Beef & Banana Curry

The Boat Galley
By Carolyn Shearlock

With the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, I find myself thinking more of hearty meals whose aromas fill the boat. Here’s one you’ll love. It’s sweet and savory and totally delicious.

Meeting people and trying foods from all over is a fun part of cruising. Dave and I enjoy getting to know not just the “locals” wherever we are, but also the other cruisers. Over the years, we’ve learned to make a number of dishes from the people we’ve met.

Curry from Brits. Sushi from Californians. All sorts of seafood from people who lived along the coast of numerous countries. Spring rolls from a Chinese-American. Mole and tacos from Mexicans. Pupusas from Salvadorans. Bobotie from South Africans.

It usually starts with a casual conversation at happy hour. “You mean you’ve never had _____? Come on over tomorrow and I’ll show you how to make it.”

Fun is had, a great meal prepared and recipes are swapped. Another great day of being a cruiser.

That was how we first had Beef & Banana Curry. We loved the spicy-sweet flavor. And every time I make it, we think about about our friends who introduced us to curry.

On a cool day, Beef & Banana Curry will warm up the cabin as it cooks and you as well when it’s meal time. It freezes beautifully as a make-ahead meal (and you can freeze cooked rice in a separate container, too), but don’t add the bananas and cashews until you heat it up to serve.

Beef & Banana Curry

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hrs 15 mins

Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Both savory and sweet, beef and banana curry is a delicious treat for cooler fall days.

Course: Main Dish

Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Make-Ahead

Servings: 4

Calories: 676 kcal


  • 1 pound chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1-1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste (Curry powder varies considerably in spiciness and heat. If you are not sure how hot yours may be, or prefer a milder flavor, start with 1 teaspoon and gradually increase to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup cashews or walnuts
  • 4 servings cooked rice


  1. Lightly brown the meat, onion and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, raisins, curry powder, salt and pepper. Stir to mix, then simmer for about 2 hours until meat is tender. Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if the mixture gets dry (it should be about the consistency of chili). If freezing, do so at this point. While curry is cooking, prepare rice.
  3. Mix bananas in and cook 15 minutes to heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with cashews.

Notes, Substitutions and Variations

Use ground beef, ground turkey or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1” cubes instead of chuck roast. Reduce simmer time to 30 to 45 minutes.


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