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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

South African Beef Curry

When Nancy Sephton lived in South Africa in the '50s, lamb curry was as ubiquitous there as hamburgers and hot dogs are in the United States. On a return visit a number of years later, she came across the curry made with beef, which has become a favorite with her family.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2001

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 3 pounds boned, fat-trimmed beef chuck
  • 2 onions (1 lb. total), peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 2 cups fat-skimmed beef broth
  • 1 1/4 pounds Roma tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño chilies
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 firm-ripe banana (about 5 oz.), peeled and thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 cup mango chutney
  • About 1/3 cup sweetened shredded dried coconut
  • Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
  • About 6 cups hot cooked rice
  • Salt


1. Rinse beef, pat dry, and cut into 1-inch chunks. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine beef, onions, and 1 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover, turn heat to high, and stir often until liquid evaporates and meat and onions are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Spoon out and discard any fat.

2. Add to pan the curry powder, mustard seed, garlic, and turmeric; stir until spices are more fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, chilies, and ginger; stir to free browned bits. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3. Put banana, chutney, coconut, and cucumber yogurt sauce each in separate small bowls.

4. Ladle beef curry over rice on plates. Add banana, chutney, coconut, cucumber yogurt sauce, and salt to taste.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 559
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Protein: 40g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 5.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 63g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sodium: 337mg
  • Cholesterol: 111mg

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South African Beef Curry Recipe