Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the oxtail and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10–12 minutes. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Season to taste.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole and brown the oxtail on both sides for 6–8 minutes. Add the allspice, curry powder, beef stock, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, chilli, tomatoes and cornflour. Stir to mix well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 2½ hours or until the oxtail is meltingly tender.
Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes. Serve the stew immediately with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.