Indian-Inspired Beef with Yogurt Sauce

Indian-Inspired Beef with Yogurt Sauce from Emeril Lagasse's Sizzling Skillets

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We evacuated Hatteras Island, NC for Hurricane Irene, but many of our neighbors and friends stayed behind. After the storm passed, we weren’t allowed back on the island for more than a week. Our friend, Brad, sent us pictures of our house and told us our garage had taken on more than four feet of water. He came over to our house and single-handedly took everything out of our garage so it could air out. (If you know The Grillmaster and his “collection” habits, you know this was not an easy task.) Folks that didn’t have a Brad came home to many inches of mold on their walls. We were so grateful for what Brad did for us, I offered to cook him something from Emeril Lagasse’s new cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders. One dinner isn’t nearly enough to convey the gratitude we feel, but it’s a good start.

I made Indian-Inspired Beef with Yogurt Sauce and some whole-wheat naan for Brad and his wife, Wendy. This is a slow cooker dish that will have you sniffing cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom and cloves all day. Basically, you let chunks of beef marinate in spices for an hour at room temperature, then brown it in some ghee and add it to the slow cooker along with onions, beef stock and additional aromatics. There were three ingredients I couldn’t locate locally: cardamom pods, garam masala and ghee. I used ground cardamom instead and made my own garam masala and ghee.

Garam Masala

To make the garam masala, I combined ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg, ½ tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom, 1 ½ tsp ground coriander and 1 Tbsp ground cumin. This was more than I needed for Emeril’s recipe, so I saved the rest in an old spice jar. I’m sure my garam masala would have been more flavorful if I’d been able to find whole spices that I could have toasted, but this version (from worked in a pinch.


Ghee is one step beyond clarified butter and is a staple of Indian cooking. Emeril says “Ghee is butter than has been melted slowly until the solids and liquid separate. The solids fall to the bottom, and the butter is cooked until the milk solids are browned and the moisture evaporates, resulting in a nutty, caramel-like flavor. This last step is what distinguishes ghee from regular clarified butter.” Ghee is a good fat choice for those who are lactose-intolerant because the milk proteins have been removed. Although ghee is almost pure fat, it’s a relatively healthy choice since it contains no hydrogenated oils.

To make the ghee, I took four sticks of unsalted butter and put them in a saucepan over medium heat. After the melted butter came to a boil, I simmered it over low heat until the liquid became transparent and I could see the browned milk solids at the bottom of the pan. I turned off the heat and let the ghee cool for a few minutes, then I strained it through cheesecloth. Ghee was surprisingly easy to make, just keep an eye on it and don’t let the solids burn.

Making ghee

The beef in this dish was fork-tender and the sauce created from the stock and the yogurt was heavenly over basmati rice. We had a lot of sauce and rice left after we’d polished off the beef and mentally I was noting to cut back on the amount of stock I used next time. But Brad went back for seconds (and thirds) of just the sauce and rice, saying it was the best part of the dish!

All nutritional information provided below was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the website.

Original Recipe – Emeril’s recipe for Indian-Inspired Beef with Yogurt Sauce is a good source of Protein, but is high in Saturated Fat. It’s also higher in calories than I like to eat at a single meal and this doesn’t include the rice or any side dishes.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving (Emeril’s original recipe, NOT including rice): 580 calories, 42g fat (18g sat), 122mg cholesterol, 1390mg sodium, 16g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 36g protein

Suggested Modifications – Most of the Saturated Fat in this dish comes from the beef and the ghee. Beef chuck is a cut of meat that is high in fat. Substituting a leaner cut of beef such as eye of round would save you some calories, fat and cholesterol.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving (eye of round): 469 calories, 28g fat (12g sat), 87mg cholesterol, 1384mg sodium, 15g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 39g protein

Emeril’s recipe calls for 7 Tbsp of ghee; but I used about 4 Tbsp. Reducing the amount of ghee will lower the fat and calories in this dish even more.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving (eye of round, 4 Tbsp of ghee): 427 calories, 23g fat (9g sat), 75mg cholesterol, 1384mg sodium, 15g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 39g protein

You could also skip the ghee entirely and use canola oil instead. This wouldn’t be as authentically Indian, but would help you reduce the amount of saturated fat even more. Note calories and total fat go up slightly in this version.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving (eye of round, 4 Tbsp of canola oil): 433 calories, 24g fat (6g sat), 75mg cholesterol, 1384mg sodium, 15g carb, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 39g protein

Disclosure: For my participation in the One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls and a jar of Emeril’s Original Essence. Upon successful completion of the party, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and additional cookbooks by Emeril Lagasse. The top performing blogger, as selected by T-Fal, will also be awarded an Emeril by T-Fal Slow Cooker. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click one of them and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.


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