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West Indian Beef Curry with Calaloo


For the Curry:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds or 2 Tbsp. dried coriander
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. whole cumin or 2 Tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. black mustard seeds or 2 Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
For the Greens:
  • 5 cups calaloo, spinach, or chard, well washed and chopped
  • Approx. 1/4 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, seeded (warning, the seeds will make this dish too hot) or Poblano Peper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
  • Salt to taste
For the Beef:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 lb. braising or stewing beef, cut into 2-inch dices
  • 1-1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 cup West Indian white sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp. of West Indian Curry
  • Salt


For the Curry:

Dry roast all whole spices in a thick bottom pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove, allow to cool and grind using a small spice blender or pestle and mortar. Add the ginger and turmeric and store in air-tight jar. This spice mix will last for 3 to 4 months before losing some of its flavour.

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry the beef that has been well seasoned using the curry spice mix and a little salt. Once the meat has started to take on a golden brown colour, add the onions and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Add the stock and water and gently simmer with the lid on for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the meat is soft and tender. You may need to add a little more water to maintain a good sauce consistency. This curry is often served with rice and beans and a side dish of callaloo.

2. In a large pan over medium heat, gently fry the onion, garlic, Scotch bonnet and thyme in the butter and vegetable oil. Place the callaloo on top, add the water, season with salt and gently simmer over low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the stock of the callaloo is soft and tender. Stir occasionally and check the seasoning. Remove and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. It is important that the callaloo remain green and not turn grey or brown in colour as this means it is overcooked.

Recipe adapted from Michael Bonacini

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