Keralan Beef Fry

Keralan Beef Curry 

Now whilst the cow is regarded sacred in most of India, there's still a few states where cow slaughter is not illegal, Kerala is one of them, which is why you'll see beef on the menu in many restaurants. Unlike the usual 'wet' beef curries which come from places such as Pakistan, this is a dry 'fry' dish i.e. the spiced liquor has evaporated and clings to the meat arresting it into submission, Keralan Beef Fry or Nadan Beef Curry is a classic. It characterises South India's cuisine through it's use of curry leaves, coconut, black pepper and Portuguese influence of vinegar. It's a textured, warming dish, which is at home with a few chapattis, South Indian appams or with some fluffy white rice. Personally I Iove stuffing this Keralan 'dry' beef curry into a rolled up chapatti or pitta bread with a blob of raitha and kachumber salad...excuse me my hunger's calling.

Serves: 4

  • 1.5kg Stewing or casserole beef, cubed
  • 1 tbs Ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs Garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 Shallots, finely sliced
  • 400g Coconut slices (or dessicated coconut)
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tbs Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbs Vinegar
  • Salt & Black pepper powder to taste
  • 200ml Water
  • 2 tbs Coconut oil
  • 2 Onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 4 Sprigs curry leaves (or 1 tbs dried curry leaves)
  • 2 tsp crushed black pepper

Masala Mix:

  • 2 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2” Cinnamon
  • 8-10 Cloves
  • 2 Star anise
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
Keralan Beef Fry

How To Make Keralan Beef Curry 

Chuck all the masala mix ingredients into a spice grinder/blender and grind into a powder. Now add the masala mix in a large bowl together with the beef, ginger, garlic, shallots, coconut, chilli, coriander and turmeric powder. Add in the vinegar plus salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and marinade for an hour or two.

Use a large pot and cook the beef in 200ml water, cover and cook for xx hours over a medium temperature until tender, if there’s any remaining water, uncover and cook until the mix has dried. 

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil over a medium temperature and fry the onions and curry leaves until golden. Now add the cooked beef, garam masala, black pepper and sauté for around 15 mins until the ingredients turn a dark shade of chocolate…the smell will invoke serious hunger.  

Serve with rice, chapatti or fluffy South Indian Appams.

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