Kerala Thattukada Style Beef Curry

Anjali Venugopal June 10, 2020 NO COMMENTS

It’s no secret that I love Thattukada food. It’s unpolished culinary skill at its finest. This recipe is a hot and spicy beef curry just the way it’s served in the thattukadas of Kerala. You can substitute the beef with mutton/lamb too.

Things you will need:

  • Beef (good quality beef with a slight bit of fat works best for this curry)- 500 grams, cut into small, bite sized pieces. Don’t keep the pieces too big for this recipe.
  • Onions- 2 medium sized, sliced finely
  • Tomatoes- 2 medium sized, chopped
  • Green chillies- 4-5 slit
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

To grind to a coarse paste without adding water:

  • Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1.5 tablespoons (Adjust as per heat tolerance. This yields a medium-hot curry. But if you like the curry hotter, use Kashmiri and regular chilli powder half and half)
  • Coriander powder- 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
  • Star anise- 1
  • Fennel seeds- 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves- 4
  • Green cardamom- 3
  • Ginger- 2 inch stick
  • Garlic- 6-8 cloves (if using the large variety, 3-4 cloves)
  • Black peppercorns- 1.5 teaspoon (step up if you like the curry hotter)

How to go about it:

This recipe can be prepared in a pressure cooker or in a regular pot. The latter will just require more time for the beef to cook.

  1. In the pressure cooker pan (or heavy bottomed wok of your choice), on medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once hot, add the sliced onions. Saute until nice and golden brown. Adding some salt while sauteing the onions helps speed up the process. Once the onions are golden brown, add the curry leaves and green chillies, saute for 30 seconds.
  2. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, mix well and keep the pan closed for two minutes or until the tomatoes soften up.
  3. Add the ground mixture, a bit more oil if you feel it’s too dry and keep sauteing for 3-4 minutes until the spices are cooked and the oil begins to leave the sides of the mixture.
  4. Add more salt if needed. Next, add the beef to the mixture and mix it all up well. Then also add about 3/4-1 cup water, mix very well. Now, if you’re using a pressure cooker, cook for 6-7 whistles on a medium flame. Allow the pressure to drop on its own. Once that is done, you can check if the beef is well cooked. Otherwise, pressure cook for another 1-2 whistles. Then allow the curry to simmer (without the lid) for 3-4 minutes or until you get the curry to your desired consistency. (If you are cooking it in a regular pot, bring the curry to a boil and then allow it to simmer on a low heat for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, until the beef is cooked well, the gravy thickens and the oil floats on the top.)
  5. Once done, allow the curry to rest undisturbed for 10-15 minutes before serving to balance out the flavours. Serve warm.

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