am super-pleased with the result and I’m delighted to share it with you.


Preheat the oven to 160/315/gas 2-3. In a small frying pan, dry roast the cashews and fennel seeds until lightly coloured. Place in a nutribullet or food processor along with the other paste ingredients. Blitz to a paste.

Heat up 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil in an oven proof dish. Season the beef and sear for 5 minutes until it starts to brown. You may need to do this in batches. Add the paste and onions and stir for a further 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and water. Scrape the bottom the pan with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to degalze the pan as this is where much of the flavour is hidden.

Add the butter beans, cinnamon stick and star anise and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, pop the lid on and place in the oven for 2 hours or until the beef is tender and separates when pushed with a fork. Add the lime juice and stir through the fresh coriander. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Serve with quinoa or basmati rice and something green such as green beans, sugarsnap peas and spinach.



The addition of butter beans add to the healthfulness of the meal and naturally thickens the curry. Tasting and seasoning is always important, but especially here. Try it and see if it needs more salt, chilli, lime juice or coriander to make it sing, or perhaps even a tablespoon of water if it’s too creamy. Taste is so personal and I encourage you to taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking whenever you cook.”

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