Beef bhuna is a glorious Bangladeshi curry much beloved of the British Curry house, easily identified by its delicious, spicy & thick sauce.
I love using beef in curries, it matches so well with my favourite Indian “herb”, fenugreek.
A Bhuna (pronounced boona) curry is probably one of the most common dishes on a British Indian Curry House menu.
Gosht means meat and in many recipes would refer to lamb, but for me this recipe works wonderfully beef!
A bhuna curry is typified by its rich, heavily spiced, thick and unctuous sauce. For me, it should cling to the meat, above all, it should not be a gravy in the bottom of the bowl.
A Bhuna curry hails from Bangladesh and North-East India.
This explains its popularity in the British Midlands much of the Indian migration to this area is from the Bengali region. As a result, many of the hundreds of Indian restaurants I grew up with feature Bengali food.
This recipe just like my beef dopiaza, methi gosht, minced beef curry and beef vindaloo sings with the almost sweet nutty earthy flavour of fenugreek. It even features in my Anglo Indian beef sausage curry!
Typically a bhuna is only cooked in its own juices.
My beef bhuna adds a little tomato into the mix, because beef and tomato in a curry just works.
Frequently Asked Questions
What cut of beef should I use?
This bhuna is a slow-cooked dish, so go for something robust with a bit of fat, I like shin of beef personally speaking.
It is a cut of meat that I use in everything from my Thai Massaman beef curry through to my take on beef osso bucco!
If you wanted something a little leaner look for some rump or round for my US-based readers.
How hot is a bhuna curry?
Generally speaking, it is a curry with a medium heat, but that does not mean that everyone will find it medium.
Tolerance to capsaicin is incredibly personal, if you are sensitive to heat then feel free to tone it down. If you like it hot hot hot, then throw in lots of green chilli towards the end of the cooking process.
Do I have to use Kashmiri chilli powder?
No, but I would urge you to start using it for Indian-based dishes.
It packs a huge amount of flavour without being overly hot, this means that you can use a lot and get loads of chilli flavour and maintain the use of your taste buds.
A note for US-based readers!
Tomato puree to us Brits means tomato concentrate, I use a 22-24% concentrate. I believe that tomato puree in the US is what we call passata.
This bhuna dish is a thick curry and to me, that usually means it gets served with chapatis.
But for this recipe I went full-on curry feast.
If you wanted to stick with the curry you can really go to town with the rice and this recipe loves sweetness.
Therefore something like this cashew and raisin pilaf rice would work wonderfully.
I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 24cm or 10″ saucepan with a lid.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Stirring and serving spoons.
Bhuna is a perennial favourite in the British Indian Curry house and my beef bhuna works that typical thick clingy fragrant gravy heavy with fenugreek.
- 400g (14 oz) Beef
- 2 Tbsp Ghee
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 30g (Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
- 2 Green Chilli Peppers
- 250g (1⅔ Cup) Onion
- 1 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 400g (3 Medium) Tomatoes
- 100ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Water
- 2½ Tbsp Tomato Puree
- ½ Tsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- ½ Tsp Salt
- Slice the green chillies as finely as you can.
- Chop the ginger and garlic into as fine a dice as you can manage.
- Peel, top and tail then onion then cut in half before slicing into 1cm thick half-moon shapes.
- Cut the beef into 3-4cm (1½") cubes.
- Heat the ghee in a 24cm or 10" saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook gently for 30 seconds.
- Throw in the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in the cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala and stir to toast for 60 seconds.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes into a 1.5cm (½") dice.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and water and cook for 10 minutes.
- When the tomatoes have begun to break down and the sauce has thickened a little season your beef generously with salt.
- Add the seasoned beef to the pan with the fenugreek leaves and stir.
- Cover with a lid and cook covered on a low simmer for 60 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook for a further 90-120 minutes on low until the sauce is thick and unctuous.
- Stir the curry every 12-15 minutes for this last hour adding a splash of water if need to keep it moist.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 866Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 207mgSodium: 780mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 8gSugar: 16gProtein: 60g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.