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Beef Bhuna Bangladeshi Curry

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.

Portrait image of a beef bhuna curry served in an iron kadai with poppadoms and kachumber salad out of focus in the background

Bhuna Gosht.

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 or 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, minced beef curry and beef vindaloo sings with the almost sweet nutty earthy flavour of fenugreek or kashoor methi.

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.

Portrait overhead image of a beef bhuna curry served in an iron kadai with poppadoms, kachumber salad and minted yoghurt

Ingredient Advice.

Your main choice for this recipe is the beef!

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.

The only other thing to be aware of is tomato puree. To us Brits that means tomato concentrate, I use a 22-24% concentrate.

Just be sure you buy whatever it is called in your region!

Portrait close up image of a beef bhuna curry served in an iron kadai garnished with chopped coriander

Serving Suggestions.

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.

As a result, it got served with boiled rice, poppadoms, kachumber salad and a minty yoghurt raita.

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.

Square image of a beef bhuna curry served in an iron kadai with poppadoms and kachumber salad out of focus in the background
Yield: 2 Servings

Beef Bhuna Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 400 g (14 oz) Beef
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger
  • 2 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 250 g (1 2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 400 g (3 Medium) Tomatoes
  • 100 ml (1/3 Cup + 1 Tbsp) Water
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the green chillies as finely as you can.
  2. Chop the ginger and garlic into as fine a dice as you can manage.
  3. Peel, top and tail then onion then cut in half before slicing into 1cm thick half moon shapes.
  4. Cut the beef into 3-4cm cubes.
  5. Heat the ghee in a pan over a medium heat.
  6. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook gently for 30 seconds.
  7. Throw in the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add in the cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala and stir to toast for 60 seconds.
  9. Roughly chop the tomatoes into a 1.5cm dice.
  10. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and water and cook down for 10 minutes.
  11. When the tomatoes have begun to break down and the sauce has thickened a little season your beef generously with salt.
  12. Add the seasoned beef to the pan with the fenugreek leaves and stir.
  13. Cover with a lid and cook covered on a low simmer for 60 minutes.
  14. Remove the lid and cook for a further 90-120 minutes on low until the sauce is thick and unctuous.
  15. Stir the curry every 12-15 minutes for this last hour adding a splash of water if need to keep it moist.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

john barfoot

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

I have just cooked the Bhuna. Best recipe so far. Thanks. Just curious that the lamb isn't marinated before cooking. Would appreciate you comment

Brian Jones

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Hey John... Glad you liked the curry.

I personally find that a marinade has a diminishing return when it comes to flavour the longer you cook a dish, this simmers for 3 hours giving plenty of time for the meat to get some really intense flavour. The other reason for a marinade is to break down the meat and if I were cooking this with lamb then I would consider a marinade to make the meat really soft, something acidic works really well here so lemon juice or yoghurt.

But I have designed this dish to be cooked with shin of beef which I do not think needs a marinade, just a long old cooking time.

I am a huge advocate of changing up a curry sauce to work with the main ingredient, so the bhuna sauce that I would make for lamb would be subtly different to the one that I make for chicken or beef.

I hope that makes sense.

Brian

Jeff

Saturday 13th of April 2019

'Place in the oven'

At any particular temperature?

Brian Jones

Sunday 14th of April 2019

Nah any temperature ;) Just kidding, sorry... I used to have a preheat your oven at the start of my recipes and later edited to remove that, it would seem I skipped adding the temperature back into this recipe. I've updated now, but it is 180°C or 350°F, thanks for the head up :)

Jane

Monday 27th of November 2017

I live in a sleepy part of France and have trouble getting coriander so I'm not holding out much hope for fenugreek leaves...can they be left out? Also the beef here is to be avoided, can I use chicken?

Brian Jones

Monday 27th of November 2017

Haha, I feel your pain... I am in deepest darkest Hungary and need to make a 350km round trip to Budapest to keep my spice cupboard stocked. Fenugreek leaves come dried and last a few months in the freezer, of course you can omit them though it will change the flavour but hey cook with what you have and use a recipe as a base. Chicken is fine for this although make sure you go for the brown thigh meat rather than the breast if you want to taste any chicken at all and make sure you change up the cooking times, the thighs will take a lot less time to cook.

Beth

Tuesday 21st of November 2017

That looks so delicious, Brian! I love the adjective unctuous for this tomato sauce!

Brian Jones

Friday 24th of November 2017

It is one of those words I love, it sounds all round and rich, just like the food tastes and feels :D

Ginny

Tuesday 21st of November 2017

All of those spices and tomatoes and rice sound like they would be so delicious together. Love that you've done another type of British Curry house recipe.

Brian Jones

Friday 24th of November 2017

Thanks Ginny, British Indian food played such a pivotal role in me learning to love to cook and developing my cooking skills.

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