Week 68: Mama’s Curry & Spiced Cauliflower

Don’t worry, it’s not my mama (the poisoner).  That would be terrible, and probably contain a lot of bran.  No this mama belongs to a lady called Anjie Mosher in the second Hairy Bikers’ Best-Loved Recipes book, and it’s delicious. Also, this week is a bit of a two-for-one – they’re separate recipes that are delicious by themselves but go together really well.

Both recieps are formed of the same base of spices; cumin, corriander, turmeric, black pepper and chilli powder.  I was relieved that I liked the mix, cos it would have been a pain if I hadn’t – all over both bits of my tea and all haha.

To make the curry for 4 you will need: 120ml ghee (or vegetable oil), 400g braising steak (diced), 1 medium onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1tsp ground cumin, 1tsp ground coriander, 1tsp ground turmeric, 1tsp black pepper, 1tsp chilli powder, half a tsp ground ginger, 3 cloves, 3 cardamom pods, half a tsp ground cinnamon, 200g canned tomatoes, 125ml natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1tsp salt and a pinch of sugar.

I nearly bought ghee but it only came in massive bucket sized tubs that needed using in a month, so I chickenned out of buying it and used oil instead.  I was quite pleased and mildly shocked that when I went to put together my shopping list I didn’t need to buy any spices.  Get me.


The curry takes quite a while bubbling so it gives you plenty of time to cook everything else while it’s on.

Heat at the ghee (oil) in a frying pan and brown the beef until it’s sealed on all sides.  While its frying thinly slice the onion and garlic, once the beef is sealed take it out of the pan and put it somewhere the dog won’t get it.


Tip the onion and garlic into the frying pan and fry until it it softens but doesn’t go brown.  This is tricky cos obviously the beef juices turn the onion brown so it’s hard to tell.


Add the spices and fry for 1 minute before putting the beef back in and adding the tomatoes then bring it to the boil.  Take it off the heat and stir in the yoghurt, vinegar and season with salt and sugar.

You can then either bring it back to the boil and simmer for 1.5 hours or transfer it into a casserole dish and put it in the oven for 2 hours on gas Mark 5/190c. I think at some point you’re supposed to put it to a bigger pan to simmer it in, but I’m not sure where.  While it’s cooking you can get cracking with the spiced cauliflower, which I served up instead of rice.

To make the spiced cauliflower you will need 60ml ghee (oil), 2tsp chilli powder, 2tsp ground cumin, 2tsp ground corriander, 2tsp turmeric, 2tsp black pepper, 1 cauliflower, 25g tamarind paste, 1tbsp vinegar, and 1tsp salt.  Anjie says if you want to make it milder you should halve the quantities of the spices, and as I’m a massive chicken that’s exactly what I did.


I somehow bought the most expensive cauliflower in west london, it was a shame to cut it into florets, I wanted to put it on the wall.  Heat the ghee/oil in the frying pan (you’ve had time to clean it) and add the spices to the oil and fry them into a paste over a medium heat, then after a couple of minutes add the precious cauliflower and coat it in all the spices.

Stir 25g of tamarind paste (I couldn’t weigh half of it so I went with the full amount) into 250ml of boiling water and add it to the cauliflower. If you don’t want to use tamarind just add the water. Add the salt and vinegar and cook it until the cauliflower is tender.


If you’ve timed it right the curry should be ready just as the cauliflower is done, so you can bung the cauliflower onto a glamoro us side plate and then triumphantly take the casserole to the table. Unless you’re me:


I have no idea what went wrong.  I was obviously channelling my mother.  Maybe it needed more liquid?  I definitely had the oven on the right temperature…  I rescued the bit in the middle, and the meat was delicious and tender; and the spices were really nice – warming, and the cauliflower was the tastiest I’ve ever had.


I was pretty gutted it turned out crispier than I’d planned, I’ll definitely make it again though, and this time I’ll simmer it on the hob!


The Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook Mums Still Know Best (by Si King & Dave Myres Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN: 978 1 4072 3380 2)

mums still know best


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