Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Cyrus’s Beef Tikka with Crushed Black Pepper

by Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh from The Incredible Spice Men

A heavenly beef tikka recipe from The Incredible Spice Men. The sirloin steak chunks are marinated in a homemade tikka paste before being cooked on a barbecue.

From the book

Cyrus Todiwala, Tony Singh


This is a wonderful way of using steak. Ever since we introduced this at our restaurant it has been one of the most popular tikkas on the menu. We use British beef, which is normally of exceptional quality – I urge you to do the same. Consult your local butcher and enquire about the quality and maturity of your meat – they will be delighted that you’ve asked. For this recipe, marination should be carried out patiently, and overnight is best.

Read more Read less


1.5kg (3lb) sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 5cm (2in) cubes (or use well-hung beef fillet if it’s a special occasion)
For the marinade:
4-8 hot dried red chillies, depending on how hot you want the marinade
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
6 garlic cloves
10cm (4in) piece fresh root ginger, roughly chopped
2 mild fresh green chillies, seeds removed if liked, and chopped
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 heaped tbsp tamarind paste
3-4 tbsp sunflower oil or rapeseed oil, or as needed to make a paste

Essential kit

You will need a blender and barbecue or griddle pan.


To make the marinade, heat a large frying pan over a low heat, then add the red chillies, peppercorns and the cumin and coriander seeds and dry-fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted and aromatic. Cool and grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar or in a coffee grinder.

With a blender, purée the remaining marinade ingredients along with this spice powder, adding extra oil if needed to make a paste. Some tamarind pastes are very concentrated, so add this a little at a time until you find your preferred taste.

Place the beef cubes in a large bowl and add the marinade a little at a time, mixing well until the meat is thoroughly coated. You may not need all of the marinade, but be quite generous. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

Preheat a barbecue or a griddle pan to hot. Cook the meat cubes (if using a griddle, don’t overcrowd the pan) for 1 minute on each side, or until browned on the outside but still pink in the middle. Alternatively, push the beef cubes onto metal skewers, leaving a gap between each cube, and cook in the same manner.

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week