Keralan beef curry photo with bombay mix garnish.

Authentic Homemade Keralan Beef Curry Recipe

Authentic Homemade Keralan Beef Curry Recipe

This simple authentic Keralan beef curry recipe uses one of the less commonly used proteins in Indian cuisine and turns it into something wonderful! This would go wonderfully with my Indian spiced fried rice or these delicious Indian flatbreads.

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Introduction

This recipe began with a google search. I searched for the query “Where in India do they eat beef?”

As you can probably imagine, I had some beef that I wanted to use in a curry. I also had a strong desire to make something authentic. Beef very scarcely eaten in India. A larger-than-average percentage of its population are vegetarian. Even the vast majority of meat-eaters will not eat beef itself. This is largely because India is a heavily Hindu population. In the Hindu religion, cows are not allowed to be viewed as food.

I could have simply used the beef in place of the required protein in any number of otherwise authentic curry recipes. There’s just something about doing things the right way that I find more satisfying. It’s more interesting and it gave me an excuse to dig in a little and find out more about the culture I find so fascinating.

The answer to my query was definitive. The answer was spelled out very plainly in the first search result. It was Kerala, the coastal, Southernmost region of India. Naturally, I dug in further. I found that not only is beef eaten in Kerala, but it is considered an important part of their cultural identity. So much so, in fact, that it is not merely due to a lower population of Hindus in the area. For a variety of reasons, in Kerala, even the Hindus eat beef!

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Keralan Cuisine

More important here, however, is not the where’s or why’s, but the how’s and the what’s. In Kerala, aside from the beef, how does a curry differ? What makes a Keralan beef curry special and unique? They might eat more beef than anywhere else in India, but they’re not the only people to do so. So what does differentiate it from other regional cuisines? That’s what we’re going to explore today.

You can learn a lot about a region’s food from its geography. Being a coastal region, it’s almost a given that more fish is going to be consumed in Kerala than elsewhere in India. Being that we’re making a beef curry, however, that isn’t especially relevant. So what is? Namely, the spices and aromats unique to or popular in that area.

About this dish

In my experience, the flavour profiles in different parts of India tend to differ quite significantly. This is largely based on historical and geographical influences unique to those areas. It is also often due to climate. India is a very large country and different regions experience drastically different weather conditions. As a result, different vegetables, herbs and spices grow in different areas.

The inclusion of beef seems to be because Kerala is more religiously diverse than much of the country. Being a coastal region, coconuts are also fairly common, although we have not used any here. We are using black pepper, cardamom, clove and cinnamon, however. All of which are common in the region.

I have ganished this dish with bombay mix. I had some lying around and it provides a lovely salty crunch and a suitably nuttiness. More appropriate might be coconut shavings or fresh herbs of some kind. I encourage you to play around! If you need something to serve them with, try out these delicious Indian flatbreads or my Indian spiced fried rice.

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Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!


Keralan beef curry photo with bombay mix garnish.

Authentic Homemade Keralan Beef Curry Recipe

This simple authentic Keralan beef curry recipe uses one of the less commonly used proteins in Indian cuisine and turns it into something wonderful! This would go wonderfully with my Indian spiced fried rice or these delicious Indian flatbreads.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • Beef
  • 5 Cardammom Pods
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 lrg Onion
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Cinammon
  • 6-8 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Green Chilli
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste or 1 square inch fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Coriander Stalks
  • Small handful Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400ml Beef Stock
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oil or ghee

Instructions
 

Prepare your Whole Spices

  • Set aside 5 cardammom pods, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds and 1 star anise.
  • Separately, set aside 1/2 tsp mustard seeds.

Prepare your Spice Mix

  • Heat 4 cloves in a dry pan on a medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute, then crush as much as possible in a pestle and mortar.
  • Mix and set aside the clove powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp coriander, 6 – 8 black peppercorns and 1/2 tsp cinammon.

Prepare your Paste

  • Blend together your ginger, garlic, chilli and a small handful of coriander stalks, then set aside.

Start to Cook

  • Finely dice the onion and cook in a pan on a medium heat for 4 minutes with a little salt.
  • Make a small gap and pour in the mustard seeds. Cook for 30 seconds and then mix in with everything else, cooking for a further minute and a half.
  • After a couple more minutes, do the same again. Make a small gap and add the whole spices, allowing them 30 seconds in direct heat before mixing in with the onion.
  • After another minute and a half, do the same thing again, then add the spice mix you made earlier. Allow 30 seconds in direct heat and then mix with the onions.
  • After a couple more minutes, add the paste you made earlier and combine.
  • Add the meat back in.
  • Now, add the tomatos and reduce until thick and sticky.
  • Add the stock and reduce on a low temperature for 1 – 2 hours or until the sauce thickens.
  • Check the seasoning and plate up, garnishing with lemon juice and fresh coriander.
Keyword beef, Beef Curry, Curry, Kerala, Keralan Beef, Keralan Curry

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