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.

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