I am wondering what part/cut of the animal is best to make Indian/Pakistani dishes like curries, Biryani, fry etc.

This post says Chuck steak. But wanted to get more opinions.

Which cut of beef should I use in a curry?

Edit: I come from India and I know for a fact that any meat dish (even fish sometimes) is cooked atleast for 30 mins unless pressure cooked. There are very few exceptions. The problem arises because the wide variety of cuts available in the westerm parlance is simply not used in those countries, you just go to the butcher and ask for meat. So the question is more about buying beef in the western context, where you can only buy a specific cut and what you choose might affect how the curry turns out. Also its a misconception that beef is not preferred in these countries, especially Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many parts/cultures of India(ex:southern, eastern states) etc. I updated my wording in the above question to make it more clear. Thanks!

  • 6
    Hi, welcome. This is a HUGELY broad and subjective question. Not only are you talking about a large area with many, many cuisines represented, you are talking about every dish at once? Also there is the complication that a great many people in that part of the world do not prefer to eat beef at all. A lot of the time authentic curries with so called "red meat" are based on some form of mutton (meat from goats and sheep). I am afraid there is no way to answer within the scope of this site.
    – Air
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 1:20
  • 3
    In general, use whatever meat that is good for braising that you can find at your local butcher.
    – Max
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 2:19
  • Similar to other parts of the world, different dishes will use different cuts of meat. You'll need to be more specific to have an answerable question that doesn't generalize nearly all Indian & Pakistani food to use a single cut of meat (in addition to what Air mentions regarding mutton/goat being more common)
    – AMtwo
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 3:24
  • "There are very few exceptions" - so there are more than zero exceptions? So it's not the case that "any meat dish (even fish) is cooked atleast for 30 mins unless pressure cooked" ? "I come from India" doesn't automatically give you insight into all the culinary habits of 1.4 billion people...
    – AakashM
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 10:20
  • You mean Indians go to the butcher and ask for 'chuck steak'? Comeon man you can draw educated inferences about culinary trends based on your familiarity with the place where you grow up and where you are from, moreso since there is so much online content now. Its true Indians do 'curry' type cooking that takes time and not quick grilled steaks etc. Ofc thr is room for exceptions and it proves the general rule. I am not sure why my familiarity with my own culture's cusuine should offend you. If there is an inconsistency, I don't mind correcting it. Thats what these forums are for anyway. Peace
    – Gadam
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


Supermarkets often just quote braising or stewing steak without detailing which cut. Any of those will work. Don't bother to trim the fat, it will disappear during the cooking.

The idea is to start with the opposite end of the scale from what you would consider a good quick-fry steak. You want the 'stringy' stuff, lots of collagen, something that will improve over 4 hours or so of gentle simmering [or 10 hours in a slow cooker]. Any meat that is good for a quick fry will be like dry bullets, tough as old boots after so long at a simmer. A coarse stewing meat will be just coming to its best. Don't let it bother you that these are the cheapest cuts you can get, it's what works best for any long-cook dish. By the same token you'd use chicken thighs not breast for a long cook.

See also What is the best cut of beef to use for stews? - which comes to the same conclusions.

  • This answer seems to assume that the beef will be stewed for a long time, which I don't think is necessarily true for the (extremely wide) range of dishes the OP is asking about.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 10:46
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    Find me an authentic quick-cook meat curry recipe & I'll agree with you ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 10:48
  • Thanks @Tetsujin for the answer and also understanding my question correctly. My cooktime might be 30mins-1hr at most, or about 20 mins in high pressure cooker. What cuts would qualify as ''stringy' stuff, lots of collagen"?(sorry I am only familiar with some steak cuts, but not various other cuts)
    – Gadam
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 7:17
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    An hour isn't long enough, any stewing cut will still be tough. tbh, I don't know what cut, i don't look for it by 'cut' I just buy stewing or braising steak. i'm also a Brit, our cut names are totally different to the US. We don't have 'chuck'. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_of_beef
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 9:04

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