Beef Madras Indian Curry | Instant Pot Quick and Easy

Beef Madras Indian Curry
beef madras indian curry on a black concrete table with scattered coriander surrounding the plate

Instead of calling your local curry house for a takeout try making our Beef Madras Indian Curry that’s rich, aromatic and full of flavour. We love this curry as it’s a set and forget recipe, let the instant pot or a slow cooker do the work and you get to enjoy the results.

A spicy favourite of Indian curry lovers, Beef Madras Indian Curry is full of toasted spices, onions, tomatoes and fresh and dried chillies that add a tingle to your taste buds.  Not so hot as to be fiery, but full of flavour from all the caramelized onions and wonderful toasted spices.

At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Beef Madras Indian Curry

Ingredients to make Beef Madras Indian Curry


black peppercorns
coriander seeds
fennel seeds
dried chillies

Shopping List

fenugreek seeds
green chillies
chuck steak
coconut milk
fresh coriander to garnish

Tempering of Spices is a Traditional Method to Extract The Full Flavour From Spices 

Tempering (toasting) whole dried spices in a pan over medium heat brings out the full flavour and fragrance of the spices. Toasting also drives off any moisture in the spices which makes them easier to grind. Simply place spices in a pan over medium to high heat and shake or stir the spices for a few minutes until they start to change colour and you can smell their aroma. The whole process of toasting only takes 3-4 minutes but is a step not to be missed in making curries. Spices are then put into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and finely ground.

Cook Those Onions Until They Start to Turn Golden in Colour

We’ve tested making this curry as a slow cooker in the oven and on the stovetop and now in the instant pot. Apart from the obvious time it takes to cook, happily there’s no difference in the final outcome. Rich full flavoured sauce with meltingly tender meat. YES PLEASE. 😃

Our fabulous Indian vegetable curry or our delicious cauliflower, lentil and tomato curry would be great curries to serve with Indian Madras Beef Curry for a crowd.

Is Madras Curry Indian ?

Madras is another example of a curry that is unknown in India. Madras Indian Curry takes it’s name from the Southern Indian city of Madras which is now known as Chennai.

The British arrived in the region in 1604 and there after all curries from the city and surrounding area were known as Madras curry.

Lack of understanding of the subtlietes of Indian cuisine is further highlighted in a book written in 1906 “Curries and How to Prepare Them”. Joseph Edmonds the British author stated  “in India there are at least three separate classes of curry, the Bengal, the Madras and the Bombay.” and that Madras was simply just a spicy sauce for meat, made from a spoonful of curry powder, some onions and tomatoes”.

Thankfully British / Indian restaurants picked up the idea and made Madras curry thier own. What is widely recognised as todays Madras Indian Curry is a mild to medium hot and spicy curry made on a base of fried onions and tomatoes.

Finish off The Curry With Ripe Tomatoes and Coconut Milk


As with most Indian curries, the frying off of the onion is an important step for laying the foundation flavour to the curry. Let the onions take some time to gently fry in oil till they start to turn golden. slowly cooking onions until they start to brown (caramelize) is a game changer as the onion goes from a harsh onion flavour to a sweet umami flavour (that’s chef talk for big fat yum).🤪


We love to serve this curry freshly steamed basmati rice and our Roti Jala Malaysian net pancakes or pappadams. The Roti Jala take minutes to make and can be made the day before. Roti Jala is perfect for mopping up the wonderful sauce from Beef Madras Indian Curry.  Also worth making is a little salad of diced tomatoes, red onion and cooling cucumber. Simply mix them all together with a pinch or two of salt and a little chopped coriander if you have it. Yoghurt is the cooling accompaniment to add to the curry.

Watch How To Make Beef Madras Indian Curry

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Making Curry Ahead of Time

Curries always taste better the following day after making as the different flavours marry together. We will always make a double batch of this curry, some to eat the following day and some to freeze.

Just love having a freezer with delicious meals ready to grab, thaw and devour.

beef madras curry
Yield: 6-8 serves

Beef Madras Indian Curry

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Beef Madras Indian Curry is full flavoured without being overly hot. It can be made on the stove top, in the oven, using a slow cooker or in the instant pot as we have done here.

Authentic, rich, aromatic and full of flavour. We love this curry as it always delivers and is a winner at any gathering.

A spicy favourite of Indian curry lovers with toasted spices and fresh and dried chillies adding a tingle to your taste buds.  Not so hot as to be fiery, but full of flavour layering with all the wonderful toasted spices


  • coriander seeds x 1 tablespoon
  • black peppercorns x 1 teaspoon
  • fennel seeds x 2 teaspoons
  • fenugreek seeds x 1 teaspoon
  • dried chilli x 1 large
  • cloves x 6
  •  peanut or vegetable oil x 6 tablespoons
  •  onions x 2 medium chopped
  • finely julienned ginger x 2 tablespoon
  •  garlic x 2 tablespoon chopped
  • green chillies x 3 finely chopped
  •  chuck steak 2 lb ( 1 kg) cut into bite-sized pieces
  •  large ripe tomatoes x 3 cut into large dice
  • salt to taste ( about 1 teaspoon)
  • coconut milk x 14 fl oz (400 g ) tin
  • fresh coriander to garnish


  • in the instant pot or a small fry pan add coriander seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, fenugreek, dried chilli and cloves
  • stir spices over medium heat until they darken and give off a roasted aroma (3-4 minutes)
  • grind spices in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle
  • using the saute option pour oil into the instant pot or a large heavy based pan over medium heat and add onions stirring till they are golden (about 8-10 minutes)
  • add ginger, garlic, green chilli and meat stirring for 5-6 minutes
  • next add tomatoes, ground spices, salt and coconut milk and bring to the boil
  • reduce heat to a simmer, place lid on instant and pressure cook on high for around 35 minutes, if using a pan cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours (depending on how large the meat has been cut)
  • test meat for tenderness and continue to cook a little longer if meat has some resistance
  • beef madras is ready to serve when meat is tender
  • test for salt and add a little more if needed
  • garnish with fresh coriander
  • serve with basmati rice, pappadams and some cucumber and red onion chopped together and perhaps some chutney on the side

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 917Total Fat 92gSaturated Fat 77gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 16mgSodium 385mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 15g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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  1. Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will definitely Share your Rrecipe with my friends.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Hema, We think it’s a winner and we’re thrilled to hear you and your family think it is also. Thanks for sharing, Jo and Jen

  2. Made this curry tonight for my family. It was amazing. Well done Recipe Winners!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Tracey, we agree it’s an amazing curry and perfect for entertaining a crowd. Make ahead and get your guests hands on to make the remainder of the meal 👍Thanks for commenting, regards Jen and Jo

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