Beef Spiced with Ginger and Curry Leaf

    1 hour 15 minutes

    This beef recipe is delightfully spicy (you can adjust the hotness to taste). The roots of this recipe are Portuguese; it's widely prepared among the Syrian Christians in Kerala, India. Serve with white rice.

    17 people made this

    Serves: 6 

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

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hour15min 

    1. 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, spice powder, 2 cups chopped onion, green chillies, grated fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric in a large, heavy pot. Add water to cover and bring to a 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 skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop. Immediately add remaining 1 cup 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 USA and 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 USA and 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 USA and Canada)