Beef Masala is an excellent dinner recipe loaded with flavor. This dish is simple to make and easily altered to make it spicy or not. Perfect for feeding a crowd with a hearty and delicious meal.
The beef pieces' flavor and herbs create a comfort dish that I always think about. While this might not be a traditional Indian recipe, I will say that I think it comes pretty close.
This doesn't necessarily have the same texture as beef masala curry, but the flavors are there! It's meatier and thinner than a typical curry dish, but trust me when I say that you don't want to miss out on this one. It's SO good and SO simple to make.
Speaking of simple and easy - make sure to check out my Smoked Pulled Beef for another amazing texture and flavor.
Butter - You will be using this to cook the onions. Salted or unsalted butter works fine.
Onion - Yellow onions or white onions both work well. Just peel and dice and they are ready to go.
Beef cubes - You want a type of beef that is tender with a short cooking time.
Lemon juice - Fresh lemon juice is great but bottled lemon juice can also work in this recipe.
Paprika - We use regular paprika in this recipe but smoked paprika works well, too. It just is not traditionally used in Indian cooking.
Minced garlic - We chop up some fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor and aroma. Garlic powder is another acceptable addition.
Garam masala - Needed to bring out the star taste of this dish! Garam masala is an integral component of Indian cuisine, typically a combination of spices used for seasoning. It is comprised of various spices including cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, fennel seeds, mace, coriander seeds, and cinnamon. The combination and proportions of the spices can vary from region to region or even household to household.
Ground cumin - Excellent for pairing with the rest of the additions.
Heavy cream - Adds a rich creaminess! For a dairy-free option sub in coconut cream.
Tomato paste - Helps to thicken as well as add richness.
Crushed red pepper - This can be optional but great for adding spice.
Salt - To taste. You can add as much or as little as you like.
Beef Stock - Optional. Use to thin the sauce.
How to make Beef Masala
Step One: Add a bit of the butter to a large skillet and cook on medium heat. Cook the onions until soft.
Step Two: Add the beef and lemon juice. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, just to begin to brown the meat. Add the spices and cook another minute or two.
Step Three: Mix in the cream, paste, and the rest of the butter. Add the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
Step Four: Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir frequently and let the sauce thicken a bit. Turn to low and simmer until you serve.
Expert Tip: If you want a thinner sauce add in some beef broth. We added 1 cup of beef broth so we'd have more sauce to coat the rice we served this on.
Add different liquids - Adding beef stock can be a fun addition to heighten the beef flavor. This can also help to thin out the mixture as well. Coconut milk would be another great option and would add richness and creaminess.
Add lemon zest - A little bit of lemon zest into the pot is a great way to add more citrus taste.
Add more herbs and seasonings - The fun part about this stewing beef curry is that it's easy to manipulate and add different flavors. Add ground ginger, ground coriander powder, turmeric, and even some cayenne pepper for some spice. Even adding nutmeg could be yummy!
How do I serve beef masala?
The easiest way to serve this dish is to add the cooked beef and the liquid right on top of the cooked white rice. (Brown rice would work as well)
You can also enjoy dipping naan bread into it and soaking up some of the liquid and flavors that way.
What is the best cut of beef to use?
The cuts of beef that cook quickly and are tender can be categorized as leaner cuts with little connective tissue. These cuts are typically those cut from the loin and rib sections, such as the Tenderloin or Ribeye. Such cuts tend to have a smaller grain size, which contributes to their tenderness when cooked. The shorter cooking time is due to the lower fat content in these cuts, thus allowing for faster heat transfer throughout the meat.
Stew meat will not work in this recipe as it is written. It simply takes too long to cook. If you want to use that you will have to cook this for a much longer time than we have listed. However, chuck steak is simple, easy, and affordable. Since you will be cooking the beef in liquid and spices, this will help to tenderize whatever type of beef you use. You will just need to adjust the cooking time.
The biggest thing to remember about beef is that you want it to be easy to cut and have a good tenderness to eat when eating it. This has a more tender texture than a beef stew does, in my opinion, if you use a cut without a lot of connective tissue.
What toppings can you add to this beef masala recipe?
It's so good that it doesn't even need toppings! But, if you're a fan of adding toppings, you have options. Fresh cilantro is a great choice to sprinkle right on top.
You can also add some yogurt on top as well. (Or stir that right into the dish for a creamier effect.)
If you want to add some spice, you can also cook up a batch of chilies and have them diced and on top, too.
Toppings are great, but they're not the star of the show for this recipe. The flavors of the beef masala should stand out, no matter what toppings you want to add.
- 3 tablespoon butter divided
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 lb beef cubes ***
- 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- beef broth optional
- Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened.
- Add beef and lemon juice. Brown the beef.
- Stir in the paprika, minced garlic, garam masala, and cumin; cook and stir for 1 minute.
- Mix the cream, tomato paste, and remaining butter in. Add salt and red pepper to taste, if desired. Bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low; stirring frequently, simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Turn to low and simmer until ready to serve.
- Optional: Add beef broth to thin the sauce.
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