Tangy and chilli Kerala beef fry

Mallika Basu - Tangy and chilli Kerala beef fry

I am back at work. Six months with Micro Mini Basu just flew. He is now ready for university. Well. One can hope. Seriously though, I am really enjoying motherhood. It's just that two closely-timed pregnancies later, I was beginning to go funny. You know. Saying things like "Don't lick the floor". Swinging from side to side sans baby. Counting the hours until a large glass of ice cold wine... So how does it feel to be back at work? Wonderful. Monday to Thursday is a long weekend compared to the chaos of home. Uninterrupted cups of tea. Trips to the loo. Adult conversation. Shame it's so hard to say goodbye to the bundles in the morning! On the quick Indian cooking front, I haven't been great have been pathetic on the blogging front. Behind the scenes, however, I have been hard at work perfecting a "quick" version of a tangy chilli Kerala beef fry. My friend Boobie fell in love with this recipe at her last trip to India and we've been at it ever since! The trick to this recipe is to either slice thin beef steaks very finely and stir fry everything in a wok. Or to cook cubes of boneless beef/lamb/goat in a pressure cooker until they are virtually falling apart. With the coconut, I nabbed a fresh coconut in my local grocer, smashed it open and grated and froze the flesh. Two months ago... I really recommend saving a stash in your freezer if you don't have access to the fresh stuff. Dessicated coconut is a very poor distant cousin of the real stuff. So here it is. A fresh new start for a fiery classic. Let's hope it works for you and me!!



If using frozen coconut, take it out of the freezer first. Slice the beef steaks very thin and chop the onion into small pieces. If using boneless chunks of meat, cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic.

In a medium sized wok, bring the oil to heat over a high heat. When it starts sizzling, add the onions, ginger and garlic, chillies and curry leaves and fry until the mixture turns golden in colour. This will take 5-10 minutes.

Next, toss in the beef with all the spice powders and fry on a high heat until the meat is cooked and turns a rich dark shade. Now stir in the coconut, tamarind and when it’s mixed through with the beef, add 2-3 tablespoons of warm water and simmer until it is absorbed. Add salt to taste and eat straightaway curled into hot rotis.

If using a pressure cooker, pressure cook on high for one whistle and at least 25 minutes on low. Don’t add the coconut or tamarind until after the meat is cooked.

36 responses to “Tangy and chilli Kerala beef fry”

  1. Pooja says:

    I missed hearing from you! To quote a stoic fellow- Live long and prosper! πŸ™‚

  2. sulagna says:

    good to have you back Mallika πŸ™‚ the recipe looks teasing, must try, dont know how would imli and coconut change the flavors , m sue it would be a burst of flavors though.

    good luck on the job front and keep having fun !!

  3. Hey Mallika! Great to see your new post! I have checked your blog a hundred times in the last 4 months!
    I have been a regular visitor for a very long time and just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your recipes!! I am vegetarian so I can’t try ALL your recipes but I have cooked your butter chicken and it’s a HUGE hit!!!
    Thank you πŸ™‚

  4. Welcome back to blogworld. I have been waiting to try more of your super special Indian recipes, and this Beef Fry looks teasingly appetising. Can’t wait to try it. Fresh coconut is what adds amazing flavour to Kerala curries. Thanks for this, and once again, welcome back!

  5. Ann says:

    Hi Mallika! Lovely to hear your voice! I just ordered another copy of your book for a friend. Can’t wait to try this new recipe. xxx

  6. Mary says:

    Yay! Missed your posts very much. But have managed to get by in the interim by exploring your excellent cookbook. Happy to hear that motherhood is agreeable. And really happy to try your latest recipe! Yum.

  7. Wendy says:

    Hooray! You’re back! Very glad to “see” you indeed. xx

  8. BongMom says:

    You back to the grind and loving it ? Good for you. You should now make Bheja fry

  9. ritika says:

    you are backm and this looks delish πŸ™‚

  10. ritika says:

    celebrated your homecoming of sorts… tried the recipe and it was fabulous :), a big hit.

  11. Malayali says:

    Keralan is not a word.
    It’s either Malayali or Keralite or when it comes to cooking, you just use Kerala as an adjective. For example, this dish is just Kerala chilli beef fry.

  12. Mallika says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Ritika – so pleased you like it!!

    My bad Malayali I made a mistake in the subtitle. Thanks for stating the bleeding obvious. I’ve made the amend now…

  13. alison says:

    hurrah! glad you are back, i’ve missed you xx

  14. Carrie says:

    I made this for dinner last night, it was absolutely delicious. I love the flavor of the coconut.

    Can’t wait to try some of your other dishes!

  15. the-mommie says:

    Hi there. Popped by purely by accident and then was hooked. You do a great job here and this recipe is one I’ve been trolling for on the web for a while! So thank you! It now has pride of place on my ‘to be made after the next grocery trip’ list now. πŸ™‚

  16. Great recipe. Would you recommend marinating the thin beef slices in anything beforehand? (I’ll try it and let you know!)

  17. Candace says:

    From the looks of it, it sure taste great! I got hungry the minute I found it! Many thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes. People like you are sure to be blessed πŸ™‚

  18. I am so attracted to the image used here…indeed, a picture speaks a thousand words πŸ™‚ Good work.

  19. Shefali D says:

    Yay…happy to report that my initial attempt wasn’t a complete disaster. The quest continues πŸ™‚

  20. Ankan says:

    good information..

  21. Nazlah says:

    I tried this with Chicken and it was DElish!

  22. Glad you’re back! I laughed at your description of a slightly frantic motherhood, thanks for that πŸ™‚ The recipe looks incredibly tempting…

  23. I loved South Indian dishes the specialty in South Indian they always use coconut in every dishes. That’s make their dishes so yummy…

  24. Rose says:

    Old post, but I made this tonight and it was delicious. I wrote the recipe down on a card and will make it again.

  25. Divya says:

    This woman should be extremely ashamed of herself for calling her recipes ‘REAL Indian cooking’ and calling herself a ‘Hindu’. She is so shameful that she is eating beef. Even chicken, mutton would have been fine, but she eats beef and probably teaches her poor children the same.

    All I would say is, change the title of your site, and stop calling yourself a Hindu, for you are no where near being a Hindu. You are quite a disgrace to Hinduism and Indian cooking, in fact. Too bad you are wasting your cooking talent by being as shameful as you are. It is too bad.

  26. Divya says:

    And to all you ‘Hindus’ on this page, who are praising her beef recipe, shame to you idiots and low-lives.

  27. ann says:

    Geez, I just read this! Divya needs a personality implant and possibly a good feed of protein, maybe beef?

  28. Mallika says:

    Ha ha, thanks Ann. I agree with you. xx

  29. Li Thotomist says:

    Your Beef Fry recipe in The Standard has no quantity in the Ingredients for the coconut you use in the method! http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/foodanddrink/steak-for-dinner-try-this-kerala-style-beef-stir-fry-recipe-from-indian-cook-mallika-basu-a2925686.html

  30. King Kerala says:

    @divya Grow up you infantile fool. Cows are simply meat just as chicken, pork, fish etc are. If you eat one animal you can eat them all. To separate one from the others due to some perverse superstition is the very definition of stupidity.

    Here’s a hint – if you don’t like a recipe, don’t make it, and never, ever tell others what they can’t eat. In short, keep your brain dead opinions to yourself.

    Hi King Kerala – Bravo, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Please come back to tell off any other stupid commentators (99% are lovely). M x

  31. sana says:

    hey malika! really great blog you have there ! by seeing your recipes i’m starting to love your recipes keep up the good work πŸ™‚ by the way take a look at this site this site has many recipes of indian and pakistani and they have the best beef recipes ummmm yummy πŸ™‚

  32. Sam says:

    Hi Mallika:
    I tried your recipe from the Standard and it was absolutely delicious. This one seems to taste a little different but good nevertheless. Maybe the beef cut was different. What do you recommend?
    To all the fanatics who have written comments. Eat what you like but do not put labels on others.
    Thanks Mallika for providing us with a range recipes for all of us.

  33. Arivoukodi says:

    Hi Malika,

    I have tried this recipe, it came very well and everybody in my home loved this dish, thanks for the blog keep posting.

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