Bunjhal "Beef" with Venison Cubes
Since I was born as a MK (missionary kid) in Bangladesh, I have a deep love for Bengali and Indian foodies! I cook it at home often and have raised my family on many of delicious dishes from the country of my birth and childhood years.
This one is very simple to make and makes such a tasty comforting meal, full of flavor and to me tastes so very similar to one of my favorite dishes I used to enjoy at a local Indian restaurant that is now closed (sad!)
I serve this on a bed of Basmati rice along with breaded and fried okra and oven-grilled green beans and a cucumber salad. It is also amazing with a side dollop of mango chutney (I usually cheat and buy a jar of Major Grays Chutney).
(with my original adaptions to the recipe I originally found from I can't remember where!)
3 lbs. beef roast, cubed
(*I use venison exclusively for this recipe as our freezer is always full. We cube up the backstrap and tenderloins and that is what I use. It is melt in your mouth tender!)
2 tsp. cumin powder
(*I feel like that is a little much and too strong so I use more like 1 heaping tsp.)
3 tsp. garam masala spice
*(I buy mine on amazon.com...It's a spicy warm Indian seasoning spice blend)
2 tsp. ginger (*I use the squeeze bottle of fresh ginger found in the grocery produce aisle...Those ginger roots are the death of me to peel and grate but if you can manage them the flavor is amazing!)
1 tsp. salt
Toss all the raw meat cubes with the above ingredients and then set aside and proceed with the recipe.
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
(*I use the little minced pieces of ready to use garlic...I know. It's such a convenient cheat! My refrigerator hasn't been without a jar of this for many years now! I use it pretty much daily in cooking for my family.)
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
(*I keep this growing in my porch planters pretty much year round, so it's right there anytime I need it...it makes me feel like a real "Martha Stewart".)
3 Tbsp. curry powder (*There are lots of different types. I use a basic curry powder and only use about 2 Tbsp. I know. This recipe is LOADED with spice but it isn't really spicy to me as in "hot" ...it is VERY flavorful though!)
Heat 4 Tbsp. coconut oil in large fry pan or shallow dutch oven style pan. Toss in chopped ingredients and stir fry until onions are tender. Add in meat and stir into onion mixture and I let mine just get barely browned (so the pink of the meat is gone). I add in about 2 Tbsp. of butter here also just for a richer flavor. It can be omitted if you are counting calories.
Next add in a small can of tomato sauce. (It's about 1 cup). You can add a large can if you like it more "tomatoey"...I like it with the smaller amount. Then I add in enough chicken broth to just cover the meat cubes. (*You can use water if you like but the chicken broth gives it a lot more flavor. I always keep the boxes of broth in my pantry or save any broth from cooking down a chicken.)
Cover and let simmer about 30 minutes until meat is cooked through and tender. Serve over hot rice.
- Martha Greene