Monday, 3 December 2007

Beef Kerala, or maybe just Beef Curry Stew

I had various plans for cooking this weekend, but in the end, I decided I wanted something nice and warming, and with a bit of red meat for a change. Laura was going to come for dinner and didn't want to eat Lamb, so Beef it was. I really liked the Chicken Kerala recipe I made a few weeks ago, so decided to hunt the web for some ideas for a Beef equivalent.

I found a number of slightly different recipes, but which tended to follow the same theme, with one of the common differences between the Beef and Chicken variety being the addition of Black Mustard Seeds and Green Cardamom Pods. Also, none of them seemed to have as much in the way of vegetables, so I decided to add a bit of what I had, in this case, some Fresh Peas, a bit of Cauliflower, Carrots and Potatoes. This is where it tended towards a stew I think. This and the fact that after normal cooking time had completed, and after a little taste, I decided that the beef wasn't anything like as tender as I like it, so I decided to keep slow cooking it in the oven for a couple more hours which worked great.

The resulting dish was definitely a cross between a curry and one of my more traditional stews, but with a very different flavour. Still, it was missing something on the flavour front, but I'm just not sure what, so I will have to have a little of the leftovers later to try and figure it out. The taste was fine, but just something missing.

Recipe for Beef Kerala (Serves 6)

  • 900g Casserole Steak (cubed)
  • 8 cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 2" piece of Fresh Ginger (grated/minced)
  • Half teaspoon of Salt
  • Half teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Green Cardamom Pods (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • 3 Green Chillies (sliced)
  • 3 Red Onions (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Chilli Powder
  • Half teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
  • 4 Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 4 Potatoes (cubed)
  • Half Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • 3 Carrots (julienned)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Peas
  • 400g Can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala

First marinate the Beef in the Ginger, Garlic, Salt and Pepper for about an hour.

Heat up the oil in a heavy pan and add the Cardamom and Mustard Seeds. When they start popping, add in the Curry Leaves, stir for a minute, then the Chilli, stir for a minute, then the Onion and continue to cook until going golden. Put the Coriander, Cumin, Chilli and Turmeric into a small bowl and mix with some hot water to make a thin paste, then add this to the pan and stir well.

Next, add the Beef and continue to stir for about 10 minutes until the beef is browned all over, then throw in the tomatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes. At this point, I added the rest of the vegetables and a cup of hot water, covered, and allowed to cook for about 40 minutes at a simmer. Next add the Coconut Milk and Garam Masala. Stir in and simmer for a further 5 minutes without letting it boil.

At this point, most of the recipes said to serve it, but after finding a fairly tough piece of beef at the top, I decided to put it into a 150 degree Celsius cover for the next few hours and see how it came out. For me, this worked well, and the resulting curry/stew was definitely one to keep you warm in winter, plus I could imagine up a number of variations. I'm pretty sure none of the other recipes added much in the way of vegetables other than the Onion and Chilli, but the tomatoes I added as the Chicken version I'd made had used them, and as I wasn't doing any other vegetable side dishes to go with it, I felt it necessary to add some other vegetables in there.

Definitely a recipe I'm going to make again in future, even if only to see if I can figure out what the missing flavour was, if indeed there was any. I could just have been my imagination.


Andreea said...

thanks for adding me on flickr. just discovered your blog y-day so will be linking to it soon on
great stuff

ozricbish said...

Wow, that's tasty! Just remember to de-seed the chillies unles you want it XXX hot!!

Anonymous said...

made this last night for some friends and we loved it - i added a tablespoon of tomato puree to thicken it a bit and a bit extra corriander and salt and pepper - didn't think it lacked anything.
thanks for the great site


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