Red beef & pumpkin curry
This recipe delivers a fast and frugal curry fix. Check out Asian produce stores for a genuine Asian brand curry paste – they tend to be hotter and cheaper than supermarket brands. That’s what we used and 2 tablespoons was plenty. The brand you have may be milder, so check the ‘serving suggestion’ to see how much paste to add to a curry for four people. You might need to use more than the 2 tablespoons we suggest.
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
1 tablespoon peanut oil.
350 g (12 oz) rump steak, thinly sliced
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red curry paste (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
400 ml (14 oz) can coconut milk
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pumpkin, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
120 g (4 oz) green beans, trimmed, sliced in half
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon table sugar
1½ cups rice
chopped peanuts or chopped coriander or both (optional)
Heat the wok or large frying pan over high heat, add the oil and when hot (not before), stir-fry the beef in two batches for 1–2 minutes until brown. Set the beef aside in a heatproof bowl.
Stir-fry the onion for 2 minutes then add the curry paste and garlic and stir to combine. Pour in the coconut milk, stirring until the curry paste has dissolved and bring to the boil. Add the pumpkin chunks, cover (with a lid or foil), reduce the heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes until the pumpkin is just tender (but not mushy). Meanwhile, cook the rice following the packet directions.
Add the green beans and the cooked beef to the wok, and simmer for 2 minutes until everything is piping hot and the beans are tender-crisp. Add the fish sauce and sugar, a teaspoon of each at a time, to achieve a flavour balance you like.
Spoon the rice onto four serving plates and top with the curried beef and a scattering of chopped peanuts or coriander for extra crunch and colour if you wish.