Healthy Beef Madras

A rich and spicy beef madras with tender meat and a thick, satisfying sauce 

I was always a fussy eater as a kid- I wouldn’t touch any fruit and would only tolerate certain vegetables. when I was about 12, my Mum made a discovery, which was that I would eat pretty much any vegetables if they were in curry! Although adulthood (and travelling the world) made me much less fussy, and I love a lot of the foods I wouldn’t eat as a child, I still love a good curry!

One of my dreams is to go to India for a cookery course and culinary tour. I’ve never been to India, but when my husband travelled there for work he said that the food was just incredible- even in the most rubbish looking airport hotel the dhal was better than anything he had ever tasted in the UK!

I did go to a local Indian cookery course last year at the Occombe Farm Cookery school, which I really enjoyed, and opened me up to some dishes and flavours that I have never tried before.

Anyway, I think what I am getting at is that I am not accomplished at Indian cuisine (which I hope to change over the years), but I do know what I like in a curry, and I think I have a good measure of a good curry for the British palate- I love a chicken tikka masala (and I have 2 versions on the blog: Skinny chicken tikka masala and slow-cooker chicken tikka masala). A beef madras was next on my list to try!


I wanted to create a thick and rich sauce, and I didn’t want it to be too meat heavy, so I added in red lentils which went perfectly both to thicken the sauce, and give it a really satisfying consistency.

I mixed up my spice using a mini chopper- if you don’t have one then I really recommend investing! They aren’t expensive to buy, and are so handy both for making curry pastes and other types of sauces and pestos. I have this one from Tefal, which I love:

I accompanied this curry with my onion bhajis which were super-tasty and also super- healthy!

healthy onion bhajis slimming world



My Recipe

Serves: 4
Syns: none
Healthy Extra:


  • 400g lean casserole beef
  • 2 small onions (or 1 large)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • a thumb sized piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 150g red lentils
  • salt and pepper
  • low calorie cooking spray


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c
  2. Whizz up the onions, garlic, ginger and fresh chilli in a mini chopper or food processor
  3. Add the turmeric, garam masala, mustard powder, cumin seeds, fenugreek, and chilli flakes and puree into a paste
  4. Spray a large, deep pan (one that has a lid) with cooking spray, put onto a medium heat, and add the beef.
  5. Cook on a high heat for 2-3 minutes until browned on the outside
  6. Add the curry paste, lower the heat and stir fry gently for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir through, keeping the heat low.
  8. Add in the tomato puree, lemon juice, soy sauce and salt and pepper, and 500ml of the beef stock. Stir in the lentils.
  9. Bring up to bubbling, give it a good stir, cover with a lid and pop into the oven (middle shelf)
  10. Cook for 45 minutes, remove from the oven, give it a good stir and add the remaining beef stock
  11. Cook for another 45 minutes, double check the beef to make sure it's nice and tender
  12. Serve garnished with fresh coriander and fat-free yoghurt

Additional Info

This is a spicy curry- if you don't like your curry hot then don't add the dried chilli flakes.

2 Replies to "Healthy Beef Madras"

  • Jo Leighton 27th April 2018 (11:48 am)

    Hi – Do you add the Lentils when adding the final 500mls of Stock ? can not see where they are added in the method. Many thanks .

    • theslimmingfoodie 27th April 2018 (11:57 am)

      I forgot to add them in! So sorry- with the first lot of stock!