Here, handsome and crowd-pleasing beef tenderloin is first rubbed with an Indian-inspired combination of spices—cardamom, mustard, and others work in concert with the nuanced heat of black peppercorns—and then seared to form a fragrant, inviting crust. Finishing it in a moderate oven results in a roast that is evenly rosy, juicy, and as delicious as it is beautiful. Like the bulgur with herbs and the bevy of beans and basil , it can be served at room temperature.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns,1 (1 1/2-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces,1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds,1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds,1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds,4 green cardamom pods, crushed, reserving seeds and discarding pods,1 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt,1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds (preferably brown),1 (2-pounds) trimmed and tied center-cut beef tenderloin roast, at room temperature 30 minutes,1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Instructions: Toast spices with salt in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mustard seeds begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely, then grind in grinder.,Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.,Pat beef dry, then rub spice mixture all over it (including ends). Heat oil in same skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Brown beef on all sides, about 10 minutes total.,Transfer beef to a small roasting pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center of meat registers 120°F for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes (internal temperature will rise to about 130°F).,Cut off string and slice beef. Serve warm or at room temperature.