Keralan masala beef curry

    1 hour 15 min

    This is a real delight for all beef curry lovers. The roots of this recipe are Portuguese; it's widely prepared among Christians in Kerala, India. Basically you cut the beef into small cubes and fry in the spicy ingredients. It's so yummy and it goes well with white rice.

    55 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 (2.5cm) piece cinnamon stick
    • 5 cardamom pods
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    • 10 whole black peppercorns
    • 1kg beef fillet, cubed
    • 450g chopped onion, divided
    • 5 green chillies, halved lengthways
    • 1 (3cm) piece fresh root ginger, grated
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 125ml coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
    • 4 fresh curry leaves
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. To make the masala powder: Grind the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder until mixture is a fine powder.
    2. Place the beef cubes, masala powder, 1/3 of the chopped onion, green chillies, grated fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric in a large, heavy pot. Add water to cover (about 250ml) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until beef is cooked through. Add salt. Stir and continue to simmer about 10 minutes or until mixture is almost dry, but do not allow it to burn (add a bit more water, if necessary). Set aside.
    3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop. Immediately add remaining chopped onion and stir over medium heat until onions soften and begin to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add curry leaves and cook until brown, about 3 minutes.
    4. Stir in the beef mixture, black pepper and lemon juice. Cook until nicely browned and heated through, about 8 minutes.

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    Reviews in English (16)


    I can tell you by just looking at this recipe that it's VERY authentic (minus the bay leaves, which I suspect Allrecipes put instead of the curry leaves). I'm of Indian descent, and this is pretty much how we make meat as a side dish to eat with rice. Here are some tips, though: 1) Cube your beef really small (like 1/2 inch pieces) so that you'll get more flavor onto your meat. 2) Instead of lemon juice, use 1 tomato, chopped up, to add a little acidity. Be sure to cook it down all the way. 3) You can use about 1-2 tsp of red chili powder as per your taste (ie., cayenne powder, NOT chili powder for chili) instead of the green chili peppers, or use a smaller amount of both. They have different flavors, but both provide heat. 4) Don't fry your onions until crisp...just sautee until slightly brown if you want the flavors & masala to penetrate the meat. 5) You can pre-cook your meat with ginger, onions, salt, a little turmeric, and green chilis in a pressure cooker to make the beef more tender.  -  19 Dec 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was delicious and easy to make. My entire family enjoyed it- I only used 3 small green chilis and deseeded them. There was still plenty of spice and flavour.  -  15 Apr 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I am originally from India and I have never cooked beef in my life before. I wanted to do something different for this New Year and I am glad that I found this recipe. I did exactly as per the recipe and it came out really well. Now you have awakened my beef taste bud!!! Again thanks for the recipe.  -  01 Jan 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)