Beef Cheek and Cashew Nut Curry

, from Issue #98. July, 2021
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Beef Cheek and Cashew Nut Curry

This perfectly spiced and creamy curry is a real crowd-pleaser. The caramelised onions with roasted cashew nuts are the crowning glory and you need lots of warm naan bread when serving.

Serves: 4-6


1/3 cup raw cashew nuts
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup chopped tomatoes (tinned or fresh)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 brown onions, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.2 kilograms beef cheeks, cut into 6cm pieces
3 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup beef stock
½ cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt

3 tablespoons olive oil
good knob of butter
4 large brown onions, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
sea salt


Preheat the oven to 160°C regular bake.

Paste: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste.

Curry: Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and cook the onions and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the paste and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add the beef and stir to coat in the spice paste. Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

Bring to the boil then cover with a piece of baking paper and a tight-fitting lid or foil. Place in the oven and cook for 2½ hours, stirring once. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the beef is very tender and the sauce is reduced.

Topping: Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and cook the onions with a good pinch of salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes, or until deeply golden. Stir in the cashew nuts then spoon over the curry to serve