Fiery Beef Madras

Use natural yoghurt to cool this down if you’re struggling with the heat. Alternatively, just down a beer.

I’m too much of a wimp to have proper madras from my local curry house, but I adore Fiery Beef Madras from the Hairy Dieters which is a toned down version that even my wary teenage son could stomach. It tastes brilliant.

This isn’t a fast fakeaway – in total it will take about 2 hours to cook from start to finish – so plan ahead and make this on a weekend, and preferably before you crack open a beer or neck some vino, otherwise you’ll be phoning for a takeaway and blowing your diet! Do make sure you cook this on a low oven setting and check it every so often to ensure the beef and the rich tomato sauce doesn’t burn. Similarly, be careful when splitting the chillies from stalk to tip that you don’t dislodge the seeds or your mouth will literally be on fire!

Fancying a different fakeaway? Check out the fakeaways section on this blog for more ideas.

Recipe: Fiery Beef Madras

Calories: 346 per portion (without rice or naan)

Serves: 4

Book: Hairy Dieters – Eat for Life

Prep time: Approx 15 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 4 long red chillies
  • 800g good braising steak
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ½ medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 750ml beef stock (made with 1 stock cube)
  • 4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve

Cost per portion: Approx £2.32 (without rice or naan)


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / Fan 150 degrees C / Gas 3 1/2 . Place the chillies on a board and finely chop two of them. Split the other two chillies from stalk to tip on one side without opening or removing the seeds. Remove any visible fat from the beef and cut the meat into chunks of about 3cm if it’s not already cut.

Heat a large flameproof casserole dish on the hob. Add the oil and fry the onion, garlic and chopped chillies over a high heat for 1 minute, while stirring. Sprinkle over the curry powder and stir for a few seconds before adding the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.

Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the liquid evaporates and the sauce looks very thick and deep red. Don’t let the garlic or spices burn of they’ll make the sauce taste bitter.

Next, add the beef, whole chillies, sugar and salt to the casserole dish and cook for 2 minutes, turning the beef regularly until lightly coloured and well coated in the tomato mixture.

Pour over the stock and bring to a simmer, stirring. Cover the dish with a lid and carefully transfer it to the oven. Cook for 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours or until the beef is beautifully tender and the sauce has thickened. (If the sauce is still a little thin, put the casserole dish back on the hob and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.)

Serve with natural yoghurt and add a small portion of rice, or a couple of chapatis if you like, but remember to add on those extra calories.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s