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Red Beef Curry (Goan)

Red beef curry is fragrant with warming spices, piquant from a bit of vinegar, rich and oh, so flavorful. Instructions for Instant Pot, slower cooker, and stove included!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Beef, Dairy-free, Freezer Friendly, Gluten-free, Goa, Instant Pot, Low Carb, Make ahead, Non-vegetarian, Slow Cooker, South Indian, Stovetop
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 566kcal



  • 2 tablespoons ghee ~ Or oil
  • 1 1/2 cup onions ~ Thinly sliced

Spices OR 1 1/2 tablespoon Goan Garam Masala

  • 5 to 8 dried red Kashmiri chilies ~ See Notes below
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 2 whole cardamom
  • 4 whole cloves


  • 2 pounds beef ~ Cut in 1 to 2-inch cubes, see Notes below
  • 2 teaspoons Indian green chilies ~ Minced, or serrano, see substitutions; to taste
  • 1/4 cup ginger garlic paste ~ Or 2 tablespoons each garlic & ginger purée
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste ~ Or 1-inch ball of tamarind (soak in a little hot water and extract pulp)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar ~ Cider, malt, or white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt ~ Or to taste, see substitutions
  • 1 cup beef stock ~ Coconut milk or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon sugar ~ Optional, to taste


  • Gather your ingredients.
    Red Beef Curry (Goan) Ingredients gathered and ready for cooking.

Cook the Onions

  •  Heat the ghee or oil to a sauté or frying pan and add the onions. Cook them until dark and caramelized, stirring occasionally; this will take about 18 to 20 minutes. 
    Red Beef Curry (Goan) Thinly sliced onions cooked to a dark golden brown.


  • While the onions are cooking, toast the first six ingredients over medium heat until fragrant; about 3 to 4 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and grind in a spice grinder. Or substitute 2 tablespoons Goan garam masala.


  • When the onions are caramelized add the green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Cook for several minutes then add the ground spices and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the spices are cooked through. Add more water if your mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan.
    Red Beef Curry (Goan) Ginger garlic paste, green chilies cooked with the onion and masala.
  • Add the beef stock, tamarind, vinegar, coconut milk and salt and mix together. Add your beef to the Instant Pot, dutch oven, or slow cooker and pour over cubed beef. 

Instant Pot Cooking Instructions

  • Cook the beef curry on High Pressure for 40 minutes, then on Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, remove the beef and turn the Instant Pot to sauté for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens the way you want it.

Stove Cooking Instructions

  • Bake in a preheated oven on 325°F (160°C) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender. If you prefer to use your cooktop instead of the oven, cook over low heat in a heavy dutch oven.

Slow Cooking Instructions

  • Cook the curry on High for 4 to 6 hours, or Low for 8 to 10 hours until the beef is tender.

Finishing the Curry

  • Taste for salt, vinegar, and heat levels, adding ground black pepper or red chili as needed. Serve with rice and/or your favorite flatbread.
    Red Beef Curry (Goan) Served on a bed of basmati rice with fresh chillies and a flutter of fresh cilantro leaves.


  • Beef: You could use lamb in this dish as well.  Rather than buy stew meat, which I find to be too small and irregular, I buy 2 1/2 pounds of chuck roast. This accounts for the fat that I remove, and allows me to cut roughly 2-inch cubes of meat. Keep in mind the larger the cubes the longer it will take to cook.
  • Chilies: I use whole dried red Kashmiri chilies which are used for flavor and color, but are quite mild. Use a hotter chili like an Amarillo or guajillo chili, if you want a hot red beef curry. 
  • Goan garam masala: If you are using my Goan garam masala, it can replace all the spices except all the whole red chilies this recipe calls for. Remove the seeds and toast 2 to 3 whole dried red Kashmiri chilies. Grind into a powder and add them to the cooked onions with the garam masala.


Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1156mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg