Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
Work in batches. Lightly brown the meat in batches. Don't crowd the meat. Leave a half inch around pieces. It doesn't have to be super brown like when making a good French stew but it does need to be brown. Set the beef aside.
If you need more oil add it now. Then add the onions to the same pot used to brown the beef. Cook until soft and well browned, about 10 minutes. Regulate the heat so the onions don't burn.
Reduce heat to medium low. Move the onions to the outer edges and add a splash of oil. Add the whole spices (cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay) and cook about 30 seconds.
Leaving the onions on the edge, add the spice mix. Cook for around 90 seconds, stirring constantly. You want enough oil to keep everything wet. If it looks dry, add a Tbsp or two of vegetable oil.
Mix in the garlic ginger paste and cook another 30 seconds or so.
Return the meat and accumulated juices and scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pot.
Now mix in the yoghurt one Tbsp at a time. Stir it in before adding the next one. I don't know why this is important but Madhur Jaffrey says so. I still do it. It has never gone wrong. Probably, it doesn't make any difference but, well, Madhur says so and who am I to differ.
Now add a big tsp of salt with enough water to almost cover the meat.
Cover and place in the pre-heated oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 2-2 1/2 hours. Give it a stir every 30 minutes.
When the beef is tender remove the pot from the oven and place over medium low heat. If the curry is dry, add a bit of water. If it's wet, simmer uncovered to reduce. You want the sauce to be the consistency of heavy cream.
Let stand a couple minutes to allow the oil to separate. Spoon it off carefully. You should get nearly all your 1/2 cup of oil back. If you don't mind the calories though, leave some of it in the curry. That oil is loaded with spice flavour.
Adjust salt and add the cherry tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Serve with basmati rice.