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Kerala Beef Fry
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5 from 4 votes

Delicious Kerala Beef Fry with Coconut

Melt-in-your-mouth tender pieces of aromatic beef, with coconut pieces, curry leaves, and onion!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 520kcal
Author: Elle John


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 500 g Diced Beef Chuck Roast if available

First Masala

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Large Onion Finely Sliced [or 15 pearl onions]
  • ½ inch Freshly Chopped Ginger
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 15 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Chili Powder [or Red Chili Powder for more heat]
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Meat Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tomato Chopped

For the beef fry

  • 3 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3-4 tablespoon Coconut Slices
  • 2 Slit Green Chilies
  • 15 Peeled and Sliced Red Pearl Onions or 1 Large Sliced Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • ½ inch Freshly Chopped Ginger
  • 15-20 Curry Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper Crushed
  • 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar


How To Prepare The Beef Fry Masala

  • In a frying pan, heat up the coconut oil on medium heat and, once warm, add the thinly sliced onions.
  • Mix the onions and fry for a minute, then add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, curry leaves, and a little salt.
  • Once the onions become soft, and the other ingredients have lost the smell of rawness, add all the spices needed for the masala, including the feenel seeds.
  • Mix well and reduce the heat to medium-low. Mix frequently and continue until the spices are cooked; if the mix is too dry, add an extra teaspoon of coconut oil to help.
  • Once the spices are ready, add the thinly chopped tomato and cook until it softens.
  • Once the tomato is soft, allow the masala to cool slightly, then move it to a blender and add half a cup of water.
  • Blend the masala until you obtain a smooth paste. If you need a little more water, add it, but try not to make this too watery.

How To Cook The Beef

  • In a large bowl add the diced meat, the beef fry masala you just prepared, a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and move to the pressure cooker. If you have only added half a cup of water to prepare the masala, add half cup more to the beef.
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil on top of the beef, then close the cooker safely.
  • Pressure cook the beef until tender. It took me half an hour on medium heat to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth consistency, however, on medium high heat it should be quicker and require only two whistles given the high pressure.
  • Allow the natural release of the pressure then check the meat. If it is soft and tender, then proceed to the next step, if not continue cooking until ready. There should be very little gravy left at this stage.

Prepare The Beef Fry With Coconut

  • In a frying pan on medium heat, add the coconut oil, and once warm, add the coconut slivers. Mix frequently, as these can overcook very quickly.
  • As soon as the coconut pieces start to turn golden on the edges, add the chopped pearl onions, chopped garlic and ginger, green chilies, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook until the pearl onions turn golden and the ginger and garlic are cooked.
  • Next, add the cooked beef and all its masala to the pan and mix well. As the beef should have almost no gravy, add a cup of water to it and mix well.
  • This step may be the longest hands-on one. Keep the pan on medium high heat, and mix the curry well. The water will start to evaporate, the gravy will thicken and the curry will turn darker. This is the part where you roast the beef Ularthiyathu, and the whole dish will turn a warm red brown color.
  • Once the curry is semi-dry [it will take about 10 minutes], add the black pepper, vinegar and curry leaves to the pan. Mix well and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Lastly, once you are happy with the consistency of the gravy [keep it semi-dry or more liquid for a main course, and dry for a starter], add a last teaspoon of coconut oil, mix well and the Kerala beef fry is ready to be served with rice, parottas, appam, or any type of flat bread you like!


Diced Beef: Stew beef is the best option for this recipe, with chuck roast and round being top choices.
Curry Leaves: These are an essential ingredient for Kerala style beef fry. They can be found in any Asian or Indian grocery shop, and I'd recommend using fresh or frozen ones, rather than dry, as they are more flavorful.
Coconut Slices: This ingredient can be skipped, increased, or decreased in quantity, as preferred. Fresh coconut slices can be bought in any supermarket [in the snacking fruit island], however, in Indian grocery shops it can be also purchased frozen, which is the type I use and recommend.
How to store Kerala beef fry?
  • In the fridge: Beef fry can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • In the freezer: This Kerala style beef fry can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then thoroughly reheat it in the microwave or in a pan, adding a little water if needed. Always serve hot.


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1158IU | Vitamin C: 172mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 4mg