If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, you have to try my Easy Beef Masala Curry. This deliciously fragrant beef masala recipe combines chuck steak with a blend of spices and fresh aromatics to make a delicious curry that is full of flavor, but mild enough for the whole family to enjoy.
My easy beef curry is basically a beef stew with added fragrant spices that are commonly found in Indian cooking. I make everything in one large pot which gives a great depth of flavor.
Making meat masala at home is so much easier than you might think. I like to cook the beef pieces low and slow, which tenderizes the meat and develops all the flavors.
This curry masala is mild enough for younger kids, or anyone who doesn't like their food too spicy. Add a bowl of freshly chopped red chili peppers alongside, for those who like their curries on the hotter side.
I've cooked this easy beef stew on the stovetop, but also provide instructions later in this post for cooking beef curry masala in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, and in the oven.
Why You'll Love This Beef Masala Curry
- Homemade curries are healthy! There's no excess oil, salt or sugar added in this curry sauce.
- This beef curry recipe can be easily adapted. If there is a spice you don't like leave it out.
- Use gluten free beef stock and this recipe is ideal for celiacs or anyone following a gluten free diet.
- Love curry? Try some of my other favorite recipes:
Beef Masala Recipe Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Beef - You will need a good stewing beef cut for this easy beef curry. Braising steak comes from the areas of the cow that do a lot of work, so they tend to be tougher and lend themselves really well to being cooked low and slow. I've suggested chuck steak in the recipe card as it's a great braising steak, however, you can also use cuts like skirt, flatiron steak (also know as blade), flank steak, round steak, or brisket.
Spice Mix & Aromatics - This recipe uses familiar spices and fresh aromatics like ginger and garlic that most of you will have in your own kitchens. If there is a spice you don't like, leave it out, or swap it for a spice you do like. If you don't like too much heat, cut down on the chili powder, or leave it out altogether. However, if you like your food really spicy, add more chili.
Broth - I've used beef broth to amplify the beef flavor in this curry. Vegetable or chicken broth could also be used.
How to Make Beef Masala Curry - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe card below.
Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large dutch oven, skillet or heavy bottomed pan,
Season the chuck steak with sea salt and pepper. Sauté the beef cubes on all sides in olive oil until golden brown. Work in batches if necessary so the meat sears and doesn't steam.
Remove the meat and reserve on a plate then sauté onions in the same pan until it starts to soften.
Add the minced garlic and, ginger, turmeric powder, ground cumin, garam masala powder and sugar. Also add the whole cloves and chili powder if using.
Stir for a minute until fragrant then add the tomato paste and broth and stir well.
Return the beef to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce. Cover the pan and let the curry simmer gently for 1-2 hours until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Serve with cilantro and chili garnish if desired.
Beef Masala Slow Cooker/Crockpot
To make Crockpot beef curry, start by browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker pot. Next add all the remaining ingredients, giving everything a good stir to combine. Cover with a lid and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
Don't skip the step of searing the meat, as it does make a difference to the flavor of the finished dish.
Beef Masala Instant Pot
To save time, cook beef masala in the pressure cooker. Start by seasoning the beef with salt and pepper. Then add oil to the Instant Pot and switch to sauté mode. Brown the beef to build flavor, working in batches if necessary.
Now add in the onion, garlic and ginger, sauté for a further minute. Add in the spices and sauté for one minute more.
Finally add in the remaining ingredients, close the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes (I allow 20 minute per pound of meat). Once it has finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then release the remaining pressure via manual release.
Oven Cooked Beef Masala
Using a Dutch oven, or suitable casserole pot with a lid, follow the recipe card below, up to the end of step 7. Then cover the pot with the lid and place into the oven at 300ºF/150ºC for 2 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Masala Curry?
A masala curry is an Indian curry made with a dry masala which is a blend of various dry spices traditionally used in Indian cooking. That masala blend can include ground dry spices like cumin, coriander, cardamon, turmeric, fennel seeds, chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Can I Make Masala Curry with Chicken?
Yes absolutely. This curry recipe can work just as well with chicken. I would suggest using bone-in chicken thighs for maximum flavor, or even chicken drumsticks. Just adjust the cooking time as required.
Is Beef Masala an Authentic Indian Curry?
The use of beef in Indian cuisine is quite limited. Hindus follow a vegetarian diet and avoid eating beef as cows are considered sacred animals. Non-vegetarian Indians prefer to eat lamb, goat or chicken.
Variations & Substitutions
I've used beef, but this curry recipe would work equally well with lamb shoulder.
Swap the chuck steak for chicken thighs or drumsticks and adjust the cooking times accordingly.
If you like your curries hot and spicy, add some extra chili powder or red pepper flakes.
You can add in other veggies to this easy curry sauce. Try potato, sweet potato, cauliflower, butternut squash, eggplant, zucchini or bell peppers.
Just before serving, stir through some leafy greens like spinach, kale or chard, and allow to wilt.
Tips & Tricks For Making Beef Curry
- This dish freezes well, so is great for batch cooking. I like to make double the quantity, eat half and freeze the other half for a quick meal at a later date.
- Adding one teaspoon of chili powder will give you a mild flavored curry. However, you can adapt the chili heat up or down depending on your taste.
- A great way to 'refresh' reheated or frozen curry is to add fresh herbs. So remember to add some fresh cilantro to the curry when you re-heat it.
- If you're in a real hurry it's fine to use ready chopped onion and ready minced garlic and ginger (either fresh or frozen) to cut down even more on prep time.
How To Serve Beef Masala Curry
White or brown steamed basmati rice and naan bread are both classic accompaniments to this dish. I always like to serve bread which helps mop up the curry sauce.
For something a little different try my Coconut Rice with Lime. Cauliflower rice is a great light and low carb option.
I like to add a bowl of freshly sliced red chilies to the table, that way those who like their curry on the hotter side can add to taste.
How To Reheat Masala Beef?
Curry is a great make ahead dish and is perfect for weekly meal prep. Prepare it the day before and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.
In fact curry always tastes better the second day as the flavors intensify when left to sit overnight. When ready to eat, just put the curry back on the stove and warm up gently until piping hot.
How to Freeze Easy Beef Curry?
As with most curries, this homemade curry can be easily frozen. Cook the curry then allow it to cool completely before placing in an airtight container with a tight fitting lid.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost thoroughly before heating gently until hot all the way through.
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More Easy Slow Cooked Recipe Ideas
Easy Beef Masala Curry
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 lb Chuck Steak (Stewing Beef) - cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 large Onion - diced
- 2 cloves Garlic - finely minced
- 2 inch Fresh Ginger - finely minced
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 6 Whole Cloves - optional
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Chili Powder - optional
- 1 pinch Sugar
- ¼ cup Tomato Purée
- 2 cups Broth - beef or vegetable
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander)
- Red Jalapeño Pepper - finely sliced
- Heat the olive oil over a medium high heat in a large dutch oven, skillet or heavy bottomed pan,
- Season the cubed beef with sea salt and pepper then brown in the oil on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary so the meat sears and doesn't steam.
- Remove the meat and reserve on a plate.
- Sauté the diced onion in the same pan until starting to soften, around 8 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and, ginger, turmeric, cumin, garam masala and sugar. Also add the whole cloves and chili powder if using. Stir for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and broth. Stir well.
- Return the beef to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce.
- Cover the pan and let the curry simmer gently for 1-2 hours until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally,
- Remove the cloves before serving if you used them.
- Serve with cilantro and chili garnish if desired.