Come in from the imminent autumn drop in temperatures to a warming bowl of beef curry and butternut squash. This dish tastes even better if you can make it a day in advance and let the flavours develop. Reheat over a gently heat.
1kg rib or shoulder beef, cut in cubes
2 tablesp. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
2 x 5cm cinnamon sticks
1½ tablesp. ground cumin
1½ tablesp. ground coriander
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200mls stock or water
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
A little salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml Greek-style natural yoghurt
Zest and juice of one lemon
Chopped fresh coriander
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F ). Heat a tablespoon of oil in a flame-proof casserole dish and brown the meat in batches. Add a little more oil as necessary. As the meat browns remove it to a bowl. When all the meat has been browned add a little more oil to casserole dish.
Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic, chillies, ginger, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cumin and coriander and continue to cook until the onions just begin to brown. Add in the squash and stir to coat with the spices.
Return the meat and its accumulated juices to the casserole. Add the tomatoes, stock or water and a little salt and pepper. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender. Just before serving stir the lemon juice into the casserole and taste for seasoning.
Sprinkle all but a handful of the chopped coriander on top of the casserole. Put the yoghurt into a small serving bowl and mix in the lemon zest and remaining coriander. Serve with the casserole along with rice or mashed potatoes.