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.
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
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Grind the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder until mixture is a fine powder.
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.
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.
Stir in the beef mixture, black pepper, and lemon juice. Cook until nicely browned and heated through, about 8 minutes.