Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Balti Beef Stew

Jerry Stratton, April 22, 2007

This beefy stew can be made fairly quickly. The flavor is a nice curry-like combo of ginger, chili, cumin, and fennel.


Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 onions
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece of root ginger
  • 2 red chilies
  • 4 tablespoons chili paste
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2.5 pounds lean and tender beef, such as top sirloin roast.
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Cut the onions and bell peppers into thick pieces.
  2. Finely chop the garlic, ginger, and red chili.
  3. Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks.
  4. Over medium heat, heat the oil in a heavy stew pot, such as a cast-iron dutch oven.
  5. Fry the mustard, coriander, cumin, and fennel for about fifteen seconds, until they begin to sputter and become aromatic.
  6. Add the turmeric, onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies, and stir-fry for another four minutes.
  7. Add the chili paste and salt, and stir-fry for two to three minutes.
  8. Add the bell peppers, and stir-fry for four minutes.
  9. Add the meat, and fry for about ten minutes, stirring often.
  10. Add 1/2 cup water, and simmer, covered, for twenty to thirty minutes, until meat is tender.

This is a variation on a recipe I found in Around the World in 350 Recipes, one of the many cookbooks I’ve picked up from the bargain table at Borders. You’ll want to use a tender meat or tenderize it ahead of time somehow. Tough meat won’t become tender enough during the short cooking time.

Serve with naan or a crusty bread that can soak up the juice. I’ll bet it’s also great over rice.

  1. <- Garlic Green Beans
  2. Quick chili ->