2lb boneless beef, trimmed and cut into 2inch cube.
3 tbsp apple cidar vinegar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1½ oz tamarind pulp
6 tbsp boiling water
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 dried hot red chillies, each about 1 ½ inches long, washed, the seeds removed and coarsely crumbled
½ tbsp chilli powder
6 whole garlic cloves
2 ½ tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
½ tbsp scraped, coarsely chopped fresh ginger root
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
2 ½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp white pepper
1 ½ tbsp mustard oil, vegetable oil
4 oz finely chopped onions
2 ½ tsp turmeric
1½ cup cold water
1½ tsp mustard seeds
Place the beef in a deep bowl and sprinkle with apple cidar vinegar, bay leaf, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Turn the pieces over with a spoon to coat evenly. Set beef aside to marinate at room temperature for approx. 1 hour or in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning the meat pieces occasionally to keep them moistened.
Drop the tamarind into a small bowl, add 6 tbsp of boiling water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Then strain the soaking liquid through a fine sieve, pressing down hard on the stringy tamarind pulp to extract juices.
To prepare the masala: Drain the marinade from the beef into the base of an electric blender. Set aside the beef. Add the tamarind liquid, cinnamon, hot chillies, chilli powder, cloves, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and peppercorns to the blender. Blend at high speed until the mixture is reduced to a smooth puree.
Heat oil over moderate heat in a large, heavy casserole, until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly. Drop the cubes of beef into the hot oil. Brown the beef, turning it frequently with a perforated spoon and regulating the heat so that it browns deeply and evenly without burning. As the pieces brown, transfer them to a bowl.
Add the onions to the fat remaining in the casserole and fry for 7 – 8 min, until they are soft and a rich brown colour, turning and stirring them constantly. Stir in the mustard seeds, turmeric and remaining ½ tsp salt and add the masala. Pour 6 tbsp of cold water into the blender jar, blend for 2 seconds, then add the liquid to the pan. Stir over a high heat for about 10 min, until most of the liquid in the casserole has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to draw away from the sides and bottom of the pan in a solid mass. Add the beef with any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl, stir in the remaining ¾ pint of cold water, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer partly covered for 30 min, until the meat is tender and shows no resistance when pierced with the point of a small, sharp knife.