Kerala Beef Fry

Kerala Beef Fry

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
671 Calories
45g Fat
28g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 671
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Cholesterol 132mg 44%
Sodium 271mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 34mg 169%
Calcium 202mg 16%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 1080mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious dish is a favorite in the South-Indian state of Kerala. Kerala Beef Fry is a dish that I versatile, served not only as a snack when friends visit but also as a main course dish with dosas, idlis or appams—these are all various kinds of Indian bread. The spicy flavor of this beef fry recipe can be as mild or as fiery as you'd like it to be. This makes it an ideal introductory dish into Indian cuisine, for you or your friends.

This Kerala beef fry recipe requires the use of both a ginger paste and a garlic paste. You can make both on your own very easily in just a few moments, in a food processor, but you can also often find these items in the grocery store. Look for them around the ginger or garlic; sometimes they're sold in jars and other times in tubes.


  • 4 tablespoons fennel seeds

  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 8 cloves

  • 25 black peppercorns

  • 6 pod green cardamom

  • 1-inch stick cinnamon

  • 2.2 pounds beef, cut into 2-inch long, 1-inch thick strips

  • 2 large onions, sliced very thinly

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped finely

  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste

  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 2 to 3 green chiles

  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 50 curry leaves

  • 1 cup fresh coconut, cut into 1-inch long, thin slivers

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Kerala Beef Fry ingredients

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. Heat a dry sauté pan over medium heat and once it's hot, reduce heat to low. Add the fennel, coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, and cinnamon to pan. Roast, stirring often, until spices begin to slightly darken and become aromatic. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.

    fennel, coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, and cinnamon in a pan

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  3. In a clean, dry coffee grinder, grind roasted spices into a coarse powder.

    grind the roasted spices in a grinder

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Put ground spices, meat, sliced onions, green chilies, tomatoes, and ginger and garlic pastes into a large mixing bowl. Mix well until meat is evenly coated. Set aside in refrigerator to marinate for an hour.

    spices with onions and beef in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  5. After an hour, put spiced beef mixture into a large deep pot over medium heat. Do not add any water, as meat will give off its own juices. Cook until meat is tender.

    onions cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  6. In a separate small pan, heat cooking oil over medium heat until hot and add chopped onions. Fry until they are translucent.

    onions cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  7. Add curry leaves and mustard seeds and cook until they stop spluttering. Add coconut slivers. Cook until they begin to turn a pale golden color.

    curry leaves and mustard seeds in a pan with onions

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  8. Add this mixture to the pot with meat and mix well. Cook, stirring often, until meat browns. The whole dish should turn to a deep, dark brown color. This dish traditionally has no gravy at all and is dry, so if water is present, make sure to cook it off. Serve hot with idlis, dosas, or appams.

    Kerala Beef Fry in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

How to Store and Freeze Beef Fry

This spicy beef fry will keep in the refrigerator, covered for up to 5 days. You can also store it longer in the freezer, if it's well wrapped in foil and placed in a zip-close bag, for up to 3 months.

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