Kerala Beef Fry

Image © 2014 Petrina Verma Sarkar, licensed to
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (30)
This delicious dish is a favorite in the South-Indian state of Kerala. The recipe for it was generously shared with me, by a close family friend. Kerala Beef Fry is served not just as a snack when friends visit, but also as a main course dish with Dosas, Idlis or Appams.

What You'll Need

  • 1 kg beef cut into 2"-long, 1"-thick strips
  • 2 large onions sliced very thin
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
  • 2 tbsps ginger paste
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 3 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 4 tbsps fennel seeds
  • 8 cloves
  • Seeds of 6 green cardamom
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • 25 black peppercorns
  • For tempering: 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 50 curry leaves
  • 1 cup fresh coconut cut into 1"-long, thin slivers
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil

How to Make It

  • Heat a flat pan on a medium flame till hot. Reduce the flame to simmer. Put the fennel, coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds and cinnamon on the pan. Roast, stirring often till the spices begin to get slightly darker and give off their aroma. Turn off fire. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Grind the above roasted spices into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Put the meat, sliced onions, green chillies, tomatoes, ginger and garlic pastes and ground spices into a large mixing bowl. Mix well till all the meat is coated. Keep aside to marinate for an hour.
  • After an hour, put the above mixture into a large deep vessel and set up to cook on a medium flame. Do not add any water as the meat will give off its own juices. Cook till the meat is tender.
  • In a separate small pan, heat the cooking oil on a medium flame till hot and add the chopped onions to it. Fry till transparent.
  • Add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and cook till they stop spluttering. Now add the coconut slivers. Cook till they begin to turn a pale golden color.
  • Add this tempering mixture to the meat and mix well. Turn on the fire (medium flame) under the vessel containing the meat and cook, stirring often, till the meat browns. The whole dish begins to turn a deep, dark brown in color. This dish traditionally has no gravy at all and is dry so if water is present, make sure to dry it off.
  • Serve hot with Idlis, Dosas or Appams.