Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

I’m always looking for new, healthy ways to eat beef. I don’t particularly care for ground beef: I think Five Guys is horrible, I prefer turkey-sausage meatballs and  I hate Sloppy Joes.

Mixing beef with complex Indian flavors helps me appreciate this cheap form of red meat. Sizzled together and wrapped in lettuce or, as we did, cabbage, it is a quite nice meal (and a nice leftover lunch for myself).

My only regret is that I don’t have some of the ingredients the recipe asks for (curry leaves, brown mustard seeds), so instead I used a little curry powder, cumin seeds and yellow mustard seeds. If you have the luxury of exotic spices, please use them … and share with me!

I adapted this from Spice Goddess.

Indian Beef Lettuce (or Cabbage) Cups

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried curry leaves (I substituted 1/2 tsp curry powder)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (I used yellow)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 to 8 green cabbage leaves
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
In a skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil. When it’s hot, add the ginger and onions and cook until softened and beginning to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add the curry, garam masala, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red pepper flakes and cardamom seeds, and cook for 20 seconds. Add the ground beef, sprinkle with salt and stir to break up any chunks. Continue to cook until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.Meanwhile, place a stovetop steamer over medium-high heat and bring to a boil (I just brought some water to boil in a wide pan). Add the cabbage leaves and steam (or simmer) until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Place them on a platter and spoon the beef on top. Garnish with lemon wedges (which are great squeezed over the top).

Enjoy, friends! xoxo


2 responses to “Indian Beef Lettuce Cups

  1. Curry leaves are pretty hard to come by unless you have a good indian market (and there’s one in Raleigh – not far from Penzeys!) but the funny thing is they don’t taste like curry powder at all. The substitutions I’ve seen call for bay leaves.

    Looks tasty!

    • Yeah, she said it has a bright, pungent flavor. Not deep and smoky like curry powder, which I suppose is technically a mixture of spices. I’ve heard there are some great markets in Greensboro, too, thanks for the tip!

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