Kerala Beef Fry


This is one of my husbands favorite dishes and I make this every 2 weeks. It keeps well in  the refrigerator and only gets better. It is a typical Kerala Christian staple. My husband likes it sautéed with lots of onions, black pepper and tomatoes.


2 lbs of beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes

Coconut oil

Ginger-2 tbsp diced

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tBsp Meat masala (Periyar, Nirapara,Grandmas brands )

1 tbsp coriander powder

1/2 tbsp cumin powder

1 tsp Garam  masala (I make my own)

2 tsp red chili powder

1/2  tsp turmeric

Sliced coconut, a handful

2 tsp black pepper

Onions-1 lg, sliced

Garlic-5 cloves smashed in mortar with pestle

Roma tomatoes-2,sliced

Handfull of curry leaves

Chopped cilantro for garnish


First chop up beef into 1 inch cubes, rinse and drain. In a wide bottom pot add 1 tablespoon coconut oil (usually I use canola or veg oil and the cocnut oil for special days) add mustard seeds and let splutter. Add ginger and 1/2 of the curry leaves, saute lighlty then add all the masala powders (meat  masala, cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala) and 1 tsp black pepper (save 1 tsp for later) , saute for a few seconds then add all of the drained meat. Mix well and then add the coconut slices. Add salt to taste and a little water if looks too dry. Do not cover and let cook for at least 20-30 minutes. Stir intermittently. There should not be much gravy at the bottom as needs to be somewhat dry.Remove from heat when done.

Now take a frying pan and add the rest of the coconut oil. Once hot add the sliced onions, saute and then add the crushed garlic and let brown.

Then add the chopped tomatoes. Sautess for a few mnutes and add the cooked beef to this mixture with curry leaves. Heat should be moderately high. Add the rest of the black pepper. Let the pieces of beef get brown and mix until all pieces are uniformly brown. Remove from heat. May garnish with some chopped cilantro.

Serve with Rice and Mooru Kachiathu (spiced yogurt). I also like beef fry with Puttu or Upumavu (reminds me of my maternal grandmother who used to have Poothu erachi fry (a lean water buffalo made the same way as this dish) at breakfast time.