Beef Pasandey

Serves 4-6

2 lbs beef fillets, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 tsp meat tenderizer powder (optional)
1.5 tsp garlic, crushed
1.5 tsp ginger, crushed
1 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
1/2 tsp black cumin seeds
1/2 tsp white cumin seeds
6 peppercorns
6 green cardamom
3 cloves
1-2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1/2 cup oil
1 large white onion, sliced
4 small hot green chillies, sliced
1 cup yogurt, whipped
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Sliced onion rings for garnish (optional)

1. Grind together the poppy seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves.

2. In a large bowl, combine the ground spices with the ginger, garlic, gram flour, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, meat tenderizer powder (if using), and yogurt. Mix well to make a thick paste.

3. Add in the beef fillets and coat them well with the paste. Marinate overnight.

4. The next day, heat oil in a large pan, and saute onions till golden-brown. Add the marinated fillets to the pan, with all of the marinade. Add in half the green chillies. Now cover and cook on low heat for an hour or so, stirring occasionally till meat is completely tender and sauce is thickened to your liking. I add a bit of water at this point, because I adore the gravy, but this is traditionally a dry meat dish, so you can omit the water if you wish.

5. To finish it off, throw in the cilantro, remaining green chillies and the lime juice. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat and serve. The best accompaniment to this is a type of pakistani bread called sheermal - it's slightly sweet and thick and decadent - and you can find it in the freezer section of most Indian/Pakistani specialty stores. Or you can substitute parathas, and they work beautifully too.