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Spicy Indian Oxtail Curry

Oxtail and potato curry packed to the gunnels with spicy Indian influences, it is slowly cooked to deliver tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef.

This recipe takes around 4 hours to cook from scratch (including preparation), but you spend most of that time drinking in the heady aroma with your feet up!

Overhead Indian potato and oxtail curry "stew" served with rice.

Indian-Influenced Oxtail Stew

Beef is not a meat commonly associated with Indian food for cultural reasons. However, the flavours in Indian cuisine work exceptionally well with beef.

I have several examples of this already on my site, everything from beef dopiaza, beef bhuna to beef vindaloo and a wonderful beef mince curry.

My latest offering is a stonkingly good Indian-influenced oxtail curry!

It borrows many of the flavours from my Sri Lankan influenced pork belly curry, and just like that dish, this is nice a spicy.

It cooks down long and slow for a couple of hours to get the meat meltingly tender and to render down all of the unique gelatinous qualities of oxtail into the sauce.

The potatoes are added to thicken the sauce and hold everything together. Finally, the meat is pulled from the bone and stirred through the sauce.

It’s a very simple dish despite taking a long old time to cook and it tastes stunning!

Close-up Indian potato and oxtail curry served with rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this with another cut of beef?

The flavours will work wonderfully with any cut of beef, although it is better if it has a little fat in it.

However, I would not use the timings or cooking method for another cut of beef. This recipe is very much developed with the unique properties of oxtail in mind.

Does the type of potato used matter?

Yes, to a certain extent. The potato in this recipe provides starch and is meant to thicken the fatty juices in the curry.

As a result, you should avoid a waxy potato completely. I use a medium floury potato because it holds up a little better in the sauce. If you use a very floury potato it will completely break down.

Can I cook this in a slow cooker or pressure cooker?

Yes, although I have not tested the timings with this recipe as yet.

For a slow cooker, follow the instructions to step 10 then transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you want the sauce to thicken up you will need to transfer it to a pan and finish on the hob/stovetop from step 15.

For a pressure cooker go through to step 10 in the pressure cooker pot, or use saute mode on an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot or Ninja. Then cook on high pressure for 60 minutes with a natural pressure release.

Then finish either on the hob/stovetop or on saute mode from step 15, this will likely take a little longer than on the hob/stovetop.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, this curry is awesome after spending a day or two in the fridge. It will also freeze for up to 3 months.

Overhead close-up Indian potato and oxtail curry served with rice.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served my oxtail curry with some plain basmati rice in these pictures, although a nice pilau rice would work just as well.

Yes, there are potatoes in this curry and it may feel like a “carb” overload, but the potatoes are mainly there to help thicken up the curry rather than be a substantial ingredient.

Another great option for a curry is flat bread. Either my tandoori-style naan bread or homemade chapatis are great options.

This curry is definitely on the hotter (and meatier) end of the spectrum and as a result, something lighter and fresher alongside it works wonders.

Some kachumber salad and maybe even some mint raita would tick those boxes perfectly.

Indian-influenced potato and oxtail curry served with rice.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 24cm or 10″ heavy-based saucepan.
  • 20cm or 8″ frying pan.
  • Mixing bowls (1 large and one small).
  • Small fine mesh sieve.
  • Kettle to boil water to soak the tamarind.
  • Pestle and mortar.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Stirring, serving and slotted spoons.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • A combination of weighing scales, a measuring jug and measuring cups and spoons.
Indian-influenced oxtail and potato curry, served with rice and fresh coriander.
Yield: 2 Servings

Indian Influenced Oxtail and Potato Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

My Indian-influenced slowly cooked oxtail and potato curry is loaded with heady fragrant spices and a not inconsiderable punch of chilli heat in the perfect winter warming stew-style curry.


For the Beef and the Marinade:

  • 1kg (35oz) Bone in Oxtail
  • ½ Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Black Peppercorns
  • ½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 Dried Kashmiri Chilli Peppers
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Salt

For the Curry:

  • 35-40g (25-30mm or 1" Cube) Tamarind Pulp
  • 35-40g Boiling Water
  • 2 Medium (300g Total) Onions
  • 1 Head of Garlic
  • 15-20 Curry Leaves
  • 10cm (4") Piece Cinnamon Bark
  • 1 Blade Mace
  • 2 Black Cardamom Pods
  • ½ Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil (I like to use Mustard Oil)
  • 1 Litre (4 Cups) Water
  • 250g (1 Medium) Potato, use a "Medium" Floury Potato
  • 2 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves


  1. Soak the tamarind in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then mash it and pass it through a fine mesh sieve.
  2. Add the coriander seeds, onion seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and dried Kashmiri chilli peppers in a small (20cm or 8") frying pan over a medium heat and toast for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer into a pestle and mortar and grind.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of water and the salt and continue to grind to form a paste, pour this paste over the oxtail, coat well and set aside.
  4. Cut the onions in half, peel them and then cut them into wide (1cm or just under ½") half-moon shapes.
  5. Bash the head of garlic and remove the papery skin from the cloves.
  6. Heat a 24cm (10") saucepan with a lid over a high heat and when it is hot add the oil. If you are using mustard oil, it is important to let the oil heat through before adding any ingredients.
  7. Throw in the curry leaves, cinnamon bark, mace and black cardamom pods and sauté for 30-60 seconds.
  8. Add the tomato puree and cook out for 60 seconds.
  9. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, if the puree begins to darken reduce the heat a little.
  10. Throw in the oxtail followed by the garlic cloves and cook for 2-3 minutes sitting regularly.
  11. Add the prepared tamarind, ground turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder and brown sugar, then stir everything to coat.
  12. Pour in the water, stir, add a lid, transfer to the oven and cook at 170°C or 340°F for 2½ hours.
  13. Peel the potato and cut it into a 1.5cm (½") dice.
  14. Remove the pot from the oven, take off the lid and place it back on the hob/stovetop over a high heat.
  15. Throw in the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes on a rolling boil, this will help reduce the sauce.
  16. Fish out the oxtail, remove it from the bone (I think that a pair of kitchen tongs are the best tool for this job) then return it to the pan.
  17. Finally, crush in the fenugreek leaves and cook for a final 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1298Total Fat: 66gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 322mgSodium: 1494mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 10gSugar: 25gProtein: 104g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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