Back home, my mother would stretch out this fragrant stew with lots of potatoes or plantains, to feed our large family on a limited budget. For a Sunday night supper, eaten with chapatis or parathas, it was a favorite of mine. At Coconut Lagoon, we use tenderloin tips for this dish, but stewing beef in a pressure cooker works very well.
- Coconut Oil 1/4 cup
- Onions 6, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
- Salt 1 1/2 tsp (divided)
- Ginger-Garlic Paste 1/4 cup
- Indian or Thai Green Chiles 3–4, coarsely chopped
- Curry Leaves 20, plus extra for garnish
- Ground Turmeric 1 Tbs
- Red Chili Powder 1 Tbs
- Ground Coriander 1/4 cup
- Coarsely Ground Black Pepper 1/2 tsp
- Ripe Tomatoes 2 large, chopped
- Stewing Beef or Beef Tenderloin Tips 2 lbs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Coconut Milk 1 cup
- Garam Masala 1 tsp
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté for 7 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste, chiles, and curry leaves and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Stir in turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes, mix well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef and the remaining 1 tsp salt and stir for 3 minutes, until beef is well coated. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beef is tender.
- Pour in coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Sprinkle with garam masala and scatter curry leaves on top and serve with chapatis or parathas.
Excerpted from Coconut Lagoon: Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen (C) 2019 by Joe Thottungal. Reproduced by permission of Figure 1. All rights reserved.