Place beef, 2 tsp salt, half the onion, thyme, curry powder, vegetable stock cube and 500 ml water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, process capsicum, chillies and remaining onions in a food processor to a paste.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add capsicum paste and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and oil starts to separate from paste.
Pour in beef mixture, stir in stockfish and stock cubes, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until heated through. Combine ground melon seeds with 375 ml water, add to beef mixture, then add spinach. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 10 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Serve immediately with pounded yam.


  • 500 g beef shank or gravy beef, trimmed, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 red capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 2 scotch bonnet chillies or 3 long red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
  • 125 ml (½ cup) red palm oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 small pieces stockfish or dried fish pieces, soaked overnight, drained
  • 2 crayfish stock cubes, crumbled or 1 tbsp dried prawns, ground
  • 175 g (1½ cups) egusi (ground melon seeds)
  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves and stems finely shredded
  • Iyan (pounded yam), to serve