Wanna get cozied up with curry and spices??? Here is my slow cooked tender beef curry in a spicy masala – an authentic Kerala recipe, straight from my mom’s cookbook.
The flavour of this delicious dish takes me all the way back to my childhood; memories of mom’s kitchen… on one corner I see all the spices, curry leaves, and other ingredients on the table top, and the spicy hot beef curry sizzling on the stove in another corner, its aroma spreading all around the house and we patiently waiting for the curry to be ready.
Two of my favorite beef curry dishes were, one of course my mother’s preparation and the other from our nearby thattukada (roadside eatery). Even though we hail from Kerala where beef is common, my mom used to cook it rarely at home. Thattukadas were our quickest to-go to satisfy our beef cravings, and the delicious Kerala porotta served along made it the yummiest combo!!!
The preparation involves a slow cook process where you need to make the beef soft and tender (fully cooked), but at the same time ensuring that the flesh does not pull apart. The cooked beef is sautéed with various spices and curry powders making it spicy and rich.
I love to cook such curry recipes in an iron skillet as it enhances the color of your dish. You can also use other types of pans; just make sure to cook on a low to medium heat so that the caramelization of the onions with the other ingredients is even. Adding salt to the onions helps it to drain water thus enabling it to caramelize, and also prevents the bottom from burning and ensuring even cooking. If your dish becomes too salty, add one or two dry red chilies as a whole. Check the salt level after some time and once it’s balanced, discard the chilies – a tip from my friend’s mother.
Enjoy… Happy Cooking…!!!
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- 1½ lb beef (cleaned and soup cut)
- 2 onions (thinly sliced)
- 3 green chilies (slit)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- ¼ tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 1½ tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp pepper powder
- 1 tbsp meat masala
- 3 leaves sprigs curry
- leaves cilantro (chopped)
- a pinch of mustard seeds
- salt (as required)
- oil (as required)
Clean and cut beef into cube shaped pieces (preferably soup cut).
Transfer it to a pressure cooker and add salt, pepper powder, and a little water (enough to cover the meat). Pressure cook for 3 whistles and then remove the cooker from the flame. Allow it to rest until the pressure goes off. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add sliced onions, green chilies, curry leaves, and a little salt. Saute until onions become translucent.
Make a paste of ginger and garlic and add this paste to the pan and mix well.
Add chopped tomatoes and place the lid on the pan to cook on a low flame until it turns mushy.
Add spice powders; chili, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and meat masala, and mix well. Make sure you turn the heat to low while adding the spice powders, so that they do not burn.
Remove the lid from the pressure cooker and transfer the beef with the remaining water to the pan, mix well with the masala and cook on a medium flame for 5 – 8 minutes. Stir the curry carefully while cooking.
Cook until gravy thickens, taste and add salt as needed. Garnish with coriander leaves and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
Serve with Naan/Bread, Malabar Paratha / Kerala porotta, or rice.
- You can vary the amount of chili and pepper to suit your spice level.
- The meat masala I have used in my recipe has been bought from an Indian store (Sakthi meat masala). You can also use a homemade masala which is preferable.