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Slow cooker Sindhi beef curry recipe

Slow cooker Sindhi beef curry, from The Perfect Pantry.

Though I love to try new dishes at Indian restaurants, I'd always been a bit intimidated about tackling those same recipes at home. I didn't have many of the unfamiliar spices and ingredients in my pantry, didn't even know where to buy them, and I froze in fear at the number of steps of preparation many recipes required. Then, a $19 slow cooker came into my life, and with it, a couple of cookbooks that made cooking Indian food fast and easy and not at all scary. My husband Ted and I loved this recipe for Sindhi beef curry adapted slightly from 150 Best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese & More Slow Cooker Recipes, a must-have book for slow-cooker cooks who love Asian food. Unfamiliar as I am with regional Indian cuisines, I researched the origin of this dish, and learned that it is from the Sindhi people who come from the area of west India that is now, geographically, in Pakistan. It's a simple tomato-based curry that's perfect over rice. Make it ahead, if you can; like all stews, it's even better the second day.

Use your slow cooker to make this Sindhi beef curry.

Slow cooker Sindhi beef curry

From the pantry, you'll need: curry powder (hot or mild), ground cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves, canned chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala.

Adapted from 150 Best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and More Slow Cooker Recipes. Serves 6, with rice.


2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp curry powder, hot or mild (I used hot curry powder)
1 Tbsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes (I use POMI)
1 medium red onion, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper


In a 4-quart slow cooker, stir together the beef, curry powder, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours. The meat should be quite tender; if it isn't, cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve hot, over rice.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry (nihari)
Slow cooker sweet and smoky beef
Slow cooker Punjabi eggplant with potatoes
Saag aloo/potatoes with spiced spinach
Curried green tomatoes

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Mum's savory beef and potato curry, from Cookin' Canuck
Malaysian beef curry, from The Kitchn
Beef kofta curry, from Almost Bourdain
Jamaican goat curry, from Simply Recipes
Trinidad beef curry, from Sugar Apple

Slow cooker Sindhi beef curry can cook all day while you're at work.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Lydia this looks amazing and I love seeing these kind of recipes here. I then wonder what goes through your mind when you are preparing/cooking the dish. I do not have a slow cooker and make my curries in pots on the stove or in the oven but am now intrigued to see the flavor difference with slow cooker curries.

you? Intimidated about cooking something kind of exotic? I don't believe it!
Funny enough I was just getting ready to brown some chicken thighs and put them in the slow cooker with some Indian-inspired spices! Thanks for the great timing!

Thank you so much for posting what looks like an easy-for-me-to-do-here-at-home recipe. My family loves Indian food and I love my slow cooker, so this looks like a win win!
Do you use tomato paste from a tube? Last time I opened a can and only needed a tablespoon or two, I froze the rest of the tomato paste in 1 tablespoon lumps on parchment. Once it was frozen I cut around the parchment and tossed the little lumps in a zip top bag. It was easy to take out however many tablespoons I needed.

Looks so good Lydia! I, like you, love Indian food but was a bit weary trying to make an Indian dish at home. It seemed too complicated and also meant purchasing spices which I was unfamiliar with. Thank goodness my curiosity overcame my fear. My first attempt was over 10 years ago and I now have a slew of Asian/Indian spices in my cupboard. Cumin is one spice I use quite a bit of.

Meeta, up until a year or two ago, I would have made this on the stovetop. Life has changed now that I'm learning to use my slow cooker, and being able to make Indian curries has been one of the great joys. The long, slow cooking tenderizes tougher cuts of meat and allows the flavors to meld.

Carol, yes, me! Perhaps it's because Indian food in restaurants always tastes so amazing, but I never really did much Indian cooking at home before I became a slow cooker fan.

Kirsten, I love tomato paste in a tube (also anchovy paste). Thanks for your great idea about how to freeze leftover tomato paste if you use the canned version -- quite ingenious!

Culinary Chase, I'll bet you could convert some of your favorite stovetop Indian recipes to slow cooker without much difficulty. I'm using a couple of cookbooks to teach me the fundamentals. And as you already have a pantry full of spices, you're all set to experiment. I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only cook who has been intimidated by Indian cooking.

I'm curious, why not brown the beef before the slow cooking?

Love the sound of this, and I just followed your link and bought this cookbook!

Lou, the original recipe didn't call for browning the beef, and many slow cooker recipes don't. I'm not sure how much difference it would make in this dish, where the real flavor comes from the spices.

Kalyn, I have dozens of recipes marked to try from this cookbook. You'll love it!

This is great! I love the flavors and it's so rare to see a good recipe for Indian food that calls for Beef!

Alyssa, it's interesting to me that the Indian beef recipes I have on the blog all seem to be from the northern part of the country. The typical spices do work so well with beef, and the slow cooker makes it easy.

Sounds great! Have you checked out these Indian slow cooker cookbooks from this author? http://www.indianasapplepie.com/

Mimi, I use her books all the time.

I have to admit, I've felt the same way: Love ordering Indian food in restaurants but apprehensive about making it at home. It's getting easier to buy ingredients like garam masala in my community, so this dish is now doable.

The dish looks fabulous, Lydia! As for browning...I just looked in an Indian cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey, and she calls for browning meat before using it in a curry. However, I know that Thai curries often just call for cooking the meat in the sauce (often coconut-milk based).

I love garam masala! I recently ordered a garam masala spice blend from ajika (http://ajikaajikaorganicwholegarammhrc.blogspot.com/) that uses whole spices, which you can roast and then grind or fry in oil/ghee before using. Is it too nerdy to say how awesome that sounds? :-)

Mimi, isn't it great that smaller markets (like the one in my village) are carrying a wider range of ingredients for ethnic cuisines?

Judy, thanks for the additional info. The Indian slow cooker recipes I've used have, for the most part, not pre-browned the meat. I wonder if that's an attempt by the cooks to simplify or consolidate the steps in traditional Indian cooking. (And ps: if it's "too nerdy" to love spices, we are all in trouble here!)

I had to include this in my friday link roundup.
One can only imagine how insanely good your house smelled while this was cooking away!

Vanillasugar, thanks so much. Yep, the aroma is intoxicating.

Lydia, I too used to be intimidated by Indian recipes because of all the ingredients. Thankfully, after taking a few lessons from a local Indian woman who introduced me to the basic spices used in Indian cooking, I feel comfortable trying just about any Indian recipe. This cookbook sounds so interesting - I'm ordering it now.

Hi Lydia,
Just wanted to tell you this recipe is FABULOUS! We made it yesterday. I had my daughter put it together, as I am in a canning frenzy over here with cases of apples, peaches and tomatoes. I digress, my hubby was impressed with the big flavor of cardamom. Daughter threw in a jar of home canned salsa from last year, instead, of the canned tomatoes. A mistake but it was amazing, I think the chilies in the salsa were a great addition.
I use the slow cooker for curries, but usually only after I have prepared them on the stove top. But you have inspired me to look at the curries I make in a new light. I hope to be using my slow cooker more for cooking instead of just warming. :)

Grace (GZ Tai-Tai)

Jeanette, it turns out that so many Indian recipes adapt really well to the slow cooker. Who knew?

Grace, thanks for coming back to leave feedback. And I love the "mistake", which created a whole other layer of flavor. Thank goodness for happy accidents!

Son says "Dad, what's curry taste like?", looking at my spicerack.

"Hard to explain, son. I'll make some."

And then THIS recipe appeared. I hit the 'bargain meat' rack at the grocery store for the beef and made up a batch.

Ditto on 'the house smells wonderful' comment.

Son and I feasted on this one day, saved leftovers, and feasted equally well the next.


MC, so glad you (and the son) enjoyed this dish! I hope he's up for trying more curry recipes now, because there are lots more here.

Awesome recipe! Very good job!

I made this yesterday for us to eat tonight! OH MY!! It was fantastic!! I served it with some basmati rice and this cabbage dish: http://herbivoracious.com/2008/10/five-minute-ind.html

I left the cayenne out of the cabbage since the beef dish had some heat. I also added the optional garlic, ginger, and shredded coconut! It was a great side for this wonderfully flavored beef dish!

Hmmm.. Going to make this tomorrow for my boyfriend and I - can't wait!

This was great! I always sneak veggies into curries (how else will the husband eat them:)so I added shredded zucchini and acorn squash to this. It all cooked down and tasted amazing. The squash in particular added a hint of nutty sweetness to the dish!

Made this yesterday - it was lovely thanks. I used 2x beef cheeks, and I ground the cloves / cinnamon / cardamom freshly myself.

Really tasty, and super quick to make. I think this recipe will go into circulation with my other favourite slow cooker curries. I'll definitely add a couple of chopped chillies next time, as it turned out very mild, even with the hot curry powder.

A word of warning though: the recipe claims to serve 6, but if you happen to be two twenty-odd year old blokes you can halve that!

Do you need to brown the beef first?

Adil, you do not need to brown the beef.

Hi there! Could you make this with chicken instead?

Deya, I think you could, with chicken thighs or legs. Cut the cooking time accordingly. And let us know how it comes out!

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